WHAT NEXT returns for a sixth edition at Dance Limerick, bringing together a dozen dance artists from Ireland and across Europe at the cutting edge of their fields for a four-day programme packed with fresh and vibrant performances, talks and installations.

Since 2018, the Festival has been an important platform which shines a light on new creations from local and international dancers and choreographers. Thanks to our funders, volunteers and supporters, WHAT NEXT and Limerick city have become a household name for contemporary dance and culture in Ireland and beyond. 

WHAT NEXT co-curator and director of Dance Limerick Jenny Traynor is delighted to welcome an international audience to Limerick one more year. The festival is a wonderful opportunity for dancers to see some of Limerick’s best cultural spaces and connect with local audiences, creating a unique space for interaction and creative exchange.

This year Dance Limerick, in collaboration with with Dance Ireland and the EDN Network, will host the two-day atelier Dancing on the Edge: Peripheral Practices. Artists will explore the meaning of working on the periphery through the lens of creative and curatorial practices.

Dance Limerick Church will be the stage of three performance nights featuring a total of eight pieces by exceptional dance artists such as Limerick based Rachel Sheil, with her solo What to Say where she explores the concept of originality and identity, Mary Nunan and her enquiry into modes of speaking and moving in Slant and Isabella Oberlander with her piece Queer Sanctuary, a feminist examination into desire and transformation, done in collaboration with Fearghus Ó Conchúir.

Performances will also include Multitudes: Future Nostalgia by Ali Clarke, an interdisciplinary work that dives into the concept of home and memories and Spoonful, a playful and slightly surreal duet between a woman and a spoon by Roberta Ceginskaite

Audiences will also be able to enjoy the work of Aerowaves Twenty22 artists Alexandre Fandard and Courtney May Robertson, who will both be presenting their awarded solos. In Comme un Symbole, French choreographer Fandard challenges our preconceptions about the urban margins while Scottish dance artist Robertson presents us with the struggle between embracing one’s desires and conforming to societal expectations in the pleasure of stepping off a horse when it’s moving at full speed.

The list of venues around the city includes the Belltable Theatre, where younger audiences will enjoy CoisCéim Dance Theatre’s VR performance Francis Footwork, a magical tale celebrating individuality and encouraging everyone to dance their own dance. The Limerick City Gallery of Art is hosting an installation by dance artists Angie Smalis and Colin Dunne titled Florance. This video dance piece tells a fantastical story about the dominance of nature through classical literature and myths. A Dance, a site-specific performance by Magda Hylak at Thomas Street car park will invite the audience into a new form of ritual based on repetition, sound experimentation and improvisation.

Closing the festival programme on Saturday night is Òwe, a solo piece by Nigerian/Irish performer Mufutau Yusuf that is sure to be one of the programme highlights of WHAT NEXT 2023. Inspired by Yoruba proverbs, Yusuf seeks to unearth ancestral knowledge with a deeply emotional and energetic mixture of traditional and contemporary movements. The piece will be followed by a big dance party where all are welcome to dance the night away.

Events take place in various venues around the city and feature a range of affordable prices. Mixed performance bills ensure there is a show to suit everyone’s taste. Why not discover dance in 2023, at WHAT NEXT dance festival from 8th – 11th February. Tickets available at www.dancelimerick.ie