premiere Sirius Arts Center
presented in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre as part of Cork Midsummer Festival
DATES 24 JUNE 2018
Photo credit Clare Keogh


Just as O’Doherty played with permanence and impermanence in both title and paintings, choreographer Liz Roche and co-collaborator composer Linda Buckley have created an impressive work that celebrates the immediacy of the present, but leaves etchings of ghostly afterimages and sounds.”


Choreographed by Liz Roche, in collaboration with composer Linda Buckley, Pilgrimage brings together a cast of exceptional performers in dance and music to decode, embody and re-physicalise the themes of identity, place and language running through O’Doherty/Ireland’s work at Sirius Arts Centre.

Placing the ‘live’ body at the centre of the event, the movement and sound constantly responds to the ever-changing environments; from sea to land, from person to person; from exterior to interior.

How can you truthfully embody a painful history; or voice an urgency or desperation to live; or show what you imagine a new future for yourself could be? These are the questions Pilgrimage is asking of its collaborators and performers. How can we embrace the immediacy of the essential simplicity of One, Here, Now, amidst the complex story of language in our history? Can we find the fluidity and adaptability necessary to be in all of these places at once? What is created is a one-off special event, full of emotion, searching and possibility.

Pilgrimage is one part of Liz Roche Company’s engagement with Sirius Arts Centre’s One Here Now: the Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project, I/Thou at Cork Opera House being the second. Both pieces were made possible by Arts Council Open Call Award Funding 2017.

Presented to a capacity audience at Sirius Arts Centre on June 24 as part of Cork Midsummer Festival; the Irish Times also wrote:

One of the most striking images was of the three dancers facing the sea with arms exuberantly outstretched, slowly tensing and falling until they were shaking their gnarled hands in front of them. It seemed to sum up the hope-to-despair experience of many immigrants that left from Cobh. A final climactic dance trio surrounded by the murals was powerfully sustained by Buckley’s music with movement sequences and gestures that disappeared and reappeared until a final breathless collapse.


Choreography Liz Roche  

Composition Linda Buckley 

Costume Design Joe Vanek  

Dancers Sarah Cerneaux , Kévin Coquelard, Henry Montes

Singers Robbie Blake, Suzanne Savage, Vivienne Hassell

Cello Ilse de Ziah

Creative Producer Catherine Nunes

Company Manager Moyra D'Arcy

Line Producer Aisling O’Brien

Production Manager Lisa Mahony

Stage Manager Lisa Krugel


Presented by Cork Midsummer Festival 2018 and produced by Liz Roche Company in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre with Arts Council Open Call Funding 2018.

Liz Roche Company is Funded through the Arts Council Strategic Funding Programme.

Pilgrimage by Liz Roche Company Sirius Arts Centre
Pilgrimage by Liz Roche Company Photo by Clare Keogh
Photo by Clare Keogh


O’Doherty/Ireland's One Here Now; The Ogham Cycle is a nine-part series of spectacular, floor-to-ceiling wall paintings at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Cork that encapsulates his career-long concerns with migration, language and identity. Liz Roche was commissioned to respond to this work as part of the One Here Now Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project at Sirius Arts Centre Cobh that ran throughout 2018 to celebrate their restoration.

Pilgrimage brought audiences through the gallery spaces at Sirius Arts Centre ending the piece surrounded by the vibrant colours and shapes of the wall paintings. The dance was a structured improvisation for three dancers based on the abstract notion of 'one', 'here' and 'now', that connected with the numerical patterns present in Ogham writing. With the sea ever present throughout, the dance and the score also explored ideas around migration and landscape, as Cobh was the departure point for O'Doherty himself when he left Ireland for America in the 1950's.

In 2015 Liz Roche had the opportunity to see the work of visual artist and art critic Brian O'Doherty/ Patrick Ireland at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. This was the first time Liz had seen his work in the flesh and she was struck by the mix of perfection and playfulness in his Rope Drawings but also the importance placed on the viewer who is empowered to receive the work in a very personal way. To Roche, O'Doherty/Ireland's work felt densely layered and connected and she was curious to find out more. Liz struck up a correspondence with O'Doherty in 2015 which grew gradually into a dialogue about the work. The creative process was also supported by art critic-historian Dr. Brenda Moore-McCann and
art historian, curator and critical writer Catherine Marshall. Pilgrimage and I/Thou were made possible through One Here Now Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project 2018 with Sirius Arts Centre and Cork Midsummer Festival, a commission by Cork Opera House and support from Arts Council Open Call Funding.


Pilgrimage: shifts in perception through proximity to a dance Article by Dr. Jenny Roche (2018)

Click here to access an article written by Jenny Roche about Pilgrimage from One Here Now: The Brian O’Doherty / Patrick Ireland Project, co-published by Sirius Arts Centre and Paper Visual Art.

The book comprises essays on each of the projects and discussions on O’Doherty’s work and reflects on this important year at Sirius Arts Centre and serves as a legacy of the murals that will be covered up again in May 2019.



We are proud of our partners.

Liz Roche Company is strategically funded by the Arts Council