by David Bolger


“Joyful, clever, entertaining, intricate, technically superb and with a heart of goodness, Francis Footwork is a pure and simple delight. – The Irish Times

“If it all sounds a little magical and wondrous, that’s because it is. As well as being one of the most exquisitely choreographed and beautifully produced pieces of dance theatre to be had anywhere…Joyous, uplifting, and miraculously magical, “Francis Footwork” might well have you feeling a little bit starstruck. – The Arts Review

“A magical, marvellous take on dancing to your own tune” – The Sunday Business Post

“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet.  
Colonel Headbanger doesn’t like dreams as they can give people ideas.  
People with ideas can be dangerous.”

Once upon a dance floor…
… in a kingdom not so far away, lived Francis Footwork.

Now Francis Footwork is no ordinary girl – she is an extraordinary dancer.  When kind-hearted King Two Lefties ascends to the throne, he is tricked by trusted adviser Colonel Headbanger to rule the land with an iron fist. He wants to end all dancing. So Francis teaches him a dance lesson he will never forget! 


Cancelled | Féile na Bealtaine Arts Festival

VENUE | Halla na Feothanaí, An Fheothanach, County Kerry
Thursday 30 April | 5pm
Friday 1 May | 4pm followed by DANCE YOUR OWN DANCE
MORE INFORMATION | Tel: 087 7903950

Cancelled | Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar

Schools Performances Only: Tuesday 12 May | 10.15am & 12.15pm
BOX OFFICE | | 094 9023733

Cancelled | Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise

Thursday 14 May | 7.00pm | €10/€35 (family of 4)
Friday 15 May | 10.00am | €10/€5 (group rate)
BOX OFFICE | | 057 8663355

Cancelled | The Ark | Part of DUBLIN DANCE FESTIVAL

Thursday 21 May, 7pm
Friday 22 May, 10:15am & 12:15pm
Saturday 23 May, 2pm & 4pm
Sunday 24 May, 2pm* & 4pm
*Integrated Irish Sign Language interpreted performance with Amanda Coogan


MUSIC & SOUND Denis Clohessy
HAIR & MAKEUP Val Sherlock

CAST Cristian Enmanuel Dirocie, Ivonne Kalter, Jonathan Mitchell and Emma O’Kane

STAGE MANAGER Stephanie Ryan
CHIEF LX Eoin Winning & Mick Stapleton 
PROPS Dylan Farrell
PROP MAKER Craig Starkie 
PHOTOGRAPHER Hugo Glendinning 
PUBLICIST Conleth Teevan


“Can you imagine a world without dancing? What would be stolen from us?” – An interview with Director and Choreographer David Bolger on RTÉ Culture Blog

“To me, dance means everything. Dance is freedom, dance is expression. It is passion, creativity. Dance is powerful…” An interview with cast member with Cristian Enmanuel Dirocie for the Pavilion Theatre Blog

“With Francis Footwork I wanted to create a story that had dance as its central character…it was the dance that drove me to make this piece…” An interview with David Bolger in the Galway Advertiser





Photos by Hugo Glendinning


Draíocht | The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15 |
Tuesday 5 November | 7 pm
Wednesday 6 November | 12 pm
Tickets | €7/5

Pavilion Theatre | Dun Laoghaire |
Friday 8 November | 4 pm
Saturday 9 November | 12 pm
Tickets | €12/10 | Family €40      

Backstage Theatre | Longford |
Wednesday 23 October | 7pm
Thurs 24 October | 10:30am

World Premiere | Baboró International Arts Festival for Children | Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane | Galway |
Wednesday 16 October | 7pm
Thursday 17 October | 10am & 12pm
Friday 18 October | 10am & 12pm
Saturday 19 October | 2.30* relaxed performance & 7pm
Sunday 20 October | 3pm



In this parallel workshop programme for primary schools, children engage, explore, and create dance through kinaesthetic and collaborative learning. Drawing inspiration from FRANCIS FOOTWORK, the workshops are designed to give children an understanding of the story and main characters and build awareness of dance and performance. CREATIVE DANCE TALES | FRANCIS FOOTWORK first took place as part of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children 2019, with students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd class at St Nicholas’ Parochial School and Claddagh National School, Galway.


Click here to view the CREATIVE DANCE TALES ACTIVITY PACK – an additional resource created especially for primary school teachers to use in the classroom before and after seeing the show. Find out more about CREATIVE DANCE TALES at


David Bolger is the Artistic Director and co-founder of CoisCéim Dance Theatre. His work has been seen by millions of people worldwide and has received prestigious awards for its innovation, performance and choreography. David has directed and choreographed over 20 original productions for CoisCéim, including the highly lauded The Wolf and Peter, Body Language, and most recently the major international co-production These Rooms (Irish Times Theatre Award, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), TATE Liverpool). His work for the company has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Peak Performances in the USA, Spring Loaded (The Place) and the Brighton Festival in the UK, Ten Days on the Island (Tasmania), Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House (Australia). David has received numerous choreographic commissions for theatre and opera including Druid (Ireland), Spoleto Festival (USA), Guthrie Theatre (USA), RTÉ (Ireland), National Theatre (UK), Abbey Theatre (Ireland) and Opera Ireland. He is a member of Aosdána. For more information, please click here for full biography.

Denis has worked with many Irish dance and theatre companies including CoisCéim/Anu, The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, Rough Magic, Fishamble, Junk Ensemble, Fabulous Beast and Corn Exchange. He won the Irish Times theatre award for Best Design Sound in 2011. In 2016 Pat Kinevane’s play SILENT (Fishamble) won an Olivier award for which Denis composed the music. His work in Film and Television includes music for the feature films OLDER THAN IRELAND (Snack box Films), THE IRISH PUB (Atom Films) and HIS AND HERS (Venom Film).

Christopher Ash is an international designer and photographer working primarily in the theatre for nearly two decades. A Philadelphia resident, he was born in New Haven, and raised in Buffalo. He cut his teeth as a designer in Chicago and Los Angeles and then returned to New Haven to complete his master’s degree in scenic design from the Yale School of Drama. His scenic, lighting, and projection design work in opera, theatre, and dance have been presented in a dozen countries in a variety of venues ranging from Broadway to five thousand seat arenas to store fronts. His designs have received several awards and nominations. David Bolger and Christopher met while working on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Guthrie Theatre where David was the co-director and choreographer, and Christopher was projection designer. Following Midsummer, David invited Christopher to team up with him to develop Body Language.

This is Maree’s fifth collaboration with CoisCéim Dance Theatre having previously designed set and costume for Invitation to a Journey, Agnes, Pageant & set for Faun/ As You Are. She has worked extensively with many of Ireland’s leading companies such as ANU, Fishamble Theatre Company, The Abbey, Cork Opera House, Inis Theatre, Corn Exchange, Landmark, Verdant Productions, Corcadorca and Ballet Ireland.  Maree has been the recipient of an Irish Times Times theatre award for her design of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme and is the Course Director for the Masters in Theatre Design at the Lir Academy in Dublin.

Val has worked as a hair and makeup artist as well as a wigmaker for a quarter of a century. As well as television, film and advertising work, Val has worked for all major theatre companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Val has had the pleasure of working across all aspects of theatre, opera, contemporary dance, and ballet. He has worked on multiple productions for the Lyric Theatre, Druid, Rough Magic Theatre Company, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Fishamble: The New Play Company, the Abbey Theatre/Peacock Theatre, The Corn Exchange and Landmark Productions, amongst others.

Cristian is a professional dance and music artist from the Dominican Republic lauded by the critics for “the flowing, electrical intensity” of his performances.  He specialises in the Street Dance styles – Breakdance, Krump and HipHop and has won many national and international competitions including SOAR UK – HipHop Masters (2017) and Rep Your Style (2018). He has been based in Ireland since 2014 working as a freelance dancer, musician, dance teacher, choreographer, and Nike Model.

Cristian is an associate artist of Human Collective Dance Theatre, recent co-creative and performance credits with the company include Blame Game that will premiere as part of Cork Midsummer 2019, Origins, The Eternal, D2C Lab Dance Ireland and the recent collaboration with Liz Roche Dance Company as part of the 2019 LIR Academy Lighting Mentorship.  He participated in the mentorship programme with Canadian Dance Company, Tentacle Tribe.  Francis Footwork is his first project with David Bolger and CoisCéim Dance Theatre.

Ivonne is originally from Germany, where she studied at Heinz Bosl Stiftung Ballet Academy and later on at Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance. Her professional debut was with TIK Theatre Kempten, where Ivonne displayed her creativity and innovation in bringing choreographer Jochen Heckmann’s work to life. Since then, she has travelled extensively with shows, to teach and to draw inspiration for her work, honing her distinctive style and movement. Ivonne’s collaborative inquisitive style on her work with choreographs during the development of each piece, has enabled her to carve a niche for herself and receive international acclaim, including the Isadora Award in 2010 for the most promising young dancer. She is an associate artist of Levantes Dance Theatre in London, where she is currently based. Recent work with CoisCéim includes: Invitation to a Journey, The Wolf and Peter, Body Language and How to Sink a Paper Boat.

Jonathan was born in England and moved to Dublin in 1999. He trained at the Rambert School, London, graduating in 1992. Work with CoisCéim includes the recent co-productions These Rooms and Body Language as well as The Wolf and Peter, Agnes, Pageant, Mermaids, The Rite of Spring and When Once is Never Enough. He has worked with leading companies in the UK including: Adventures in Motion Pictures, Mathew Hawkins, Imlata and Dundee Rep Dance Company and Irish companies IMDT and Liz Roche Company. In December 2012 Jonathan made his debut on the Abbey Stage in Frank McGuinness’ adaptation of James Joyce’s The Dead. Since 2008 Jonathan has also been a dance photographer, with a particular focus on location photography, and has photographed some of the premier dance artists in the country including IMDT, Liz Roche Company, Fearghus Ó Conchuir and Emma Martin. In 2009 he was commissioned by Dance Ireland to create a photographic exhibition, still life, which now forms part of the permanent collection. In 2012, Jonathan received an Arts Council Dance Bursary Award to explore the integration of still images into the choreographic process.

Emma is a freelance dance artist and choreographer working in dance, theatre, opera and film. She trained at Perm State Choreographic Academy, Russia. Emma has been a member of CoisCéim Dance Theatre since 2001. Dance Europe voted Emma Outstanding Dancer Of The Year for her performance in CoisCéim’s production of Faun. Her work A Life of Play, an inter-generational dance project for grandparents and grandchildren, was commissioned by CoisCéim Broadreach and Bealtaine in partnership with Dublin Dance Festival. She recently performed Terra Firmish commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival composed by Sean MacErlaine and choreographed Before by Pat Kinevane (Fishamble) having previously worked on Underneath. Other performance/ choreographic credits include Rough Magic, The Abbey Theatre, ANU Productions and Prime Cut Productions. She has an MA in Dance (Hons) from University of Limerick.

2019 | STILL LOADING: The Ark Children’s Council present a mini showcase of new performances-in-progress. 

On 16 June 2019, David Bolger and the cast participated in this mini showcase and performed work-in-progress excerpts of FRANCIS FOOTWORK as part of Right Here Right Now! The Ark’s Festival of Children.  Find out more about The Ark’s Children’s Council and the event at 


In a special creative development residency, David Bolger and CoisCéim Dance Theatre were onsite throughout Baboró 2018 working on his new work for people of all ages, FRANCIS FOOTWORK.  Set in the future, FRANCIS FOOTWORK is an upbeat tale exploring freedom of expression and individuality. A cast of colourful characters led by the fantastically rhythmic Francis Footwork in a fast paced dance adventure.

2018 Events at Baboró

with David Bolger and dancers Ivonne Kalter and Matthew Williamson

Wednesday 17 October 2018
4.00 – 5.30pm
Town Hall Theatre Studio
€15 / €10 students

Approaches to Creating Dance for Children
Thursday 18 October 2018
Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane