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2023 Light Moves festival showcases richness and diversity of artists



The 2023 Light Moves festival gets in motion this November 9 to 12. ‘Chameleon’ by Limerick’s Kat Cooley, draws on influences including trompe l’oeil

The 2023 programme for Limerick’s Light Moves festival has a host of adventurous dance, live music, and experimental performances from 9-12 November 

The 2023 programme for Limerick’s Light Moves festival has a host of adventurous dance, live music, and experimental performances from 9-12 November 
The 2023 Light Moves festival gets in motion this November 9 to 12

The 2023 programme for Limerick’s Light Moves festival was revealed Tuesday 26th September, announcing a host of adventurous dance, live music, and experimental performances to take place across the city 9th-12 November. 

Now in its 7th edition, the festival offers a thrilling showcase of the richness and diversity of work by artists from Limerick, across Ireland and across the globe, artists who are embracing dance, movement, and the screen as a powerful platform for activism and visibility and challenge social and gender inequalities. The festival’s 2023 programme has exploration and playfulness at its core, and will include seven live performances with four new commissions and the festival’s fourth exhibition of screendance works at Limerick City Gallery of Art, alongside engaging talks, and workshops.

The festival programme was announced at Dance Limerick in John’s Square, with guest speaker and director of The Irish World Academy Of Music And Dance and at UL Professor Helen Phelan. Professor Phelan was joined by Rachel Sheil and Conor O’Brien who screened their new film ‘Untitled Piece Of’, as well as composer/producer Paddy Mulcahy debuting new work.


Festival curators Jessie Keenan and University of Limerick’s Jürgen Simpson told attendees, “It has been an absolute joy to work with the Light Moves Festival team on the curation of this year’s captivating festival programme.

“With its diverse array of thought-provoking, visually stunning, and impactful works, this programme celebrates the boundless creativity of artists working in the ever-expanding world of screendance.

“We are thrilled to welcome you to the seventh edition of the festival this November. Join us in exploring this exciting and rich programme of events taking place indoors and outdoors across the city of Limerick with artists from both our Irish community and those across the globe.”

During the festival’s exhibition at Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick-based former Riverdancer Colin Dunne will appear on screen in ‘Somewhere in the Body’, a film installation by choreographer and filmmaker Áine Stapleton, centred on Lucia Joyce – a talented visual artist, musician and dancer and daughter of the famous Irish writer James Joyce.  The work, featuring filmed performances by Katie Vickers and Dunne, combines movement, sculpture, and sound, to examine where Lucia appears in various guises in her father’s book ‘Finnegans Wake’.

Also at Limerick City Gallery of Art is work by another Limerick based artist and lecturer at the University of Limerick Robin Parmar. ‘Everything Was Singing’ is a 2 screen installation inspired by Red Desert directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1964, where Antonioni hand painted scenes to reflect the protagonist’s psychology.

Limerick collective Péist will be joined by dance artist Aoibhinn O’Dea  for an improvised performance ‘Writhe’. Péist (transl. worm) is a group of five Limerick based musicians and artists. In their improvisations, they wriggle and writhe between sounds and musical forms, burrowing through the dirt. They use a mix of synthesisers, electro-acoustic instruments, and purpose-built software to improvise music and experiment in sound. On the occasion of Light Moves they will expand their improvisational process to working with Aiobhinn, a choreographer and dance artist working across contemporary dance and visual arts.

Colin Dunne in Somewhere in the Body

Ground-breaking choreographer Jenny Roche from University of Limerick has collaborated with her sister Liz Roche and New York based Jodi Melnick for Liz Roche Company’s ‘Alternately Terrific and Gentle’, a multidimensional film installation with live performance which will have two performances during the festival on the evening of Friday 10th November at the Belltable.  

Featuring contributions from 9 extraordinary choreographers, performers, and artists across the world, the piece takes its title from a love letter from composer John Cage to choreographer Merce Cunningham, where he vividly describes the tumultuous yet delicate intensity of a rainstorm as “alternately terrific and gentle”. The production also draws on the musings of Leonard Cohen, the timeless verses of Bob Dylan, and the work of visual artist, Dorothy Cross.

SPIRAL at Light Moves 2023 is the latest in a series of events exploring interactions between music, dance, and the moving image, rooted in multidisciplinary collaboration and experimentation, and taking place in both urban locations and indoor concert settings. Having debuted at Light Moves 2021 and since delighted audiences at festivals around Ireland, this year’s free outdoor Spiral programme will include new work from absorbing dance and music artist duos including Limerick-based artists Isabella Oberländer, Jürgen Simpson and Angie Smalis.

As ever the festival will be presenting a wealth of short films from artists from home and abroad. This year they include ‘Chameleon’ by Limerick’s Kat Cooley, drawing on influences including trompe l’oeil, and will leave you questioning what you saw and what you didn’t… The short film ‘Abú’ directed by Fearghus Ó Conchúir features music by Limerick musician MuRli, and is a shout of support and a wish for flourishing featuring dancers from Dance Limerick’s Step Up Dance Project.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.