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Lights Moves 2021 Festival of Adventurous Dance, Film & New Media



Light Moves 2021 – Pictured above are musician Laura O’Loughlin and dancer Salma Ataya at Limerick Skatepark. Picture: Shane Serrano

Lights Moves 2021 Festival of Adventurous Dance, Film & New Media

Light Moves 2021

Pictured above are Laura Salma Ataya at Limerick Skatepark. Picture: Shane Serrano

Light Moves Festival returns for its 6th edition this September 23 to 26, celebrating adventurous dance, film and new media, with events taking place indoors and outdoors across Limerick, in glór Ennis and online at The festival will be presenting screenings, and live music and dance events, with artists from countries as diverse as Italy and Iran, Mozambique, Australia and China, and featuring Irish artists including Jean Butler, Jessica and Megan Kennedy, Tobi Omoteso, Fearghus Ó Conchúir, David Kitt, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Clare Langan, Croí Glan and Joan Davis.



SPIRAL | Exploring interactions between music, dance, visuals and film

In the festival’s SPIRAL programme thirteen artists will showcase the vivid possibilities of live electronic sound, real-time digital video, screendance and live dance performances at indoor and outdoor events.  Opening Light Moves 2021, New JacksonDavid Kitt’s electronic music alter ego, will perform with digital artist Tim Redfern and dancer Salma Ataya to create a unique live experience fusing dance, holographic video, and electronic sound, with an additional performance by Somadrone (Neil O’Connor). Saturday evening will feature acclaimed British electronic artist Beatrice Dillon, described as ‘the most thrilling new artist in electronic music’ by The Guardian, performing live with visuals by experimental digital arts studio Werkflow. The evening will also feature a live performance by Pauric Freeman integrating live electronic music with real-time digital video explorations of dance movement. These events will be ticketed and take place in Dance Limerick.  SPIRAL will also offer four free outdoor events criss-crossing Limerick city, bringing adventures in live electronic music and dance to Colbert Station Plaza, the Hunt Museum garden, The People’s Park and Mount Kenneth SkatePark.

Feature Films

The festival will be offering screenings of 4 feature length films. The Secret Theatre is an extraordinary show filled with acrobats, snowflakes, clowns, princes and characters from our most popular festive ballets, after a young boy stumbles into a theatre in a deserted city. Stranger Than Paradise by Chris Haring and his company Liquid Loft is a choreographically conceived work for the screen: a subtly futuristic hybrid chamber play for eight people and an investigative camera. Horrible Creature by Irish director/choreographer Áine Stapleton continues Stapleton’s exploration of the life of Lucia Joyce. Filmed in Switzerland, Lucia’s own writing is interpreted by a cast of international dance artists, and conjures her world between 1915 and 1950. The work challenges the accepted biography of Lucia’s life and considers the complexity of mental instability.

Bring Down The Walls directed by Turner Prize nominee Phil Collins is a look at the prison industrial complex in the US through the lens of house music and nightlife, proposing the dance floor as a space of personal and collective liberation, and new ways in which we could come together as a society.  With a prison population of more than 2 million, the US is the world’s biggest jailer. Coinciding with the escalation of mass incarceration in the 1980s, house music emerged from Black, Latinx and queer communities embattled by oppressive law enforcement policies.


The Dance Documentary Double Bill at Belltable will open with award-winning Butterfly Dresses by Camille Auburtin. While Auburtin’s grandmother Micheline, a former ballerina and dance teacher, is at the end of her life due to Alzheimer’s, the director attempts to stimulate her memory through recollection of her rich past life in dance. In 7 Perspectives, choreographer Danièle Desnoyers discovers raw, unaltered footage from rehearsals of her recent creation with seven dancers, in which bodies were able to discover and embrace each other, from the time before the pandemic.

Short Films

The festival will present multiple programmes of short films, exploring topics including environmental issues, different bodies and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Work by Irish artists will include:

  1. Amergin by Luke Murphy, set in the rugged, breathtaking backdrop of the West Cork landscape and featuring performances by 5 exceptional dancers from STEP UP dance project 2020.
  2. Walls of Limerick, Ireland’s premiere vertical dance film, a statement on the psychological effects that harsh political borders have on people.
  3. Tideby director/choreographer Laura Murphy which contrasts the pace of industry with human movement, and the soft yielding nature of the body with the hard edges of manmade objects.
  4. Departureby Stephen Hall and choreographed by Tobi Omoteso, in which the dancer aims to find solace within uncertainty, by finding their own rhythm within the storms of life, expressed using street dance & Hip-hop art forms.
  5. Lucia Joyce: Full Capacitydirected by Deirdre Mulrooney & choreographed by Megan Kennedy which sees Evanna Lynch emulating misunderstood artist Lucia Joyce’s magical dance as captured by photographer Berenice Abbott, posing in her transformative silver fish costume inspired by a little-known link with WB Yeats.
  6. Armour Off, directed by Anna Rodgers& choreographed by Caroline Bowditch & Linda Fearon, commissioned by Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company, which captures a performance by dancer Linda Fearon at her home at the height of lockdown. Interweaving movement and spoken word, exploring Linda’s relationship with her body and self, Armour Off is directed, produced, devised, and scored by artists with disabilities. 
  7. Pivotin which eight senior members of Dublin Youth Dance Company dance their truths – the good, the bad and the beautiful – in a time of lockdown.
  8. A Part, by Rachel Sheiland Limerick Youth Dance Company which explores the chosen themes of home and loneliness, and was filmed in the historical Limerick site, The Sailor’s Home.
  9. Lumendirected by Stace Gill & Maria Nilsson Waller, and choreographed by Nilsson Waller, which depicts a moonlit metamorphosis, the spirit and stuff of the world time lapsing in a dream that urges more life than ever.
  10. The Heart of a Tree, directed by Clare Langanand choreographed by Maria Nilsson Waller, which contemplates the centrality of these giants of nature to the planet’s survival, and ours. Trees provide us with the very air we breathe. It is a glimpse into a future world where human beings have evolved and adapted in order to survive.
  11. Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s Interdependencewhich views human and non-human as material of equal value, allowing us to see the interdependence of all the elements that make up the environment.
  12. Fallow Tableby Jessica and Megan Kennedy explores the idea of burying oneself during a fallow period. The family portrait of two struggles between duality and freedom, phasing through a preparation for mourning, a funeral feast in a laneway and a living room party.
  13. Submergedby Jessie Keenan and Kim Mc Cafferty which is located at the spectacular Clogh Oughter Castle, a circular tower on a tiny abandoned man-made island in Lough Oughter, Co. Cavan.
  14. Before Iby Robyn Byrne, a documentary film interwoven with performance elements,  a deepening of a mother-daughter relationship, meeting one another as two adults in a place full of childhood memories.
  15. How To Sink a Paper Boatfrom CoisCéim Dance Theatre, sees a devastating past collide with the present as a young woman delves into the mysteries of the sea.

Blind Cinema

Light Moves 2021 Festival at Belltable is proud to present Limerick audiences with the experience of Blind Cinema, in which an audience of adults sits blindfolded, while children seated behind describe a film that only they will see.  Blind Cinema makes the experience of watching a film into a shared investment: a collaboration between young people and adults, examining ideas around language and interpretation, along with the potential for (mis)communication!


Light Moves Dialogues will include an event with Jean Butler, talking about her organisation Our Steps, which celebrates Ireland’s traditional dance and the stories of its people. Joan Davis, joined in discussion by dance artists Laura Murphy and Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, will be inviting us to experience her Garden as Gallery.  Journalist and art critic Cristín Leach will be speaking to award-winning artist and filmmaker Clare Langan about her recent work The Heart of a Tree, a glimpse into a future world where human beings have evolved and adapted in order to survive. They will be joined by the film’s choreographer Maria Nilsson Waller. And in a very special panel discussion of Limerick voices, guests Brian O’Rourke, Mary Conlon and Margaret O’Brien will join Anca Minescu to discuss themes raised by the feature film Bring Down the Walls, and its examination of the US’s industrial prison complex through the lens of house music and nightlife.

Finale in Ennis

On the final night of the festival Light Moves Festival at Glór, Ennis will be delighted to present a special screening of dance films, under the theme of “Vast & Intimate Places” culminating in the premiere Irish screening of Navigation. Set in the Burren, Navigation explores the current humanitarian crisis of displacement, featuring the performances of 10 dancers, singers and The Lismorahaun Singers, a local choir of 40 participants. Other films being presented will include Cortège which follows dancers as they ascend the stunning interior landscape of architect Zaha Hadid’s famous Havenhuis, and How To Sink a Paper Boat from CoisCéim Dance Theatre.


At the end of the festival, the Light Moves 2021 Festival Awards  will be presented via a special online ceremony, followed by a Meet the Artists session. This year Dublin Dance Festival sponsor the award for Best Choreography, and the Contemporary Music Centre sponsor the award for best use of sound.


The festival is produced by Dance Limerick in partnership with DMARC (Digital Media and Arts Research Centre) at the University of Limerick. The festival is funded by the Arts Council and Limerick City and County Council.

Light Moves 2021 Festival Tickets are available HERE 

For more stories on Light Moves Festival, go HERE 

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.