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Bastard Amber

May 25th — 27th, 2015
Co-commissioned by The Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival
Premiered at The Abbey Theatre
Photo by Luca Truffarelli

Photo by Luca Truffarelli

"Bastard Amber is a stunning and beautiful production, worthy of its historic commission and a fitting tribute to one of Ireland’s foremost choreographers. Not to be missed."
The Examiner


First time ever for an Irish choreographer to be commissioned to create a full length dance work for the main stage of Ireland’s National Theatre.

A profound journey into humankind’s spiritual quest, Bastard Amber is filled with unforgettable imagery and stunning design, conjuring a lustrous Byzantine world of contradictory influences. It draws inspiration from the imagery of W.B Yeats’ poem Sailing to Byzantium and captures not only the evocative and arresting imagery of the poem but also gives voice to the modern vision that Yeats imagined in his own work for theatre. The piece is a multi-disciplinary work where live music and highly innovative design/visual art took centre stage alongside sublime choreography performed by a stellar company of Irish and international dancers.

Following on from the Abbey performances Bastard Amber has since performed at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, August 2015, L’Espace des Arts, Chalon-Sur-Saone, France, as part of Festival Instances 2015 supported by Culture Ireland and toured Ireland to Town Hall Theatre Galway, Lyric Theatre Belfast, An Grianan Letterkenny and Lime Tree Theatre Limerick. The work was also performed by a younger generation of dancers through Step Up Repertoire Project 2016 (facilitated by Liz Roche) and at La Salle College, Singapore in February 2019 (facilitated by Sarah Cerneaux).


Choreography and Concept Liz Roche
Music Composition Ray Harman
Set Design Paul Wills
Costume Design Catherine Fay
Lighting Design Lee Curran
Musicians Zoe Conway, John McIntyre, Bryan O'Connell, Ray Harman (with Doug Sheridan and Sarah Lynch - Tour)
Original Cast Henry Montes, Alex Iseli, Helene Cathala, Katherine O'Malley, Sarah Cerneaux, Liv O'Donoghue, Marc Stevenson, Liz Roche.
Tour - Kevin Coquelard, Maria Nilsson Waller, Justine Cooper.
Creative Producer Catherine Nunes
Producer Justine Doswell
Set build Theatre Production Services
Production Manager Rob Usher



Bastard Amber Dossier

Full information on Bastard Amber

Photos by Luca Truffarelli

Yeats may have established the Abbey, but tonight Roche has ownership of the stage… From the very first moments of the dance, she puts the body at the forefront…. Roche’s choreographic dexterity is at its height.
The Irish Times


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