We Are The Makers: Episode Five - Michael Keegan-Dolan

WATM Michael Keegan-Dolan - Photos by Ros Kavanagh

We Are The Makers
and The Dreamers of Dreams

Journeys to the heart of the matter with Irish broadcaster Dónal Dineen

Episode Five – Michael Keegan-Dolan, choreographer.
Available from Saturday April 30, 2022

We Are The Makers is a new long-form audio documentary series focusing on the work of contemporary Irish artists and their practices. Built around extensive interviews with some of Ireland’s most eminent artists, these quarterly transmissions are part portrait, part diary, travelogue and soundscape. With the makers as our guide, these are deep-dives into back catalogues and entire bodies of work.

Dispatches from the eye of the hurricane and heart of the matter.

Hot on the heels of The Dance, Pat Collins’ masterful documentary on the same subject, Episode Five of We Are The Makers takes a deep-dive into the making of a contemporary theatrical masterpiece, Mám, by choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan, which premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2019.

We Are The Makers host Dónal Dineen travels to the West Kerry home of Keegan-Dolan’s company Teac Damsa (house of dance or a place for dancing) and the base for both the production and the origin of the story itself. ‘Mám is abstract and instinctive… it effectively plays out a story of modernity intruding on traditional life’ (the Guardian).

This episode traces the acclaimed choreographer’s singular creative journey on a passion project which has intricately woven classical music with contemporary dance practice into the rich tapestry of traditional culture out of which it emerges. We hear in detail about how the unique musical collaboration at the heart of the production between West Kerry concertina player Cormac Begley and Berlin classical collective Stargaze, evolved and achieved concord under Keegan-Dolan’s hand. We discover the origins of his belief in dance as the art of transformation and the evolution of his practice to this point of true expression.

The investigation is timely as Mám is set to return to the Irish stage for an autumn tour. The production was universally praised upon its debut at the 2019  Dublin Theatre Festival and has since been rapturously received at both Madrid’s Teatros Del Canal and Sadler’s Wells in London. A graduate of the Central Ballet School in London, Keegan-Dolan has overseen productions at the English National Opera, The National Theatre in London and the Bavarian State Opera as well as a string of ground-breaking shows as artistic director of the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre.

We Are The Makers is written and presented by Irish broadcaster Dónal Dineen and produced by Ian Cudmore. Original music by Ultan O’Brien. Commissioned by Solas Nua in Washington, D.C., bringing contemporary Irish art to U.S. audiences.

Listen to previous episodes in the series:

Photo by Ros Kavanagh.

Kindly supported by Culture Ireland.

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