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Photo: Pato Cassinoni


17 & 18 NOVEMBER 2023, 7:30pm at DANCE CORK FIRKIN CRANE


Staring into the night sky, we wondered: what is sisterhood, and what forces can hold sisters together or break them apart?


This new dance is inspired by global myths related to the open star cluster Messier 45, also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. One of the nearest clusters to our planet, these famous stars have figured in many of the world’s oldest stories, appearing across continents and cultures for nearly a hundred thousand years. This piece responds by creating its own asterism: a collective of international dance artists to explore sisterhood together.

The performers will bring their personal histories and experiences of sisterhood — responding to the themes these stories share, ones of vulnerability, persecution, grief and loss, light, transformation, escape, and solidarity — and connect these to archetypal, mythical and modern femininities. The work’s research ranges from petroglyphs to cyberspace, seeking connections between ancient mythologies, classical literatures, and contemporary experiences.

Creation & Choreography: Justine Doswell in collaboration with the dancers
Dancers: Nana-Yaa Appiah, Salma Ataya, Justine Cooper, Yumi Lee, Emily Kilkenny Roddy, Carmen Palacios Sáenz, Hannah Rogerson, Vasiliki Stasinaki
Assistant Choreographer: Emily Kilkenny Roddy
Music: J.S Bach, Martin Gretschmann (aka Acid Pauli), Josquin des Prez | Additional sound design: Kyle English
Set Design: Sabine Dargent
Lighting: Sarah Jane Shiels
Costume Design: Justine Doswell in consultation with Sabine Dargent
Dramaturgy: Nicholas Johnson

Line Producer: Kate Guelke
Production Manager / Chief LX: Gearoid Ó Hallmhuráin
Stage Manager: Molly Foley

Production Photography: Pato Cassinoni

Poster and SM Marketing Design: Laura Whitehouse

Dress Rehearsal Photography: Marcin Lewandowski

Messier 45 Filmed Tasters

Cinematography / Lighting: Mko Malkhasyan

Lighting: Gearoid Ó Hallmhuráin
Additional 2023 Messier 45 cast: Kama Bugala
Filmed at The Complex, Dublin

Edited by Fernando De Juan

Music by Martin Gretschmann/Acid Pauli

Dancers 2022 research and development:
Millie Daniel-Dempsey, Isabella Oberlander, Tamzin Jade O’Garro and Zee Zunnur.

Funded by the Arts Council, supported by Dance Cork Firkin Crane, Dance Ireland, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Fringe LAB and The Complex.
Additional 2022 Research and Development Residencies supported by Shawbrook, Tipperary Dance/Grand Studio, Brussels and axis Ballymun.

Special thanks and acknowledgements: To the funders and partners, Lisa McLoughlin and all the teams at The Arts Council of Ireland An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Laurie Uprichard, Kathleen Aleton, Andrea Stapleton, Emer Casey, Ann Rea, Mary Keating, Seamus Hegarty at Dance Cork Firkin Crane; John Scott, Carla Fazio at Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Sheila Creevey, Louise Costello and all at Dance Ireland, Vanessa Fielding at The Complex and all at Fringe LAB. The Messier 45 exceptional creative and technical teams: Emily Kilkenny Roddy, Nana-Yaa Appiah, Salma Ataya, Justine Cooper, Yumi Lee, Carmen Palacios Sáenz, Hannah Rogerson, Vasiliki Stasinaki, Kama Bugala, Martin Gretschmann, Sabine Dargent, Sarah Jane Shiels, Nicholas Johnson, Kate Guelke, Gearoid Ó Hallmhuráin, Seamus Hegarty, Molly Foley, Kyle English, Pato Cassinoni, Mko Malkhaysan, Brian Hogan, Fernando de Juan, Doug Morrisson, Marcin Lewandowski, Marta Wroblewska and Laura Whitehouse. And to all the artists involved in the work since 2019: Ella Clarke, Millie Daniel Dempsey, Kevin Coquelard, Isabella Oberlander, Tamzin Jade O’Garro, Emma O'Kane, Rebecca Reilly, Aoife McAtamney, Liv O'Donoghue, Muirne Bloomer, Mariam Ribon, Kristian Mantalvanos and Luca Truffarelli. To Tere O'Connor, Stephen Petronio, Anica Louw, Philip Dawson at Shawbrook, Alexandre Iseli, Greta Bourke at Tipperary Dance, Ivan-Vincent Massey, Benoit Marcandella at Grand Studio Brussels, Niamh Ní Chonchubhair at axis Ballymun, Jazmin Chiodi, Jenny Traynor, Liz Roche and Paul Johnson.

On a personal note - Brian Hogan, Sophie Hogan and David Doswell, my thanks and love for your support, care, understanding and patience. To Mary Courtney Bevan Doswell and Roger Wise Doswell, you are with me every step of the way, I miss you.

This work is dedicated to Emma O'Kane with love.

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