Normally around this time I would be preparing a note to go into our next programme. Ordinarily, I try to share some interesting facts and personal insights about the production. Just this day last week we were on such a high as we appeared at the launch for Electric Picnic 2020. But as you already know a week later, the world is a very different place.
For very good reasons, we cannot perform our next programme. Here at Ballet Ireland we are committed to practicing the best health and safety practices. We recognise the wise and preventative direction we have received from the Taoiseach and representatives of the Government. We take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously and willingly accept any and all steps in order to ensure our health, your health, and the health of our community. We salute all of the frontline staff in our hospitals and beyond, who are looking after the sick and saving lives. They are doing incredibly heroic work.
And yet the thought of our audience missing out on this current production of Bold Moves is simply heart-breaking. I have never seen our dancers look better as they have worked to master the physical challenges of Stepping Over, Strokes Through the Tail and Minus 16. The works are simply beautiful – each distinct and fabulous. Filipe Portugal’s Stepping Over is simply stunning, technically very demanding, but so fluid, lush and inventive with the most intricate and wonderful partnering. Strokes Through the Tail by Marguerite Donlon, has buckets of humour with a delightful hint of irreverence. And what do I say that you might not know about Minus 16 already. The ballet that rocked Dublin last year and the piece that brought audiences to their feet night after night, and that was before the piece had even finished! How excited we were to bring this programme to our audiences around the country. How excited we all were – dancers, choreographers, crew, designers… everyone.
Costumes had been fitted, rehearsals were mid-way through and our technicians were preparing all of the remaining lighting plans etc. But we will be back and we are determined to bring this amazing production to our Irish stages.
In the meantime, our dancers are at home, no doubt they will be staying in shape by doing ballet barre in their kitchens and living rooms. Martin and I are working remotely, we are all in a bizarre place of limbo, and we don’t know what the future holds. We sincerely hope this will all be over soon and we will be able to continue with all of our planned activities for the summer and beyond.
What we do know is that we have a fiercely loyal audience who love what dance brings to their lives. I’ll venture to say that for many of us, dance defines our lives.
We will be rescheduling this production for Spring 2021. Theatres will be offering a full refund to all ticket holders, however if you were in a position to consider helping Ballet Ireland at this difficult time by donating your ticket we would really appreciate it. Alternatively, you might consider becoming a Friend. We also appreciate that lots of our audiences will also be hurting at the moment so we send you our love. We look forward to when all of this is over we can lift your spirits and put a smile back on your face with our performances and activities.
Thank you and stay safe.
Anne Maher, Director of Ballet Ireland