2017 has seen Liz Roche Company, one of Ireland’s foremost exponents of contemporary dance, commence a planned three year residency at the Civic. 12 Minute Dances, is a major revival of her internationally acclaimed landmark work from 2009 and is the first public offering of this exciting initiative.

A Note From Liz Roche, Company Manager & choreographer:
In these coming performances of 12 Minute Dances at the Civic and Cork Opera House we are re-staging a dance piece made and performed by the company nearly 8 years ago. The piece was first performed in the SS. Michael and John’s – now the Banquet Hall at Smock Alley – for the Dublin Fringe Festival. In returning to the piece now in 2017, we have the task and also the fantastic opportunity to look at the work anew. I am working with an amazing design team, Joe Vanek – set design, Catherine Fay – costume, Lighting design – Kevin Smith. Together, we have searched through the exceptional paintings of Mark Rothko, selecting the most satisfying combinations of colour and relationship and little by little they are fed into every aspect of the designs.  The dances are made, and they represent layers of colour –  as the movements are built in layer after layer of repetition – sequences that grow, adding in tiny changes, and then sometimes without even noticing, everything changes…….

Some of the colour combinations for the dancers clothes in our upcoming 12 Minute Dances at Civic Theatre
Catherine Fay’s costumes are referencing a palette from several Rothko paintings. 

A Note From Joe Vanek, Set Designer
A L T E R E D    P E R S P E C T I V E S  – 12 Minute Dances.
Have you ever looked at a painting and wished you could step into it?
Maybe a lush countryside by Constable, or a glorious garden by Monet?
Now what about an abstract work? Not half as alluring a prospect I’m sure
(or so it would seem).

12 Minute Dances explores the paintings of the esteemed American artist Mark Rothko. He has been a favourite of mine for decades. His canvases have an energy and rawness, a sublime use of colour juxtaposition, and a massive simplicity that I have always found compelling.  The design for Liz Roche’s Five Dances, is a three dimensional evocation of his painterly world. The dancers are literally inside the picture. It alters perspective too. Towards the close of the performance, by virtue of a simple staging trick, a further dimension is added that complements the spirited finale with a quintet of dancers.

Set design by Joe Vanek:  concepts for 12 minute dances  

My chosen palette is deliberately muted, so that lighting and costume can add the electric highlights that make his work so distinctive. Liz refers to layers and layers as the dance builds, and this is a response in movement to the structure of his paintings.

Check them out – see the production, and then view Rothko’s work in a whole new light.


12 Minute Dances
Thursday 21st and Saturday 23rd September / 8pm
Tickets €16/€14