My first dance outing of 2018 was a weekend rehearsal in Dublin for An Táin. I hadn’t been in the Dance Theatre of Ireland studios for years (since working Dublin Youth Dance Company for Open Niche, perhaps?) but it was great to be in the light-filled studios with the energy and skill of the musicians playing with Lorcán MacMathúna. Daire Bracken, Martin Tourish and Eamonn Galldubh are all accomplished individual musicians and it’s interesting to hear how they work out their playing together, especially in this context, where, like me, they are serving Lorcán’s singing rather than foregrounding their own musicianship. I found that I was fitting my dancing with their instrumental interludes rather than trying to dance while Lorcán sang, so as not to split an audience’s attention.
Carrying the spirit of transformation from The Casement Project, I’m also enjoying letting the multiple characters, animals, atmospheres and emotions from An Táin pass through my choreography without trying in any way to represent the narrative. Lorcán’s singing does that but there’s something beyond the details of that ancient narrative that I want to embody for a contemporary audience. After our rehearsal together, I’m reassured that I’m on the right track. Cífimíd.