Launch Of Dance International Glasgow At Tramway

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Launch Of Dance International Glasgow At Tramway

The biennial international festival, Dance International Glasgow, opens at Tramway on Friday 4 October with a powerful warning about the threat to Gaelic culture. The World Premiere of Rob Heaslip: Endling, staged on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October, is a collision of contemporary and folk culture combining dance and movement with musical arrangements composed by Michael John MacCarthy and sung by Gillebrìde MacIllemhaoil (Gillebride MacMillan), famed for his portrayal of Gwyllyn the Bard in Outlander; as well as featuring contemporary singers Michelle O'Rourke and Robbie Blake.

The production will touch on traditional mourning rituals, exploring the juxtaposition of merriment and macabre that accompanies Irish wakes; and is a meditation on the perilous future of Gaelic culture. The "Endling" of the title (Crìocharan in Gaelic) - refers to the name for a creature that is the last of a species; once it dies, the species is extinct.

The performance opens in Glasgow a week before the city plays host to the Royal National Mod. Returning to Glasgow for the first time in 29 years, Scotland's premier festival of Gaelic music, arts and sport's return to the city comes at a time when the language is flourishing and growing in Glasgow.

Endling, however, explores Rob Heaslip's passion and concern for Gaelic culture's wider status. Although not raised in a Gaelic-speaking household, the Irish-born dancer and choreographer is fixated on the role of the Gaelic languages within culture today. He always loved the Irish language, and its sister in Scotland (Scots Gaelic) where he now lives. He 'loves how it sees the universe differently, moves at a different pace to English, and has a wonderful poetic way to describe the actions and beliefs that help us meander through life.'

It was through his time with The National Folk Theatre of Ireland that he discovered this passion. Having missed it since his move to Scotland, he realised he wanted to incorporate it into his own work, making his own contribution to preserving Gael-dom.

Endling draws inspiration from accounts, documents, Gaelic songs, imagery of the landscape and from studies of funerary and mourning rituals that are traditional to Gaelic-speaking areas of both Scotland and Ireland.


Rob Heaslip's Endling kicks off kicks off Dance International Glasgow: a festival of contemporary dance based at Glasgow's Tramway, with events and performances across the city.

Tramway's Senior Performance Curator, LJ Findlay-Walsh, said:

"Tramway is thrilled to be bringing the third edition of DIG to the city. Dance International Glasgow will be a month-long journey through a spectrum of performance from 5 continents, alongside our most vibrant Scottish artists: Spirited works across text, film and installation, all with movement at the core. Tramway is our hub but we find ourselves across the city with large scale, era-defining works on main stages and gallery spaces, to outdoor work that animates the urban canvas of Glasgow. We see DIG as a meeting point that allows us to embrace everything from reckless abandon to our immersion in the quiet and considered, and through the body we embark on a celebration and exploration of global viewpoints and lived experience, unpicking the complexities of the 21st century."

Dance International Glasgow 2019 will run from 4 - 26 October
Tickets are on sale now at

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