“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 dance artist, performer and teacher from Dublin. Her style of dance is influenced by contemporary, classical and Irish traditional ‘sean-nós’ dance, having trained in all styles from an early age.

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. She toured Japan in 2013 as a lead dancer in ‘Women of Ireland’, an Irish music and dance show produced by Celtic Entertainment.

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; Tanzmesse, Contemporary Dance Convention, Düsseldorf, Germany in August 2016; ‘First Looks’ at Dublin Dance Festival 2017, ‘Un Question De Dance’ at KLAP Marseille in October 2017 and at ‘Tradition and Beyond’ in Derry as part of ‘Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement’ in November 2017.

As part of the 1916 commemorations, Sibéal choreographed and performed in RTÉ’s ‘Centenary’ which was televised live on Easter Monday from the Bord Gáis Energy 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 (videos below).

Sibéal was selected to take part in Step Up: Dance Project 2016 which is a partnership between Dance Limerick, Dance Ireland and the Irish World Academy at University of Limerick, which aims to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Sibéal Davitt Biography 2018 and Videos
Ireland. She performed in ‘Snapshot’ by UK choreographer, Lea Anderson, on August 2016 and in #somethingoldnew by David Bolger in February 2017 as part of the programme.

Sibéal co-choreographed new work ‘Walk, Run, Dance’ with Olwyn Lyons for CoisCéim DanceTheatre’s youth dance company, ‘Creative Steps’, of which she was a member for five years while studying for her undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin. In 2018 she continued her work with Creative Steps for a second year and co-choreographed      ‘C O U N T E R | C U L T U R E’ with Olwyn Lyons.

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 and directed by Gavin FitzGerlald entitled ‘School Rush’ featuring the young dancers at ‘Company B’ – Youth Dance Company for Boys. Soon after she released a short dance film entitled ‘nine to five’ co-choreographed with Olwyn Lyons which explores the challenges and misconceptions facing young dancers.

She teaches regular ‘sean-nós’ dance classes in schools and studios around Dublin. She has taught workshops all over the world including Russia, Austria, 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. In October 2016 she toured as a sean-nós dancer in Austria as part of the ‘Guinness Irish Christmas Tour’ alongside Goitse, Aoife Scott Band, David Munnelly and Paddy Keenan. Sibéal has performed at Electric Picnic for 8 years as well as many other music festival with her solo show ‘Trip-nós’ which merges sean-nós dance and electronic music.

Sibéal received the Traditional Arts Bursary in 2016 to develop her contemporary and traditional practice in 2017. She collaborated with concertina virtuoso Niall Vallely and composer Stephen Roddy to make a new solo dance project entitled ‘Hear This Dance’. ‘Hear This Dance’ asks how technological intervention can shape the relationship between traditional forms of music and dance.

In January 2018 Sibéal created new work with four dancers based on techniques developed during the making of ‘Hear This Dance’. This new work entitled ‘Surrender Navigation’ was programmed at Five Lamps Arts Festival at The Grand Social on International Women’s Day in March 2018 and Body&Soul music festival 2018.

Sibéal is a current company member of Kristyn Fontanella Dance and will perform in the premiere of ‘IN LiMBO’ at Firkin Crane, Cork on 6 Sept and Townhall Theatre, Galway on 7 Sept 2018.

Surrender Navigation @ Body & Soul performance (June 2018 – 1 min)

Trip-nós (Electric Picnic 2014)

IN LiMBO by Kristyn Fontanella (Premier Sept 2018):

 

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.