United Fall

On Tour: Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival 27-28 Aug Info


Pride in the squeal, the spit and the fight.  Rising slowly into a glaring circle of light.

The flick of a wrist, clench of a fist, crack of the neck, the cosmos will shift.

Co-production : Dublin Theatre Festival, Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival (Groningen).
Project co-produced by NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.
Produced with commission support from Irish Arts Center, New York City.
Supported by Dance Ireland.
Funded through an Arts Council Dance Project Award.

Touring supported by Culture Ireland

Girl Song Girl Song Girl Song Girl Song

Created by:  Emma Martin

Performed by and created in collaboration with: Joanna Banks, Grace Cahill, Justine Cooper, Stephanie Dufresne, Ruby Rose O'Hara and Fiona Quilligan

Sound design and composition: Tom Lane

Costume: Catherine Fay

Light: Stephen Dodd

Video Design: José Miguel Jiminez

Set Design: Emma Martin

Voiceover: Regan O'Brien, Ruth McGill, Dylan Tighe

Producer: Jen Coppinger

Photography & video: Luca Truffarelli

Production Manager: Peter Jordan

Stage Manager: Mags Mulvey

Props construction: Aine Lawless

Scenery construction: Gavin Morgan

Scenic Artist: Orla Clogher

Sound Engineer: Alexis Nealon


"A slow burn that’s more than the sum of its parts. Emma Martin’s new show seeps into the consciousness long after leaving the theatre. Attention is often given to unpicking experiences suppressed in the mind, rather than experiences archived within the body. In Girl Song, choreographer Emma Martin has exposed the raw nerve-map of the unconscious in a cogent meditation on femininity. Her physical metaphor is a large bleak room with just one small door inhabited from time to time by four dancers"

Irish Times

"While unquestionably a multi-disciplinary production, Girl Song’s strength lies in its dance. Exquisitely and superbly choreographed, Girl Song’s potent movement sequences overflow with soft-spoken poignancy and heartfelt tenderness. Always, at the heart of Girl Song, is the child within. A young girl with large, daring, and sometimes fragile dreams pressing against the world that presses against her resilient smallness. A young girl, both within and outside of themselves, these performers seek to honour, celebrate, protect, and nurture. A celebration of girls constantly interrupted, and who constantly interrupt, Girl Song is an unequivocal gift of love for young girls of all ages. Heartfelt and stunningly beautiful, with dance sequences you could watch for days, Girl Song weaves an irresistible magic making it essential viewing. It has one of the biggest hearts, and certainly some of the best choreography to be found anywhere."

The Arts Review


Girl Song began with an image of a large empty and cold space, with a young girl sitting in the corner. The sweeping chaos of the world and all it’s noise is pressing against the walls, shouting to get in. This space is the girl’s inner life. The walls are the fine membrane between the inside and the outside, between the inner-life and the outward persona. It’s a space full of potential and creation, and one where everyday banalities smash up against the absurdity of what it is to be human. In here, how she sees herself is malleable like plasticine; she’s open the many versions of herself.

I wanted to explore this idea of plasticity, to draw out a representation of ideas around femininity and masculinity, that co-exist in the human psyche to varying degrees, each informing and deforming the other. It’s about human beings alone enduring themselves, alone with others watching. It’s about the body; an attempt to do a kind of deconstructive open-heart surgery on what life feels like.

This piece invites you into a space that becomes a sensorium of movement, imagery and sound, embracing the collaged, hallucinogenic scenes that play out in the unconscious and we miss out on if we don’t tune in now and again. Working on it with four women at distinctly different stages of their lives felt like a good way to think about life and how it shapes the plastic nature of our essential selves.


Emma Martin, September 2017