‘Raw, raucous, redemptive, majestic, vital and empowering.’
From the imagination of one of the world’s foremost dance and theatre-makers Michael Keegan-Dolan (Fabulous Beast) comes a beautiful, brilliant and utterly gripping deconstruction of one of the world’s most famous ballets.
Strange and unsettling, full of bleak humour and wry characterisations, this Swan Lake is definitely not the traditional classical ballet version. Set in the Midlands of Ireland, where ancient mythology and the modern world collide, stunning dancing and powerful imagery are interwoven with inventive storytelling, song and live music. The story is relayed like an Irish folk tale, set to a haunting and melodic Nordic and Irish traditional music score played live by the Slow Moving Clouds trio, but the themes and their inventive portrayal are completely contemporary. Moments of darkness give way to scenes of intense rapture in a must-see work of pure theatrical magic.
New Zealand Festival Image: Matt Grace, Marie-Laure Briane, Colm Hogan
Co-production by Michael Keegan-Dolan; Sadler’s Wells Theatre London; Colours International Dance Festival, Theaterhaus Stuttgart; Dublin Theatre Festival; Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg. With support from The Civic Theatre, Tallaght and Dublin County Council Arts Office.
Latecomers not admitted.
Contains adult themes
Writer, Director & Choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan
Set Designer Sabine Dargent
Costume Designer Hyemi Shin
Lighting Designer Adam Silverman
Music Slow Moving Clouds
The Holy Man Mikel Murfi
Finola Rachel Poirier
Jimmy O’Reilly Alex Leonhartsberger
Nancy O’Reilly Elizabeth Cameron Dalman
Finola’s Sisters / Swans Anna Kaszuba, Carys Staton, Molly Walker
The First Watcher / Lyudmilla Saku Koistinen
The Second Watcher / Winnie Zen Jefferson
The Third Watcher / Margaret Erik Nevin
Aki (Nyckelharpa), Mary Barnecutt (Cello), Danny Diamond (Fiddle)
Producer Johnny O’Reilly
Production Manager Lisa Mahony
Company Administrator Catherine Finn
Company Stage Manager Marina Kilby
Deputy Stage Manager Sinead Cormack
Costume Supervisor Amanda Donovan
Sound Manager Daragh Murphy
Lighting Manager Stephen Dodd
Tour Rehearsal Director Emmanuel Obeya
Production Assistant Eimear Reilly
Fri 15 Feb, 8.55pm
Michael Keegan Dolan
Michael Keegan-Dolan founded Teaċ Daṁsa in 2016 as a means to forge a deeper connection with his cultural roots, native traditions, language and the rich musical heritage of Ireland. Teaċ Daṁsa, ‘House of the Dance’ in Classical Irish, reflects his ongoing creative journey, further fusing his work to the place from which it originates. This is exemplified in its first production, Swan Lake (Loch na hEala).
Michael Keegan-Dolan rose to acclaim as the artistic director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre (1997-2015), creating three Olivier Award-nominated productions: Giselle (2003), The Bull (2005), and The Rite of Spring (2009). In 2004, Giselle won an Irish Times Theatre Award and The Bull received a Critic’s Circle Dance UK Award in 2008. Rian, created in 2011, won a Bessie Award (a New York Dance and Performance Award) in 2013 for Best Production and toured internationally for three years. Fabulous Beast presented a Stravinsky Double Bill in 2013, a reinvention of their 2009 production of The Rite of Spring with a new production of Petrushka. It premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London before touring to the Movimentos Festival, Germany, the Galway Arts Festival, the Brisbane Festival and the Melbourne Festival.
Michael Keegan-Dolan has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost companies. In 2012 he directed and choreographed a new production of Handel’s Julius Caesar at the London Coliseum for English National Opera. In 2015 he created an original piece, The Big Noise, for the GoteborgOperans DansKompani working closely with celebrated Nordic Folk Musician, Ale Moller. As Guest Artistic Director of the National Youth Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells London for the 2015-2016 season, he was involved in the creation of In-Nocentes. In March 2017 he set a new work to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony for the Dance Company at the Gärtnerplatztheater, Munich. He has extensive experience teaching and has led workshops for different companies around the world including the Hofesh Schechter Company, Cedar Lake Ballet and the Ballet Junior de Geneva.
In the winter of 2014, the Fabulous Beast, a mythical creature that had lived in the imagination of Michael Keegan-Dolan for 17 years grew weary and unwell. The following spring this extraordinary a-zoological beast expired and after months of mourning its passing, something new began to appear.
In supporting Keegan-Dolan’s ongoing creative journey of forging deeper connections with his cultural roots, folk music, language and native traditions and coinciding with the development of Swan Lake (Loch na hEala), the new company name was decided.
Teaċ Daṁsa is derived from the original Irish way of writing Teach Damhsa. (pronounced Chak Dowsa). It means ‘house of the dance,’ and reflects Keegan-Dolan’s wish to deepen the connection between his dancing and the place from which it originates.
Swan Lake (Loch na hEala) is the first production forged in the cauldron that is now Teaċ Daṁsa.