‘Dances Like a Bomb’ by Junk Ensemble.

2024, another chance to dance

Dance Cork Firkin Crane’s spring/summer 2024 season launches this month, featuring an expansive programme of public performances, festivals, residencies, classes, workshops, and a special masterclass.

Running from February-June 2024, the programme hosts artists from all over Ireland, as well as from Palestine, Belgium, Norway, and France.

The performance season opens with a co-presentation with The Everyman in February of the highly acclaimed duet ‘Dances Like a Bomb’. A powerful and uplifting duet exploring ageing and care, ‘Dances Like a Bomb’ is the latest work by multi-award-winning dance innovators Junk Ensemble, performed by acclaimed actor Mikel Murfi, and leading Irish dance artist Finola Cronin (formerly of Pina Bausch's Tanz Theater Wuppertal). Performances take place at The Everyman on 8 and 9 February.

Building on its huge success in 2023, the Take Off festival is back for its second edition from 14-16 February. Take Off is a dance festival that showcases thrilling dance artists from Ireland and Europe, with this year’s outing bringing flavours of contemporary dance, Irish dance, and hip-hop styles.

The programme features international choreographers Jean-Baptiste Baele (Belgium/Norway) and Structure-couple (France), chosen from the Aerowaves Twenty23 selected artists, and Irish based artists Stephanie Keane, Mary Nunan, Amir Sabra, Inma Pavon, Billy Kemp and Mick O'Shea, and Andrea Williams.

From 17-18 May, Dance Cork Firkin Crane welcomes back choreographer Tara Brandel and her company Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company for a performance of ‘Unseen’. The work is inspired by invisible forces of nature, both benevolent and malevolent, and is a multidisciplinary performance created and performed in collaboration with abstract painter Stacey White.

In June, Laura Murphy presents ‘This is It’ as part of Cork Midsummer Festival. A series of multimedia portraits of women in dance in Ireland, the work rethinks the traditional structure and hierarchies of dance. It is a deep meditation on dance and on a life lived in dance. The portraits include Jean Butler, Alicia Christofi Walshe, Lisa Cliffe, Finola Cronin, Joan Davis, Mary Nunan, Katherine O’Malley, and Angie Smalis. More details will be revealed in spring as part of Cork Midsummer Festival’s programme announcement.

In addition to these performances, visiting resident artists Mufutau Yusuf, Magdalena Hylak and Lionel Kasparian, Isabella Oberländer and Fearghus Ó Conchúir, Andrea Williams, and Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín plus collaborators will be hosted from January to June for research and development of upcoming projects.

Many of the artists will host free to the public work-in-progress sharings at the end of their residency periods. These sharings are open to the public, but pre-registration is requested. Details can be found on dancecorkfirkincrane.ie.

Professional classes and workshops will run throughout with a masterclass led by Junk Ensemble on 9 February, and weekly classes on Thursday mornings led by guest teachers.

Inclusive Dance Cork, a ground-breaking pilot training programme for dancers with and without disabilities continues from January until May thanks to funding from the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund of ReThink Ireland, and an anonymous donor through the Community Foundation for Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of the new programme, Dance Cork Firkin Crane’s Executive Artistic Director, Laurie Uprichard, said: “In December we were saddened to hear of the passing of John Ashford, a friend and advocate of the dance community around the world. The former director of both The Place Theatre (1986–2009) and Aerowaves (1996–2022) will be greatly missed by his colleagues and the wider dance community. In honour of his memory, this season’s programme is dedicated to John.”