DDF News — 25 Jan 2019

#FestivalFlashback - Opening Performance No.1: Merce Cunningham (2002)

#FestivalFlashback - Opening Performance No.1: Merce Cunningham (2002)

The 15th Dublin Dance Festival is just 15 weeks away, and who doesn’t love a good countdown? So, we thought we’d take a little amble down memory lane and look back at all the powerful, provocative and pivotal works that have opened the Festival since its first year back in 2002.

Launching the Dublin Dance Festival was bold and momentous. It was fitting then, that the first ever opening performance was from Merce Cunningham – one of the most influential and important contemporary figures in dance.

It was the first time the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed in Ireland – and it was definitely one for record books!

Merce Rainforest


“The overall effect is of an almost hypnotic calmness that beguiles the viewer” – The Irish Times

Taking to the Abbey Stage in Ireland’s National Theatre, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company presented two programmes of iconic work – Summerspace and BIPED.

Biped B


“It’s the wonderful illogicality in form and movement that reveals Cunningham’s genius.” – The Irish Times

17 years later, and Cunningham’s influence on contemporary dance and art is no less profound as artists and audiences around the globe celebrate his centenary in 2019.

Without a doubt, this was an epic start to DDF!

Check back next week for another #FestivalFlashback as we count down the 15 weeks to Opening Night 2019.