Dublin Dance Festival in partnership with the Abbey Theatre


10 - 11 May 2019

Booking Information

Dates: 10 – 11 May
On the Abbey Stage

Times: 7.30pm

Tickets: €13 – €40 / Conc. €13 – €34

Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Post-Show Talk: Sat 11 May

To book for a group of 6+ call (01) 87 97 212

Witness leading traditional Irish dance artist, Colin Dunne, and internationally revered Flemish-Moroccan choreographer and dancer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, perform together on the Abbey Stage.

Commissioned for the 15th edition of Dublin Dance Festival, Session is the culmination of a three-year collaboration catalysed by the Festival.

This is a rare opportunity to see a performance by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, an exceptional dance artist who fuses eclectic influences including martial arts, hip hop, Kathak and jazz into his unique choreographic style.

In Session, these two highly accomplished and diverse performers draw from the rich rhythmical and sonic aspects of Colin Dunne’s traditional Irish dance to discover their relational possibilities through the exploration of sound.

The lines between movement and music, seeing and listening become a source of play, as Dunne and Cherkaoui create new modes of sound-making, ranging from the graceful to the absurd.

They are joined on stage by composer Michael Gallen and musician Soumik Datta. Gallen’s score draws upon a diversity of sonic and musical sources, threading the melodic eccentricities of percussive dance, timbral noise and sean-nós ornamentation into a larger soundworld that includes overlapping pianos and strings, electroacoustic textures and polyphonic choral performance.


Produced by Eastman, Once Off Productions & Théâtre National de Bretagne.
Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival, the Abbey Theatre, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Julidans, Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival, MC93 – scène nationale de Seine-Saint-Denis – Bobigny, Torinodanza, deSingel – Antwerp, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Sadler’s Wells – London, Schauspiel Köln.
With the support of the Fondation BNP Paribas, General Representation of the Government of Flanders in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Belgian Federal Government’s Tax Shelter programme and the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


'Dunne takes Irish dance into territories new, deconstructing tradition in wryly funny, intimate and experimental pieces.'
The Guardian (on Colin Dunne)

'Enormously exciting and inspiring. He thinks with his knees and his body in a way that is quite remarkable. It is like having the most conscious clay you could ever have.'
Antony Gormley (on Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui)



Images © Koen Broos


  • Performer: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  • Performer: Soumik Datta
  • Performer: Colin Dunne
  • Performer: Michael Gallen
  • Choreographer & Director: Colin Dunne
  • Choreographer & Director: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  • Music: Michael Gallen
  • Set Design: Filip Peeters
  • Lighting Design: Mark Van Denesse
  • Sound Design: Michael Gallen
  • Sound Design: Jef Verbeeck
  • Additional Music Composition: Colin Dunne
  • Additional Music Composition: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  • Additional Music Composition: Soumik Datta
  • Dramaturg: Arthur Nauzyciel
  • Assistant Choreographer: Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern
  • Assistant Choreographer: Laura Murphy

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Abbey Theatre
26/27 Lower Abbey Street
Dublin 1
D01 K0F1