Fearghus Ó Conchúir Choreographer and Dance Artist

Audiences are awake to ‘sleepers’


Subtle programming by Dublin Dance Festival director brought hidden gems and delight to the audiences that dared.

Lack of care and humanity might be the accusation hurled at the two most personally political pieces in the festival; both of of which were Irish.

Listowel Syndrome by Emma Martin in Re-Presenting Ireland – the programme of curated new work from Ireland – which explores the ostracism of a woman who dares to name her sexual predator in a small community. But, towering over all for intensity was Tabernacle , the final show of the festival in which choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchúir bravely steps into the minefield of the Irish body and its bruising and confusing encounters with the power of Catholic Church.

If Songs of the Wanderers represented a cleansing ritual, the healing catharsis is not quite there yet in this challenging and disturbing work. Familiar religious iconography; sexuality, innocent and manipulative; isolation and acceptance; authority and compliance, they are all there in a layered work that is subtle, a little overlong, but with Iarla Ó Lionáird’s voice an eerie supplication for release, this work will surely merit a wider audience.

The Irish Times – Tuesday, May 31, 2011