this is an Irish dance choreographed by Jean Butler and composed by Neil Martin is coming to Ireland after sell-out success and critical acclaim in the U.S.

Performed by the world-renowned dancer and choreographer Jean Butler and Belfast-born composer and musician Neil Martin, this duet for dancer and cellist will be on stages in Dublin 8-11 February, Limerick 17 February and Bray 2 March 2017.

Following Jean Butler’s previous contemporary pieces that explored her celebrated past in Irish Step Dance, this new piece further unearths her roots by returning to the relationship between live music and movement as the compositional departure point for the work.

Inspired by the interdependent relationship between traditional music and dance, and the formal spatial relationship between dancer and musician that characterises her experience from competition to stage, this is an Irish dance explores the often-invisible interplay between dancer and musician in live performance.

The movement and music, created simultaneously through improvisation during the piece’s development, raise questions about who is leading and who is following. this is an Irish dance reveals a dialogue between music and movement, movement and sound, sound and space, space and sculpture, sculpture and body, body and instrument, cello and cellist, cellist and dancer, and ultimately a man and woman.

this is an Irish dance premiered with performances at Danspace, New York and, as part of the prestigious  Ireland 100 Festival, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.

Jean Butler by John MidgleyAs a contemporary dance artist, Butler’s work has also been seen at The Joyce and the Baryshnikov Arts Center New York, and in Dublin at Project Arts Centre and on the Peacock stage at the Abbey Theatre. She is a Project Arts Centre Ambassador, and a recent recipient of a Spirit of Ireland Award presented by Gabriel Byrne on behalf of the Irish Arts Center.

Co-presented and co-commissioned by Project Arts Centre, Danspace Project and Irish Arts Center, these Irish performances of this is an Irish dance are part of an international tour which will also visit the Warwick Arts Centre 26-28 January, and Belgrade on 9 & 10 March.

Performed by Jean Butler and Neil Martin
Choreographed by Jean Butler
Composed by Neil Martin
Set by Frank Conway
Rehearsal Assistant Kristyn Fontanella
Lighting and Design Michael Cummins
Costume by Jean Butler
Conceived and produced by Jean Butler

Tour Details

Dublin: Project Arts Centre, 39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Dates & Time: 8 -11 February | 7.30pm |Tickets: €20 – €25
T: 01 881 9613 | W:
Presented as part of Project 50, a season of work celebrating 50 years of Project Arts Centre.

Limerick: Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Date & Time: 17 February | 8pm | Tickets: €20/€16
T: 061 953 400 | W:

Bray: Mermaid Arts Centre
Date & Time: 2 March | 8pm | Tickets: €20/€18
T: 01 272 4030 | W:

Jean Butler and Neil Martin


the thin grey line

Performance photos © Ian Douglas; photo of Jean Butler © John Midgley

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