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December 5 - 16, 2022 \ New York City, USA
IRIS Residency with Merce Cunningham Trust and Irish Arts Center, New York

IMDT is delighted to be a recipient of the Arts Council International Residency Initiatives Scheme. IMDT will be undertaking an International Merce Cunningham Trust Residency in partnership with Irish Arts Center, New York 


This workshop residency develops and consolidates partnerships between two international organisations of high repute: Merce Cunningham Trust, Irish Arts Center in USA with IMDT. It will support and enhance  Irish dance ecology through the professional development of Irish based dance artists in a high quality international engagement with Merce Cunningham, historically one of the worlds greatest choreographers, whose body of work includes major dance masterpieces and is compared in importance to Bach, Shakespeare and Balanchine. IMDT has an excellent track record with MC Trust and has produced 2 rare Cunningham works: ‘Totem Ancestor’ and ‘Night Wandering’ in Ireland and internationally. 

Led by Patricia Lent, former Cunningham Company dancer and currently MC Trust's Director of Licensing, IMDT artists will have the invaluable opportunity to discover, learn, explore and experiment with Cunningham's choreographic tools and methodologies. Patricia's expertise is extensive: performing in over 40 of Cunningham's works, including being partnered by Cunningham, teaching innumerable technique and repertory workshops worldwide and frequently staging Cunningham’s work internationally. 

Irish composer/traditional musician, Mel Mercier, who worked extensively with  Cunningham and John Cage for 10 years, will contribute by sharing Cage’s work processes with New York based Irish traditional musicians and the workshop participants. In addition to the 5 Irish artists, the Cunningham trust will engage local New York contemporary dancer/choreographers, providing a platform for shared dialogue and future collaborations between US and Irish dance artists. MC Trust will also provide daily technique class, strengthening the dancer’s technical capacity and strength.

IMDT Artist Participants
Conor Thomas Doherty

"I will use these two weeks of Cunningham workshops to find new possibilities of movement within my range of physical theatre. I am eager and so grateful for this opportunity from IMDT. To connect with new beings and to PLAY is my main mission" - Conor Thomas Doherty Conor Thomas Doherty graduated with a BA in ‘ Modern Theatre Dance ‘ from Fontys Dance Academy. Born in Dublin , he is now currently based in Barcelona. Conor is currently performing in both dance and physical theatre companies worldwide. He is currently working and teaching for many years with Jan Fabre , Angelica Liddell , The United Cowboys and Irish Modern Dance Theatre. Conor is also becoming his own creator and is currently preparing a new solo show for 2023 funded by P.L.A.N in the Netherlands.

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Justine Doswell

"I feel blessed to have been invited to participate in this international exchange residency hosted by Merce Cunningham Trust, New York in partnership with Irish Modern Dance Theatre and to be gifted this valuable opportunity to work intensively with Patricia Lent to further discover, learn, explore and engage with Merce Cunningham's choreographic tools and methodologies. I am particularly curious to explore how chance procedures were used in the creation process of the selection of repertoire we will be visiting during this two week residency and I strongly believe that the whole experience will inspire and enable me to continue to develop my choreographic practice." - Justine Doswell Justine is a dance artist, choreographer, and creative producer who has been based in Dublin since 1997. She has worked with numerous notable Irish and international choreographers, directors and companies. Inspired by dynamic structure and living systems her choreographic practice is anchored in collaboration and her work has been supported by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Dance Ireland, Dance Limerick, Shawbrook, Dublin Dance Festival, Tipperary Dance/Grand Studio Brussels, Liz Roche Company and The Lir Academy, THEATREClub, Dance Resource Base NI, The Complex, axis Ballymun and Dublin Youth Dance Company. Justine is a 2021 Arts Council Next Generation recipient and currently is an Irish Modern Dance Theatre Associate Artist.. Merce Cunningham and John Cage previous experience: Frequent masterclasses during my training at Central School of Ballet, London 1988-91 Charleroi Danse, Belgium1991/92 Inlets 2 Two weeks open classes at the Cunningham studio NY, 2000 During my time performing with John Scott's Irish Modern Dance Theatre 1996 - 2007 I had the opportunity to work with ex Cunningham dancers Cheryl Therrien, Ashley Chen and Ty Boomershine - we would often incorporate elements of Cunningham technique in our warm up classes and in sections of devised choreography. I am also heavily influenced by elements of Cunningham technique in the contemporary classes that I teach. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting, speaking with legendary Valda Setterfield during her time in Dublin for John Scott's work, Inventions, in 2018 and 2019. Lastly, I often use John Cage repertoire in the studio for inspiration during the creative process. Cunningham works I have been lucky to see performed live: Mixed at Sadlers Wells (I was a student) in 1988 or 1989. RainForest was part of the programme. Beach Birds, Rambert at Sadlers Wells 2000, Summerspace and BIPED Dublin Dance Festival 2002, the first time the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed in IrelandNight Wandering and Totem Ancestor Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Dublin 2019 Night Wandering , Dublin Irish Modern Dance Theatre, 2016 Totem Ancestor and Solo from Second Hand , Irish Modern Dance Theatre,Theatre de la Ville, Paris 2019 Story, Dance On | Ensemble, Theatre de la Ville, Paris 2019 Cunningham, a film by Anna Kovgan saw it in Paris 2019 and Dublin 2020.

Kate Haughton

"My name is Kate Haughton and I’m a dance artist from Dublin. I perform and create my own works in Ireland and abroad. I first came across Cunningham technique in my training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and loved the physical rigour of the technique. It’s continued to inform my practice in the past decade, even with my transforming interests - from working with the body in space, to playing with aspects of time, to exploring the impact of impossible tasks on the physical body. I am excited to learn more about Cunninghams work, in particular learning how his choreographic practices can be applied improvised works." - Kate Haughton Kate is both a performer and choreographer, and is originally from Dublin. She has a BA in Modern Ballet from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and an MA in Dance Performance from Trinity Laban. As a creator she is passionate about making work which encourages audiences to actively engage with the dance they are watching. In her pieces she emphasis’ unknown outcomes, to highlight the liveness of performance and its mirror to daily life. In Meeting Another, the one-on-one interactive score made in collaboration with Vera Stierli, each audience member gets to influence the dance they see. The piece has toured Ireland, Switzerland and Nicaragua, with support from Arts Council Ireland, DLR Coco and the DYDC Resilience Award. She also has a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Theoretical Physics.

Magdalena Hylak

"In my dance research, I focus on relationships and tensions between movement and sound. It is in a way a prolongation of the work undertaken by Merce Cunningham and John Cage, which remains a unique reference in the field to this day. Experimentation and exploration of different ways of connecting/disconnecting from music/sound is something that as I see it, was a big part of Cunningham’s choreographic practice and it lies in the centre of my own inquiry. Therefore, Merce Cunningham’s and John Cage’s collaboration is the one that I wanted to explore in depth for some time now. Moreover, because my own practice is based on unscored movement, raw and repetitive, it is such a great opportunity for me to be able to enrich my work by getting closer to the work of one of the most talented choreographer this world has ever known. This is why I am very grateful for this residency opportunity." - Magdalena Hylak Magdalena Hylak is a dance artist based in Clifden, in the West of Ireland. Born in Poland, she studied cultural studies, including theatre and dance, at University of Wroclaw. She began her professional career in 2011, working with Michael Keegan Dolan (IE), Liz Roche (IE) and Lea Anderson (UK) as part of Step Up Dance Project. She then worked with Ríonach Ní Néill (IE), Catherine Young Dance (IE), Emma Martin (IE) and Akiko Kitamura (JP) amongst others, before starting touring nationally and internationally with John Scott | IMDT (IE) and Nacera Belaza (FR). In 2021, she started developing her own body of work through ‘Dances for Nobody’, where she questions the notion of performance. Then with ‘A DANCE’, an ongoing artistic research through raw movement and sound that translates into public performances in unconventional spaces. She is currently working on a multidisciplinary event conceived as a physical journey through a space and the timeframe of a purification of a dance work. At the core of her research is the movement and sound outside of the question of style/genre or technique, as well as the exploration of the relationships and tensions between public-personal, inside-outside, visible-invisible. Inspired by the surrounding landscape, her dance work can be described as raw, highly physical and emanating from within. She is working with the belief that dance is rooted in human existence and that there is no confusion in the public perception of a choreographic work. Therefore, she is interested in community works where she tries to go back to the beginning and work around an absolute idea of movement/dance. Magdalena Hylak is the recipient of funding from the Arts Council of Ireland (Agility Award 2021, Commission Award-GDP 2021, Dance Bursary Award 2022) and the Galway County Council (Artist Support Scheme 2022). She has been commissioned by Galway Dance Days (2012) Galway Dance Project (2016, 2020, 2021) and the Clifden Arts Festival (2022, 2023).

Simone O'Toole 

"This residency will hugely impact my practice as Cunningham is the only dance style that I was not offered in my contemporary dance training. I feel at this point in my career, as I am creating my own work, this opportunity will offer me new insight in my own field of dance. I feel a huge sense of inspiration coming. I am honoured to have moments to connect with other artists and of course to be taught by Patricia Lent. I am so grateful to John Scott (IMDT) for this fantastic opportunity and for sharing his passion for Merce Cunninghams work with us all." - Simone O'Toole After graduating with a BA from Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, The Netherlands in 2018. Simone O’Toole has gone on to work and tour with companies such as Catherine Young Dance (Ireland),Corpo Máquina (Holland), John Scott - Irish Modern Dance Theatre(Ireland), Simon Barnum (UK), Fibín Teo (Ireland) and PanPan Theatre. Simone is currently based in Ireland working on various projects which focus on training the next generation of dancers and developing new professional works with her own company (@sotodancecompany). Simone is also an associate artist at Irish Modern Dance Theatre for 2022/23. ‘The Becoming’ - Shown in Dancers from the Dances Festival 2021. ‘Blackbird’ - Commissioned by and premiered in Dublin Youth Dance Festival 2021. ‘Soulmate’ - Short Film 2022 'Untethered Duet & Trio' - 2022 Commissioned by IMDT for Dancers from the Dances Festival 2022. (also shown as part of PanPan Theatres 'Mespil in the Dark')

Master Teachers
Patricia Lent

Patricia Lent was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984 to 1993, dancing in over forty complete works, including Pictures, Fabrications, August Pace, and CRWDSPCR. As a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1994-1996) she performed work by Hanya Holm, Mark Morris, Tere O’Connor, and others. After earning a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education, she taught second and third grade at P.S. 234 in Lower Manhattan (1998-2007). Lent began teaching technique and repertory workshops at the Merce Cunningham Studio in the late 1980s. She has staged Cunningham’s work for numerous schools and companies, including Fabrications for MCDC and Ballet de Lorraine, Scramble for Repertory Dance Theater, Duets for American Ballet Theatre, Channels/Inserts and Exchange for Lyon Opera Ballet, Beach Birds and Change of Address for North Carolina School of the Arts, Roaratorio for MCDC’s Legacy Tour, and most recently Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for which she received a 2019 Bessie Award. Lent is a trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust, and currently serves as the Trust’s Director of Licensing, in which capacity she initiates and supervises staging projects for professional companies, museums, conservatories, schools, and arts organizations worldwide.

Mel Mercier

My 10-year experience of performing John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s great ‘Irish’ work, Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegan’s Wake, in the 1980s, alongside Irish traditional musicians Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin, Joe Heaney, Seamus Tansey, my father, Peadar Mercier, and Cage and Cunningham themselves, was formative for me. Experiencing that dramatic encounter between Irish traditional music and the avant garde had a profound impact on my understanding of what music could be, and what it might mean to be an artist. I am excited by the prospect of sharing and reworking the creative processes underpinning Cage-Cunningham music-dance collaborations with Irish traditional musicians in New York . Mel Mercier is an independent multi-disciplinary, award-winning artist with an international reputation as a performer, composer and sound designer. He is renowned as an innovative performer, rooted in traditional musics and committed to collaborating across music genres and art forms. Mel is director of the Irish Gamelan Orchestra, which released its debut album The Three Forges to critical acclaim in August 2015. In January 2019, his album of theatre scores, Testament, was released on Heresy Records. He is also the director of the MÓNCKK new music ensemble and PULSUS, the first Irish traditional percussion ensemble. Mel was Lecturer/Professor of Music at UCC from 1991 to 2016, and Professor and Chair of Performing Arts at the University of Limerick from 2016 to 2022. Mel was introduced to music by his father, Peadar Mercier, who taught him to play the bodhrán and bones. Mel collaborated as a traditional percussionist with pianist and composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin for 40 years. Throughout the 1980s, Mel and his father performed in Europe and the USA with John Cage and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Mel has created music for theatre in Ireland and internationally for twenty-five years, during which time he has worked regularly with some of the world’s most respected theatre artists, including Fiona Shaw, Deborah Warner, Corcadorca Theatre Company and Gare St Lazare Ireland. He has composed the music for many critically acclaimed theatre productions and art installations that have been presented at theatres and venues in Ireland, the UK, Europe and America. Awards received include: Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Gare St Lazare production of Beckett’s How It Is – Part I (2018); Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Corcadorca production of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away (2017); the Gradam Cheoil Award for Collaboration for Colin Dunne’s solo dance show CONCERT (TG4, 2018); the New York Festival Bronze Medal Award for his radio documentary, Peadar Mercier (RTÉ Doc on One, 2017); the New York Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination for his sound score for Colm Tóibín’s Testament of Mary (Broadway 2012); and a nomination for an Irish Times Theatre Award for the Abbey Theatre/Fibín production of Paul Mercier’s Sétanta. In 2002, Mel was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the Abbey Theatre/Broadway production of Medea. Recent creative projects include: The Tempest (with Deborah Warner), Ustinov Theatre, Bath, July-Aug 2022; Guests of the Nation, Cork, June 2022 (Corcadorca Theatre Company); How It Is - Part 2 (with Irish Gamelan Orchestra and Gare St Lazare Ireland), Coronet Theatre, London, April-May 2022; Portia Coughlan, Abbey Theatre, Feb-Mar 2022; ARCADIA (with Deborah Warner) World Premiere, The Factory, Manchester, July 2021 (co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Stanford University); How it is Film (with Irish Gamelan Orchestra and MÓNCKK) World Premiere, Dublin Theatre Festival, October 2021 (Produced by Gare St Lazare Ireland); Far Away, Spike Island, Cork (Corcadorca Theatre Company); CONCERT (with Colin Dunne), Baryshnikov New York/CND Paris/Dublin Dance Festival; Le Testament de Marie, Comédie Francaise/Odeon, Paris); King Lear, Old Vic, London.

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Leitrim Dance Festival | 18-22nd April


This year Leitrim Dance Festival 2022 primarily focuses on the development of dance artists through:

- Daily master classes (11am-4.30pm) at The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon with professional dancers John Scott & Colin Dunne and musicians Ultan O Brien & Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin.

John Scott, IMDT Artistic Director, and Colin Dunne are lead mentors for Leitrim Dance Festival at The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-On-Shannon.

The Dock Arts Centre, 18-22nd April


11am-4.30pm Daily Master classes

9pm Nightly Music & Dance sessions

20th-21st Concerts

- Nightly Music & dance sessions will be held at Cryan’s Teach Ceoil which are open to the public to attend.

- 2 concerts featuring Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Laoise Kelly, Stephanie Keane, Jonathan Kelliher, Aindrias De Staic, Siobhán O Donnell, Jackie O Riley, Joey Abarta, Áirc Damhsa, Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin & Ultan O Brien.



​Ówe at Irish Arts Center

"When the charismatic Mufutau Yusuf is onstage, it’s hard to look anywhere else"—NEW YORK TIMES

One of Europe’s most electrifying dance artists, seen previously in New York with Irish Modern Dance Theatre at La MaMa and 92Y’s Fridays at Noon series, Mufutau Yusuf makes his full-length NYC choreographic debut with Òwe—“proverb” in the Yoruba language. Using personal and found archival material as concept, visual design and soundscape, and with a highly-charged amalgam of traditional and contemporary movement, Yusuf seeks to decode his personal identity through the lens of the ancestral.

April 21-24th


Thu-Sat | 8pm
Sun | 2pm

Choreographer/Performer: Mufutau Yusuf

Visual designer: Luca Truffarelli 
Lighting designer: Matt Burke 
Sound designer: Riccardo Vechiarelli
Costume/Prop designer: Nina Lopez Le Gallaird

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                              Irish Modern Dance Theatre presents

                                                              Dance Evolution


                                      An exciting dance event for Five Lamps Arts Festival

                                                                  Choreography by John Scott

                                                                      Music by Michael Scott
























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Photograph: Luca Truffarelli


IMDT artistic Director, John Scott in a panel discussion about diverse practices and approaches at Mother Tongues Festival, on the 21st February at 5pm.

John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre creates an exciting dance event using material from Scott’s ‘Evolutions’ and ‘Cloud Study’, based on the idea of travel, running and migration for two outstanding international dancers: Salma Ataya, Palestine and Favour Odusola, Nigeria, performed in the CHQ space beside EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. The dancers articulate their sense of movement and travel in the stunning open space of CHQ, dancing their dreams and communicating with their bodies, words, hand signs and dance. 


Photograph: Ewa Figaszewska

Salma Ataya 

Favour Odusola



Open call - CROWD International Dance Residency

Application deadline: 10am (GMT), Monday 21 March 2022

The CROWD network calls for dance artists from across Denmark, England, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in Germany, Norway and Scotland to apply for the 2022 dance residency programme, CROWD – international dance exchange.

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The programme aims to support dance artists with an established practice in community engaged dance making to build their professional network, exchange experience with others in the field and develop their practice while generating new knowledge in the area of community engagement in dance. 

The CROWD network is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community and we encourage applications from those from under-represented backgrounds. We have bursaries and support in place to accommodate applicants with additional access needs or caring responsibilities and we’d be happy to discuss any of this with applicants prior to submitting an application.

More information on

Initiated by the Goethe-Institut


dyad at Dance Limerick


St John's Church, John's Square, Limerick, 7pm

Thursday 20th January 2022

At Dance Limerick this January, catch the Live Premiere of the highly acclaimed dyad by Justine Doswell, resident artist with Irish Modern Dance Theatre. Having been presented at Dublin Dance Festival in 2021 to rave reviews in the form of a performance film, we are delighted to bring you the first ever live performance of dyad.

More information here


In the Vicinity of the Sun

at festival 'IV DIA DE LOS REYES'

in Museum of Boulder, Colorado, USA

2nd-6th January 2022

The festival 'IV DIA DE LOS REYES' includes on-site and online performances and offers us the possibility to enjoy music, dance, short films, workshops and more from performers and artists from different parts of the world.

Our dance film 'In the Vicinity of the Sun', commissioned by Five Lamps Arts Festival 2021 and produced by Irish Modern Dance Theatre, is being screened at this festival.

Watch the film 'In the Vicinity of the Sun'

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