ABOUT

PIONEERING TRANSFORMATIVE DANCE 

Founded in 1991 by dancer and choreographer John Scott, Irish Modern Dance Theatre is one of the most original and responsive dance companies working in Ireland today. A Dublin-based ensemble, Scott and international guest choreographers create distinctive dance works with diverse casts, mixing virtuosic Irish and international dancers with African and Middle Eastern refugees and torture survivors. Our works include ‘Lear’, ‘Inventions’, Actions’ and ‘Fall and Recover’ - all recognised for their intelligence, honesty and humanity. Our work crosses disciplines, subverts expectations of dance and dancers and finds new ways to explore contemporary issues. Irish Modern Dance Theatre is Strategically funded by the Arts Council.

RECENT PERFORMANCES

‘Evolutions’, Project Arts Centre, ‘Dances for Inside and Outside’, Irish tour, , film: ‘In The Vicinity of the Sun’, 5 Lamp Arts Festival. ‘Divine Madness’, Project Arts Centre, ‘Inventions’, Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival, Oona Doherty’s ‘Almost Blue’, Cork Midsummer Festival and Echo Echo Festival, Derry, ‘Actions’, John F Kennedy Center, Washington DC, Visual Carlow, Five Lamps Arts Festival, and Racconti Di Altre Danza, Italy, Merce Cunningham Centenary performances for Theatre de la Ville, Paris at
Espace Pierre Cardin and Dance Place, Washington, Cloud Study at Galway International Arts Festival and Dance Limerick, Lear at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London, New York Live Arts and DanceBase, Edinburgh Festival Fringe. IMDT has commissioned works by international dance visionaries including Merce Cunningham, Sarah Rudner, Kyle Abraham, Thomas Lehmen, Adrienne Truscott, John Jasperse and Sean Curran. Irish Modern Dance Theatre has also founded ‘Dancer from the Dance Festival of New Irish Choreography’ running in New York and Dublin in partnership with Project Arts Centre, Dance Ireland, Irish Arts Center and 92nd Street Y, New York. IMDT is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland,  Dublin City Council, Department of Justice and Equality.

COLLABORATORS

IMDT works with Merce Cunningham Trust on performing early Merce Cunningham works, including ‘Night Wandering’ (1958) and ‘Totem Ancestor’ (1948) and Solo from Second Hand (1970). Scott has commissioned works from John Jasperse, Sarah Rudner, Thomas Lehmen, Chris Yon, Sean Curran, Adrienne Truscott and John Wisman. He has brought Meredith Monk, Deborah Hay, Emily Johnson, Ty Boomershine and members of The Forsythe Company - Jone San Martin, Josh Johnson, Fabrice Mazliah and Christopher Roman - to  Ireland to teach and perform. Scott is one of the subjects of '52 Portraits' by Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion and Hugo Glendinning, produced for Sadler’s Wells, London.

 

TOURS

Festival d’Automne Cuningham Weekend, Theatre de la Ville at Espance Pierre Cardin, Paris, John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, Dance Place, Washington DC, 92Y at Harkness Dance Center, New York Live Arts, La MaMa, New
York, PS122, New York, Philadelphia Dance Project, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, Les Hivernales, Avignon, France, Schwankhalle, Bremen, Tanzmesse, Germany, Queer Zagreb, Croatia, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, Kanuti Guildi SAAL, Estonia, Galway International Arts Festival, Dance Base Edinburgh, Forum Culturel Mundial and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland.

AWARDS

African Refugee Network’s Culture Award for work with Refugees and Survivors of Torture awarded to John Scott
Best Dance award by Dance Magazine, New York for ‘The White Piece’, 2013
John Scott awarded Best Choreographer of the 2014-15 Season, Critic's Choice, Tanz Magazine Yearbook, Germany
Light Moves 2016 Outstanding Irish Work award for short film ‘Proclamation’, Director Jason Akira Somma, Choreographer John Scott
Herald Angel Award for Valda Setterfield’s performance in John Scott’s ‘Lear’ at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2017

 

PRESS 

 

"Ireland's dance landscape has been given a splash of colour by iconoclast John Scott, spearheading Irish Modern Dance Theatre, a group which has already become something of a national institution....Scott also addresses the details of aesthetic, social and spatial hierarchy...words and gestures somewhere between Beckett, Chaplin, and Monty Python" - Thomas Hahn/Tanz Magazine, Germany

ACTIONS

"The sheer athleticism on display is impressive" - The Scotsman

“there is a satisfying completeness to the dance … the movement questions how we view the moving male body.” Michael Seaver, Irish Times

"With the athletic twists and syncopated rhythms in John Scott's choreography...it becomes a celebration of dance as an art form" - Mary Brennan, The Herald, Scotland

​“Daring physical feats? Check. Competitiveness? Check. Underlying, shrugged-off affection? Check. ……. vigorous, sweeping, canted, giant-step, high-kick movements that Scott’s choreography favors … . It’s wonderfully enjoyable, skillfully paced, and full of small surprises..... In its own way, Actions tells us much about affability under pressure, diligence, and a feistiness that doesn’t negate the men’s respect for each other" - Deborah Jowitt/The Village Voice

LEAR

“this magnificent Lear …. makes the tragedy all the more poignant…. Scott and the performers construct wonderfully revealing rhythms and movements…. Shakespeare Wisely Shaken Up” - Deborah Jowitt, Arts Journal, New York

"Bessie award winner Valda Setterfield takes the crown in a portrayal that highlights the vulnerability awaiting us in the end... Setterfield's descent from graceful, steely royal into dementia is deeply moving. The Lear Project is a timely and tender exploration of aging, loss and regret that gets to the very heart of who we are" - Alison Martin, Irish Daily Mail

HYPERACTIVE

"Raising their arms and inhabiting an open space seems to come naturally to the five athletic performers of Hyperactive, as they transform gravelly Wolfe Tone Square into a sandpit teeming with dance energy and boyish glee. …. It is highly charged, wonderfully high-octane exhibitionistic fun, an entertaining sugar rush for all involved." - Seona Mac Reamoinnt/The
Irish Times


“As a writer, I will never keep up with what John Scott's dancers do in HYPERACTIVE …. Scott's sense of funny scrambles over any flimsy barrier... The work embraces transparency and anti-virtuosity in its raucousness, its grin at failure, its refusal to go anywhere near pretty payoff or uplift. ……And four butts are worked off, relentlessly, for the entire fifty minutes” - Eva Yaa Asantewaa/Infinite Body, New York
 
“Scott is bravely attempting to reposition modern dance in Ireland, through his challenging themes and his captivating choreography" - Niamh Mongey/Headstuff (2018)

"John Scott...knows how to skillfully handle the image without forcing aesthetic effect" - Marie Christine Vernay/ Liberation, Paris (1998)