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! 



22 April 2022 | 4pm & 6pm | Previews
23 April 2022 | 2pm & 4pm 
28 April 2022 | 10.15am & 12.15pm | Schools Performances
29 April 2022 | 6pm | ISL Performance
30 April 2022 | 2pm & 4pm | Relaxed Performance


MUSIC & SOUND Denis Clohessy
HAIR & MAKEUP Val Sherlock
ISL INTERPRETER Caoimhe Coburn Gray

CAST Cristian Enmanuel Dirocie, Stephanie Dufresne, Ivonne Kalter and Jonathan Mitchell

STAGE MANAGER Stephanie Ryan
CHIEF LX Eoin Winning
SOUND ENGINEER Michael Stapleton
AV ENGINEER Laura Rainsford
PROPS Dylan Farrell
PROP MAKER Craig Starkie 
PHOTOGRAPHER Hugo Glendinning 


Emma OKane was a core member and part of the fabric of CoisCéim for over 20 years.  The premiere of production of FRANCIS FOOTWORK was her last collaboration with the company before her untimely death in early 2021.  CoisCéim is a founding partner of the Emma OKane Bursary.  Find out more here.





INTERVIEWS with the team

“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


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

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

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


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 2010 and 2019. 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).

Philadelphia-based Designer and Filmmaker. Christopher had the unique joy of collaborating with CoisCéim over the several year process of developing and performing Body Language, and with Francis Footwork.  Christopher Ash’s work has been seen in 13 countries and been recognised for 15 awards. Notable credits include, Broadway’s Sunday in the Park with George (starring Jake Gyllenhaal), Saint Joan, Network, The Prince of Broadway, the Crucible, and On The Town. Opera designs that have been presented at The Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. Christopher holds an MFA in design from the Yale School of Drama.

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.

Caoimhe Coburn Gray is an actor and ISL/English Interpreter based in Dublin. Since graduating from the Centre for Deaf Studies in 2019, Caoimhe has worked towards merging her background in theatre with her interpreting practice – beginning to deliver sign language interpreted performances from 2021 and continuing to work more generally in the interpreting field.

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.

Stephanie is a dancer, actor and choreographer from the West of Ireland currently based in Dublin. Since graduating from the Rotterdam Dance Academy in 2012 and the Bow Street Academy for Screen Acting in 2017, Stephanie has enjoyed combining her skills in productions for Protein Dance, Icon Dance, Emma Martin/United Fall, Junk Ensemble and Irish National Opera. Stephanie played the lead role of Karen in Selina Cartmell’s production of THE RED SHOES for the Gate Theatre in 2017. Stephanie’s first full-length dance production opened at GIAF in 2021. AFTER LOVE was directed by Laura Sheeran and based on the poetry of Dani Gill. 

Ivonne studied at Heinz Bosl Stiftung Ballet Academy in Munich and subsequently at Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance. She made her professional stage debut in 2009 as part of choreographer Jochen Heckmann’s cast at TIK Theatre Kempten. 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 impactful work has received 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, who combine contemporary circus and dance-theatre. She enjoys working with people of all ages, leading workshops for the community and professional dance education programmes, and is a certified yoga teacher. Her work with CoisCéim includes: INVITATION TO A  JOURNEY, THE WOLF AND PETER and BODY LANGUAGE, IN THE MAGIC HOUR and HOW TO SINK A PAPER BOAT.

Jonathan graduated from the Rambert School, London, in 1992. Since then he has been fortunate to work with a host of choreographers and companies, including Adventures in Motion Pictures, Mathew Hawkins, Liz Roche Company and IMDT, performing on four continents and in both hemispheres. Jonathan’s association with CoisCéim began in 2001 with The Rite of Spring, and he has worked with the company many times since, including When Once Is Never Enough, Mermaids, Pageant, Agnes, The Wolf and Peter, These Rooms, Body Language and Francis Footwork.