The Kennedy Center

John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre


John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre was founded in 1991. The Dublin-based ensemble mixes virtuoso Irish and international dancers with African and Middle Eastern refugees and torture survivors. Scott has pioneered dance in Ireland, a country known more for its literary traditions and text based drama. His work is witty, theatrical with startling imagery and addresses ideas of diversity, love, metaphysics.

The company is working with Merce Cunningham Trust on performing early Merce Cunningham works, including ‘Night Wandering’ (1958) and ‘Totem Ancestor’ (1948). Scott has commissioned works from John Jasperse, Sarah Rudner, Thomas Lehmen, Chris Yon, Sean Curran and Adrienne Truscott. He has brought Meredith Monk, Deborah Hay and members of The Forsythe Company: Jone San Martin, Josh Johnson and Fabrice Mazliahto teach and perform. In 2017, the company will bring Croatian choreographer Bruno Isakovic to teach and perform in Ireland. Scott is one of the subjects of 52Portraits by Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion and Hugo Glendinning, produced for Sadler’s Wells, London.

Recent tours include 92nd Street Y, New York Live Arts; La MaMa, New York; PS122, New York; Philadelphia Dance Project; LesHivernales, 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.

Recent works include ‘LEAR’, with Valda Setterfield, New York Live Arts, Kilkenny Arts Festival; ‘Quad’ in collaboration with PanPan Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival/Beckett Summer School; ‘HYPERACTIVE, La MaMa Moves Dance Festival/GalwayInternational Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, New York; ‘Feathers’, Tiger Dublin Fringe, 2015; ‘Actions’, ‘Fall and Recover’,‘The White Piece’; and Merce Cunningham’s ‘Totem Ancestor’ and ‘Night Wandering’.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/24/2019: John Scott Dance "Actions"

Actions, performed by members of Ireland’s John Scott Dance, is a physical conversation between two individuals in empty space. Two outstanding dancers, Mufutau Yusuf and Kevin Coquelard, merge and break apart. The dance material is a battle through the space using physicality, lifts, falls, text, and sound—the dancers alternately throwing their bodies together then fragmenting into threads of raw movement.  Actions is mostly performed in silence, but uses fragments of music by Meredith Monk and Michael Galasso.