The IETM puts its trust in Dublin's performing arts
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IETM Spring Plenary meeting in Dublin takes place 11-14 April, 2013.

Read Jesse Weaver's feature on the IETM Dublin Meeting, incuding an interview with Producer Lian Bell and other members of the Dublin team.

Main image: Pan Pan Theatre Company's All That Fall by Samuel Beckett, programmed as part of IETM Dublin 2013 at Samuel Beckett Theatre, April 11-13, and 15-20th April 2013. Photo: Ros Kavanagh. Bookings through Project Arts Centre for IETM. Booking for later dates here

Below: Gerard Byrne in rehearsal for Drum Belly by Richard Dormer at the Abbey Theatre. Directed by Sean Holmes. Photo: Anthony Woods

Philip Connaghton and Michelle Boule in Body Duet by John Scott Dance. Photo: Julia Cervantes

IETM Dublin 2013 is an initiative of the Arts Council of Ireland in partnership with Culture Ireland, produced by Project Arts Centre and supported by Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland. It is part of both the Arts Council’s and Culture Ireland's Culture Programme to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


The IETM puts its trust in Dublin's performing arts

Just how informal is the Informal European Theatre Meeting? Convening for the first time in Dublin next month, the IETM Spring Plenary Meeting features four days of discussion, performance and collateral networking, but could never be referred to as an entirely casual affair. (A few years ago the organisation began operating under the more jacket-and-tie description, “International network for contemporary performing arts”.)

With this Spring’s plenary meeting themed around the issue of “Trust”, the artistic programme curated by Project Arts Centre’s Artistic Director Cian O’Brien has demonstrated refracted that idea through a prism of contemporary performance.

Drum_belly1-(2).jpgOne happy confluence is the National Theatre’s premiere of Richard Dormer’s Drum Belly, the first new play (excluding adaptations) on the Abbey stage in over a year, which appears under the IETM’s programme rubric from Apr 11-13. Given that Dormer’s play deals with Irish gangsters and stolen money in 1960s New York, ‘trust’ may be a complex issue within its narrative. But the world premiere of a Northern Irish writer’s play in the Republic, directed by the Lyric Hammersmith’s Sean Holmes, sends more encouraging signals about an historically uncooperative part of Europe.

And more surprising accord, perhaps, between the notoriously vigilant Beckett Estate and experimental contemporary theatre makers, helped to define the success of Pan Pan Theatre Company’s All That Fall (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Apr 11-20). A transposition of the radio play to theatrical installation, it proved as radical in presentation as it was faithful to the letter of Beckett’s work in 2011, and will later appear as part of a mini-programme of Beckettian works not originally written for the stage presented at the Edinburgh International Festival. Other performances include Pan Pan’s new staging of Beckett radio play, Embers, and three one-man revivals from the Gate; I’ll Go On, First Love and Eh, Joe.

Elsewhere, collaboration across disciplines informs Dylan Tighe’s curation of a gig highlighting the contribution of musicians to the performing arts in Ireland with Let the music do the talking (Project, Apr 11), while Michelle Browne curates an evening of performance art from visual arts disciplines entitled Between you, me and the four walls (Project Cube, Apr 11-12) with three new works by Fergus Byrne, Áine Phillips, and her own collaboration with Dominic Thorpe.

Browne features again within a programme of events from Dublin Fringe Festival (Apr 11-13): her alternative tour of Dublin guided by taxi-drivers, Dublin’s Fare City, Veronica Dyas and Sorcha Kenny’s walking tour of site-responsive art, Am I Rambling? and Lunchbox, a potluck event in which 20 artists make a meal for a corresponding attendee.

Body-Duet_3-(1).jpgLiz Roche Company remounts the choreographer’s energetic and visual-arts inspired production Fast Portraits while John Scott Dance revives Body Duet, a celebratory piece about losing inhibitions and establishing trust between bodies. Reviving their recent Dublin Theatre Festival production, Brokentalkers are not so much endorsing trust as tracing its absence, with company co-director Feidlim Cannon performing alongside his mother and their therapist in Have I No Mouth? (Apr 11-13) a performance that recounts the preventable death of his father. It’s a considered programme, one that recognizes that contemporary performance, however approachable, is always engaged with formal enquiry. They’re professionals, though; you can trust them.


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