RTÉ, Screen Ireland, South Wind Blows and Harvest Films Present: The Dance
Network Premiere Thursday 2nd February on RTÉ One 10:15pm
Next Thursday, a network premiere of The Dance will air on RTÉ One. The Dance is an observational feature documentary by director Pat Collins and follows the staging of acclaimed choreographer and theatre maker, Michael Keegan-Dolan’s MÁM from the first day of rehearsal to the opening night performance at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2019.
Following the success of his acclaimed re-imagining of the world-famous ballet, Swan Lake/Loch na hEala (2016), Michael Keegan-Dolan and Teaċ Daṁsa have created another mythic yet timely production that acknowledges how life’s polarities can on occasion come together and find resolution.
Acclaimed director Pat Collins’ (Song of Granite, Silence) documentary The Dance, gives viewers a unique insight into Michael Keegan-Dolan’s creative process.
The documentary was filmed in 2019 and features the virtuoso concertina player Cormac Begley, who has since won Best Folk Instrumentalist 2022 at the RTÉ Folk Awards and Irish Times Album of the Year 2022, with his second solo album ‘B’. The documentary also features the European musical collective ‘s t a r g a z e’ and twelve international dancers who travelled to the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.
It’s an immersive and meditative film, fully observational and always in full flow. There is an emphasis on unity and open communication shown in the film, everyone involved in MÁM was seen as equally important to the process of creating it and was given the space to express themselves both creatively and emotionally.
As Keegan-Dolan says “… each rehearsal is about discovery, revelation and connection – and these moments of discovery are a revelation to everyone present.”
Michael Keegan-Dolan is considered one of the most innovative modern dance choreographers and theatre makers working today. His ground-breaking productions have won numerous international awards. He 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). The Bull received a UK Critic’s Circle Award in 2008 and his show Rian, won a Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award) in 2013 for Best Production. His last production with his new company Teac Damsa, Swan Lake / Loch na hEala, won the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Production 2018. Premiered at the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival, Swan Lake toured the world including to Sadler’s Wells London, Stuttgart, Wellington, Sydney, Seoul, Toronto and Moscow.
Pat Collins is a film maker from West Cork in Ireland who has made 30 films over the last 25 years. In 2012, the Irish Film Institute curated a mid-career retrospective of his work to date. His latest feature documentary Henry Glassie Fieldwork-premiered at TIFF in 2019 and was released in New Wave films in the UK. He has directed the feature films Song of Granite and Silence and made films on the writer John McGahern, the poets Michael Hartnett and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, the Connemara based writer and cartographer Tim Robinson, the Iranian film maker Abbas Kiarostami (co-directed with Fergus Daly), and two political feature essay films ‘What We Leave in Our Wake’ (2009) and ‘Living in a Coded Land’(2014). He also makes short experimental films including ‘Pilgrim’, ‘What Remains’, ‘Twilight’ and the forthcoming ‘All There is, is light’.
MÁM went on to be reviewed rapturously in The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Observer and The Irish Times. As well as Dublin it has been performed in theatres in London, Australia and New Zealand.
The Dance airs Thursday, 2nd February on RTÉ One at 10.15pm