by David Bolger and Christopher Ash

Part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh

12-20 June 2020

Take a tantalising glimpse into a stranger’s life in a unique durational dance installation that explores our physical conversations with nature – all in a handball alley during magic hour at dusk.

Over the last twelve months, our contact with each other and nature has been severely disrupted – our ease with human proximity and contact undermined.  IN THE MAGIC HOUR investigates this singular moment through the kinetic conversations with the landscapes that surround us. This multilayered production features a core creative team of David Bolger, media artist Christopher Ash, composer Michael Fleming and four exceptional dance artists Lee Clayden, Justine Cooper, Ivonne Kalter and Jonathan Mitchell.

Over the course of five evenings, experience the creation of unique spontaneous performances in real-time during the magic hour at dusk from airy spaces that are natural, honest and unadorned – handball alleys.

Presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council. To see the full Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh programme, visit



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Firmly embedded in the Irish psyche, handball alleys are fascinating structures. Not just for sport – they have been spaces for everything from matchmaking to card playing – where people have gathered to dance, to chat, to meet, to play…

Do YOU have an alley tale to tell?  We’re creating a collection of inspiring moments and we’d love to hear from you. We welcome stories in any form and are happy to record them for you. For more information please contact the Programme Coordinator, Caoimhe at


DANCE ARTISTS Lee Clayden, Justine Cooper, Ivonne Kalter, Jonathan Mitchell

COMPOSER Michael Fleming

Presented with the generous support of Dance Ireland and broadcast in partnership with DanceHouse.

IN THE MAGIC HOUR is a re-imagination of the BODY LANGUAGE project that was developed as a collaboration with the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and presented in their exhibition programme in 2017 and at DanceBase as part of Culture Ireland’s festival programme in 2019.


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 (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.

David is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre. Please see ABOUT US for more…

Lee graduated from London Contemporary Dance School during which time he was a member of 4D, LCDS performance company where he worked with choreographers Mark Baldwin, Siobhan Davies, Wayne McGregor, Paul Taylor (under Susan Maguire) Diane Elshout & Frank Handler, Ian Spink, Sue McLennan, Janet Smith and Sarah Fahre. Work with CoisCéim includes Body Language, Faun, Dodgems and Boxes. He has been a member of Ricochet Dance Company and The Richard Alston Dance Company and toured with Darshan Singh Bhuller. He has guested with ENO, The Charnock Company, Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contempreano, Random Dance Company, Kerry Nicholls, Vincent Dance Theatre, Aletta Collins, Rex Levitates, Junk Ensemble, Opera Ireland, Walk the Plank, Mad Dogs Dance Theatre and Company Chameleon. Lee performed in Rafael Bonachela’s E2 7SD which won The Place Price 2004. He is an associate artist with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance and as an aerialist he has also worked with Scarabeus and Gravity and Levity. He is about to tour Why! with Gravity and Levity and The Shadow with Company Chameleon.

Originally from New Zealand, Justine has been based in Ireland as a freelance dance artist, teacher and choreographer since 2008. Most recently working with Justine Doswell, Mary Wycherly, Oona Doherty, Liz Roche Company, United Fall, Maria Nilsson Waller, Anu, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Junk Ensemble, meryl tankard australian dance theatre- company member (1998-2000). Justine’s own work Folds of the Crane was presented as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2015, Dublin Dance Festival 2016 and What’s Next Festival, Limerick 2018. It’s a great joy to be working with CoisCéim Dance Theatre again on this new creation.

Michael has been at the forefront of scoring  the film, TV, media and dance in Ireland for the last decade. Some of his more notable film and media projects include the award-winning films Broken Law, Katie, Mattress Men, BBC Sounds true-crime podcast series Where Is George Gibney and the BAFTA-nominated animation film, Here To Fall. His TV work also regularly features on RTE, BBC and other international broadcasters. Collaborations with CoisCéim include Body Language and the dance films How To Sink A Paper Boat and the multi-award winning Deep End Dance. Other dance projects include Ultima Thule and Woman Stood Regardless with choreographer, Catherine Young and the ‘lockdown’ Youth Dance film, Dancing By Distance.

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, combining dance theatre and contemporary circus. Recent work with CoisCéim includes: Invitation to a Journey, The Wolf and Peter, Body Language, How to Sink a Paper Boat and Francis Footwork.

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 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 most 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.

Headshot Portrait by Lorna Fitzsimons
Ste is a photographer and actor from Dublin. He primarily works with Theatre Companies and Architects; fellow makers – enjoying the challenges both of these areas have to offer. He tries to frame and capture the vision of these makers, while interpreting and (re)presenting the work himself. His main interests are the changing spatial qualities of the world around us as bodies in space, patterns & habits of societies, and the transience of time.

As an Actor, some of Ste’s previous work on stage includes Light A Penny Candle, one-man show Panned at Project Arts Centre, BlackCatfishMusketeer with Malaprop,  Sunder with Anu Productions, The 24 Hour Plays at The Abbey, Carmen Disruption, Angels in the Park, Cornerstones,  Fused , Tales from Briar Hall, and Fishamble’s Tiny Plays for Dundrum. More recently, he has been developing his interest in film and the moving image.