Jean Butler & Neil Martin – This is An Irish Dance @ The Mermaid Arts Centre

Butler’s new show, ‘this is an Irish dance’, created and performed with Belfast-based cellist Neil Martin, is inspired by the interdependent relationship between traditional music and dance and the formal spatial relationship between dancer and musician that characterizes her tradition. The movement and music, created simultaneously through improvisation, raises questions about who is leading and who is following. ‘this is an Irish dance’ explores the often-invisible interplay between dancer and musician in live performance revealing a dialogue between body and instrument, cello and cellist, cellist and dancer, and ultimately a man and woman.
“Butler and Martin engage in an intense, affectionate, sometimes flirtatious musical conversation. Butler is an extraordinary dancer, the accent of her dancing is distinctly Irish. Her footwork is light and crisp—she skitters across the floor, like a butterfly skimming the surface of a lake.”  Marina Hass The New Yorker

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