Michael Keegan-Dolan founded Teac Damsa in 2016 as a means to forge a deeper connection with his cultural roots, native traditions, language and the rich musical heritage of Ireland. Teac Damsa,‘House of the Dance’ in Classical Irish, reflects Michael’s ongoing creative journey, further fusing his work to the place from which it originates. This is exemplified in its first production, Swan Lake | Loch na hEala.
Swan Lake | Loch na hEalare - imagines Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece as a unique fusion of dance, traditional storytelling, folk music and theatre. It premiered at the 2016 Dublin theatre festival to universal acclaim—the Irish Times called it ‘a stunning piece of theatre, simultaneously compelling, disturbing and breathtakingly beautiful.’ It won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best production in 2017 and Best Modern Choreography at the UK National Dance Awards.
Swan Lake | Loch na hEala toured in 2017 to, among others, Sydney Opera House, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and to Theatre of Nations, Moscow. In 2018 it has toured extensively, including to New Zealand Festival, LGArts Center Seoul, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, and the Irish National Theatre, and continues the tradition of ground-breaking productions for which Michael is reputed.
Michael rose to acclaim as the artistic director of Fabulous Beast Dance theatre (1997-2015), creating three Olivier Award-nominated productions: Giselle (2003), The Bull (2005), and The Rite of Spring (2009). In 2004, Giselle won an Irish Times Theatre Award and The Bull received a Critic’s Circle Dance UK Award in 2008. Rian, created in 2011, won a Bessie Award (a New York Dance and Performance Award) in 2013 for ‘Best Production,’ and toured internationally for 3 years. Fabulous Beast presented a Stravinsky Double Bill in 2013, a reinvention of their 2009 production of The Rite of Spring with a new production of Petrushka. It premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London before touring to the Movimentos Festival, Germany, the Galway Arts Festival, the Brisbane Festival and the Melbourne Festival.
Michael has collaborated with some of the world’s most foremost companies. In 2012 he directed and choreographed a new production of Handel’s Julius Caesar at the London Coliseum, for English National Opera. In 2015 he created an original piece, The Big Noise, for the GoteborgOperans DansKompani working closely with celebrated Nordic Folk Musician, Ale Moller. As Guest Artistic Director of the National Youth Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells London for the 2015 - 2016 season, Michael was involved in the creation of In-Nocentes. In March 2017, he set a new work to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony for the Dance Company at the Gärtnerplatztheater, Munich. Michael has extensive experience teaching and has led workshops for different companies around the world including the Hofesh Schechter Company, Cedar Lake Ballet and the Ballet Junior de Geneva.
Michael was an associate artist at the Barbican Centre, London and is now an associate at Sadler’s Wells London.