While Michael Phelps may have pocketed 22 Olympic medals, swimming is equally radiant in Irish choreographer/dancer David Bolger’s DNA. His passion for moving through water, a kinetic family heirloom of sorts, is celebrated in “Swimming with My Mother, “ a duet Bolger created for himself and his 80 year old mother Madge, who taught him to swim when he was two. The dance receives its local premiere at Peak Performances, May 10-11.
Acclaimed when premiered in the US at the Guthrie in Minneapolis and at many European venues including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, “Swimming with My Mother” twins the devoted, but not always peaceful relationship between mother and son, with their shared love of water. Flutter kicks, arms stroking forward and backward, suggestions of buoyancy mixed with bits of ballroom, ballet and modern dance moves create the double, at times ethereal, metaphor used to explore their deep emotional and spiritual ties to each other. Voice overs of mother and son’s conversations and the seductive voice of Nat King Cole provide the sound design.
“Deep End Dance,” a short film directed by Conor Horgon which stars mother and son, swimming, splashing, supporting, playing with each other beneath the water, serves as coda to the live performance.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
David Bolger is the artistic director and co-founder of CoisCéim Dance Theatre. Over the last two decades, Bolger has directed and choreographed over 20 original productions for CoisCéim, including the award-winning Swimming with My Mother, Touch Me, Pageant, Missing, and, most recently, Agnes. He has also written and choreographed extensively for film, most notably the multi-award-winning dance films Hit and Run (CoisCéim/Rough Magic Films) and Deep End Dance (Wildfire Films). Bolger has received numerous choreographic commissions including Tanztheater Freiburg/Heidelberg, Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company, Druid Theatre Company, Cameron Mackintosh, the National Theatre (London), the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Spoleto Festival, and Riverdream’s Heartbeat of Home. He made his opera direction debut in 2004 with Gluck’s Orfeo, which received an Irish Times/ESB Theatre Award and became the first Irish opera to be invited to the State Theatre (Wiesbaden). Other opera work includes Idomeneo and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera Ireland), La Traviata (English National Opera), and Nicholas Maw’s Sophie’s Choice (Royal Opera House, London). Bolger has been a member of Aosdána since 2007.
CHARTER BUS SERVICE is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online to www. njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555. For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.
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