Presented as part of Limerick Fringe festival, 3-6 April 2019.
Following the popular and critical success of Fit/Misfit (40+ performances to date), following also the commission by Dublin Dance Festival of a dance solo commemorating the Proclamation of Irish Independence in 2016 at the GPO, and the creation & touring of REVOLVER in 2017, Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company creates MERLIN, a new full-length dance quintet.
Supported by an original soundtrack, striking costumes and an outstanding international cast, MERLIN is a dark tale instilled by the protean spirit of the eponym character.
Jostling with rational narrative and swimming in the substance of myth, MERLIN dives into body textures to invoke tales, pagan carnivals, dark waters, Orphic themes, monsters, wild animals, a battered queen, a shamanic devil, a strong-headed child-woman, countless images that resonate in our hearts, the fading of time, and of course, Merlin himself, and his mischievous grin.
In our environment that seems increasingly dominated by symbols, images and memes, MERLIN wonders how to reconcile our longing for shapes and narrative with the amorphous turmoil of organic life. MERLIN stands with one foot on each side of the paradoxical rift between substance and shape, nature and law, instinct and culture.
MERLIN is a rigorously structured group piece, chiselled choreography colliding with intuitive impulse: a mix of individual urge, group synchronicity, chaos and order. MERLIN aims to merge animalism and finesse, in the choreography as much as in the movement vocabulary.
Merlin’s character perpetuates an expansive field of European culture, often buried under Graeco-Roman and Christian heritage. Characterised by his ability for metamorphosis, Merlin is in turns a bard, a wild man, a druid, a war adviser, a wizard, a king maker, a shaman, a law maker, an animal whisperer, a wise man and a madman. Oscillating between forest and civilisation, the mischievous Merlin travels endlessly between wildness and the word, revealing the finiteness of man and the infinity of life.
Digging into several sources, in particular Jean Markale’s study of the character Merlin, the piece proposes a new perspective on one of Europe’s most prominent mythical figures. Many times represented on screen and throughout literature, the very nature of Merlin invites us to a new representation that only body textures can produce: an intermediate, dialectic space that stretches between mythical essence and temporal narrative - the place where substance meets shape.
Concept and artistic direction: Alexandre Iseli & Jazmin Chiodi
Choreography: Alexandre Iseli & Jazmin Chiodi, with the dancers
Dance: Jazmin Chiodi, Clara Protar, Kiko López, Sarah Ryan, Alexandre Iseli
Original Music: Oscar Mascareñas
Costumes: Pierre Canitrot
Lighting: Kevin Smith
Artistic contribution: Lorenzo Dallai
Through a combination of performance platforms, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures, Dance Limerick will advocate for artistic dialogue and exchange. In collaboration with dance artists across a range of practices, Dance Limerick will promote the creation of new and innovative work and will devise programmes of access, engagement and participation for the wider public.
Based at the premises of the former Daghdha Dance Company, Dance Limerick houses offices and a fully equipped studio space along with a separate performance venue known as the Daghda Space
Further information about facilities and opportunities for professional dance artists available from Jenny Traynor at