John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre returns to the Irish stage this winter with two magnificent shows, marking two significant celebrations.
Performing at the company’s spiritual performance home at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre, and celebrating 25 years of IMDT with a Dance Double Bill featuring the world premiere of Precious Metal and one of Merce Cunningham’s masterpieces and Irish Premiere, Night Wandering. Both shows are part of Project 50, a season of work celebrating 50 years of Project Arts Centre, opening on Tuesday 6th and running until Saturday, 10th December, 2016.
Hot on the heels of the huge success of John Scott’s & Valda Setterfield’s LEAR, IMDT bring together an international team of technically brilliant and culturally diverse dancers and artists in John Scott’s Precious Metal. This dance piece makes its performance debut combining passion and virtuosity, humour and heartbreak.
Audiences can expect wild jumps into space, wonderful rhythms and movements driven by speed and strength, all delivered with poignancy and grace.
In another first, Merce Cunningham’s Night Wandering makes its Irish premiere following Scott’s new work. Originally created by the world-renowned dancer and choreographer Cunningham in 1958, the piece is a duet reminiscent of snowy landscapes, and described by prolific New York dance writer Walter Sorrell as, “a tender lullaby of love”. In this production of Night Wandering the cast of dancers are split into two during the show’s run. Featuring Merce Cunningham Dance Company members, Julie Cunningham, Cedric Andrieux and Cheryl Therrien, who bring stunning authenticity to the performances, prior to its staging in New York in February 2017.
In keeping with its Nordic theme, music is by Bo Nilsson, the Swedish composer and lyricist known for his chamber-music compositions characterised by their refined and unusual instrumentation. Nilsson is also lauded for his electronic music. His music in this piece is characterized by bursts of activity followed by moments of silence, evoking the feeling of traveling through the spacious, and seemingly endless Northern night. The extravagant winter costumes are by Robert Rauschenberg, the American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement and who was thought to have been one of the greatest artists of his time. Night Wandering promises to be a seasonal dance hit to kick start the festivities.
The two shows stand in perfect juxtaposition. Scott’s steely brilliance in Precious Metal complements Cunningham’s Nordic winter theme in Night Wandering, making for a truly exceptional night of dance this December to rouse our yuletide spirits.
Directed and Choreographed by John Scott
Design by Eric Würtz
Danced by Kevin Coquelard / Ryan O’Neill / Mufutau Yusuf / Florence Welalo
Presented by John Scott Dance by arrangement with Merce Cunningham Trust Choreography by Merce Cunningham
Reset by Jean Freebury (Merce Cunningham Trust)
Music by Bo Nilsson
Costume design by Robert Rauschenberg
Danced by Julie Cunningham and Kevin Coquelard (6 – 7 Dec) // Cheryl Therrien and Cedric Andrieux (8 – 10 Dec)
Project Arts Centre
39, East Essex Street
Tel: 01 881 9613
All photos by Chris Nash, courtesy IMDT