Shapeshifting: Ovid’s Poetry in Motion

Event Type

Dance Film


November 14, 2020 4:15 PM



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Shapeshifting: Ovid’s Poetry in Motion

About the event

The Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses has influenced painters and sculptors for centuries. Junk Ensemble dance company have turned to this epic poem, written in Latin in hexameters, and chosen one of its mythological tales for their latest work, The Misunderstanding of Myrrha.

In a film made for ClassicsNow these distinguished Irish artists talk about the process of creating choreography drawn from Ovid’s poetic text, and how dance, music and arresting imagery bring to life the experience of Myrrha, who wrestles with her fate.

The solo dance work explores the story of Myrrha, who was cursed by the goddess Aphrodite, then pitied and transformed by other gods. Choreographers Jessica and Megan Kennedy developed this piece with acclaimed visual artist Alice Maher, who created the stage design with them, and composer Denis Clohessy.

Filming and editing: Luca Truffarelli
Performer (pictured): Julie Koenig

The Misunderstanding of Myrrha was commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and will be staged in the near future.

Supported by Poetry Ireland.

This event will be available to view here from Saturday November 14th, 4.15 p.m.


Junk Ensemble - Photo by Ted Jones

Junk Ensemble was founded in Dublin in 2004 by twin sisters Megan and Jessica Kennedy. The company is committed to engaging diverse audiences through the creation and presentation of brave, imaginative and accessible work that sheds light on important human issues relevant to society today. Current Project Arts Centre Associate Artists and Dance Artists-in-Residence at Firkin Crane, and previous Artists-in-Residence at The Tate, Junk Ensemble is a multi-award winning company that has built a reputation as one of Ireland’s leading voices in dance.

Junk Ensemble frequently collaborates with artists from other disciplines to produce a rich mix of visual and performance styles that challenge the traditional audience/performer relationship. This approach has led to productions being created in non-traditional or found spaces as well as more conventional theatre spaces. The company often work. Their work has toured to New York, Europe, and throughout the U.K. and Ireland.

Previous works include A Different Wolf (Cork Opera House/Cork Midsummer Festival 2019), The Bystander (Dublin Theatre Festival 2018), Dolores (Dublin Dance Festival 2018), Man at the Door (Number 54) / Cork Midsummer Festival 2018), Soldier Still (National Tour 2018/Belfast Festival/Dublin Fringe 2017), Walking Pale (GPO Witness History Commission/Dublin Dance Festival 2016), It Folds a joint production with Brokentalkers (Edinburgh Festival 2016/Mayfest Bristol 2016/Dublin Fringe, Abbey Theatre 2015), Dusk Ahead (NYC La MaMa Moves Festival 2015/National Tour 2015/Dublin Theatre Festival 2013/Kilkenny Arts Festival 2013), The Falling Song (8-venue UK & National Tour 2014/Belfast Festival 2012/Dublin Dance Festival 2012), Bird with Boy (UK Tour 2016/Dublin Theatre Festival 2012/Dublin Fringe Festival 2011), Sometimes We Break (Tate Commission 2012)

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandInstituto Italiano di Cultura DublinoThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College DublinInstituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino

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