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A Beckett: Unbound 2024 Festival commission from choreographer Liz Roche, in collaboration with performer / composers Nathalie Forget and Nick Roth

May 30th — June 7th, 2024
Everyman Theatre, Liverpool and Théâtre de l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris.
Sentient7 LRC Jose Miguel Jimenez


Sentient is a Beckett: Unbound 2024 Festival commission from choreographer Liz Roche, made in collaboration with saxophonist Nick Roth and ondes Martenot player Nathalie Forget, featuring a cast of exceptional dancers, with the voice of actor Adrian Dunbar.

A major new full-length work for six dancers, saxophone and ondes Martenot, the piece responds to an innocuous-seeming passage in Samuel Beckett’s Molloy where the author explores his wonder, and ‘unknowing’, for the bees – “I often thought of my bees...and I thought above all of their dance, for my bees danced…in a different way.” (Les Éditions de Minuit, 1951)

Fascinated by German-Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch’s Nobel-prize winning description of the precise way in which bees communicate orientational information through movement, Beckett was one of the first writers to include this groundbreaking discovery into a work of fiction. Angela Moorjani in ‘Beckett and Animals’ (Cambridge, 2013) notes that “the decoding of the honeybee genome in 2006, the year of the Beckett centenary, continues to leave neurobiologists awed by the unexplained cognitive abilities of these highly social hymenopterans. The rapture has not subsided.”

In a space somewhere between social urgency and urgent sociality, Sentient offers a new interpretation of what it is as a human being to be only one part of our natural world in its vast communicative complexities. The dance travels through different atmospheres; exploring vibration, language, and group communication, with the performers collectively in adaptation to these changing environments.

Beckett: Unbound Festival Liverpool/Paris 2024

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
May 30 - June 1

Théâtre de l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris

June 5 - 7

Other Festival events: Beckett:UnboundFestival

Cast and Team

Performers Sarah Cerneaux, Emily Terndrup, Mufutau Yusuf, Conor Thomas Doherty, Grace Cuny, Inez Berdychowska (apprentice), Nick Roth, Nathalie Forget
Voices Adrian Dunbar, Jenny Roche
Choreographer Liz Roche
Composers Nick Roth and Nathalie Forget
Set and Costume Design Katie Davenport
Lighting Design Sinead McKenna
Stage Manager Lisa Krugel
Production Manager Síofra Nic Liam
Producer Gwen Van Spyk for Liz Roche Company
Producing Associate Emer McMahon
Photographer and videographer José Miguel Jiménez

Funders and Partners

Sentient, by Liz Roche is commissioned by Unreal Cities for Beckett: Unbound, Liverpool/Paris 2024, in association with the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.

Funded by The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, supported by Culture Ireland and through partnerships with the new all-Ireland national dance company, The Irish World Academy, University of Limerick and TROIS C-L - Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois.

Dates & Booking

May 30th — June 1st, 2024

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

June 5th — 7th, 2024

Sorbonne Nouvelle Theatre, Paris as part of Centre Culturel Irelandais


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