“Fusing sean-nós with contemporary dance Davitt lets loose, delivering a raw, rhythmic, primal yet playful performance that is searingly powerful and a sheer joy to behold.” – Chris O’Rourke, Irish Examiner on ‘Embodied’, April 2016.

Sibéal Davitt is a Dublin-born choreographer, dancer and teacher. Her style of dance is influenced by contemporary, classical and Irish traditional ‘sean-nós’ dance, having trained in all styles from an early age. Sibéal is a native Irish speaker with strong connections to the west of Ireland. She originally learned her steps from her mother who is a native of Tourmakeady, Co.Mayo.

In 2009 she won ‘Glas Vegas’, a national talent competition televised on TG4, and subsequently performed in Las Vegas and at leading venues around the world.

In 2014 Sibéal received her MA in Contemporary Dance Performance with first class honours at University of Limerick. Subsequently she was awarded Dance Ireland’s Mentored Residency Award under world renowned performer Colin Dunne and performed a work-in-progress alongside Kristyn Fontanella in December 2014. The piece entitled ‘As we Know It’ has been developed since and the duo have performed at Dance Research Forum Ireland, NYC in June 2016 and Tanzmesse, Contemporary Dance Convention, Düsseldorf, Germany in August 2016.

As part of Ireland’s 1916 commemorations, Sibéal performed in RTÉ’s
‘Centenary’ which was televised live on Easter Monday from the Bord Gáis Theatre. In April 2016, Sibéal performed ‘Fógraím / I Proclaim’ as part of ‘Embodied’, a series of 6 solos by Irish female choreographers commissioned by GPO: Witness History Public Art Commission and Dublin Dance Festival.

Sibéal was selected to take part in Step Up: Dance Project 2016 led by UK choreographer Lea Anderson and performed a new work entitled ‘Snapshot’ at Dance Limerick; The Cube NUIG; Firkin Crane, Cork and Dance Ireland.

Sibéal studied Film and Modern Irish at Trinity College Dublin and has a keen interest in screendance. In 2012 ‘Trip-nós’ was commissioned as part of Dance Ireland’s ‘Minutes in Motion’series of one-minute dance films. In 2013/14 she choreographed a short dance film funded by An Chomhairle Ealaíon with Ciarán Gray entitled ‘School Rush’ featuring the young dancers at ‘Company B’ – Youth Dance Company for Boys. She recently released a short dance film entitled ‘nine to five’

She teaches regular ‘sean-nós’ dance classes in schools and studios around Dublin. She has taught workshops all over the world including Russia, UK, France and New York City as well as at many traditional Irish music festivals. She also plays the traditional Irish flute and she regularly performs at gigs and concerts including ‘Compánach’, a cross-media concert of traditional Irish music, song and dance created by Fintan Vallely. ‘Compánach’ has been performed at traditional Irish music venues and festivals throughout Ireland and recently toured to Luxembourg and Belgium in June 2016.

Sibéal is currently looking at bridging contemporary and traditional dance in her choreographic practice.

 

Sean-Nós Dance

Sean-nós is gaelic for ‘old-style’ and the style originated in the Gaeltacht areas in the country, Conamara in particular. The dance has been compared to street tap as it is highly improvised and the steps are subject to change as the music progresses. Sean-nós is rarely danced with a pre-recorded track. It is a live solo and the dancer thrives with good music. Up until about twenty or thirty years ago, sean-nós was mainly danced by men, however there has been a huge surge of female dancers showing interest in the style and the male to female ratio seems to be just about even now!

Here are two Youtube videos of Sibéal dancing on Glas Vegas with accordian player Cormac Murphy in 2009 and as one of the ‘Rubberbandettes’ with Emma O’Sullivan in the official music video for ‘I Wanna Fight Your Father’ (As Gaeilge) in 2011.

Contemporary Dance footage