[READ ALL ABOUT IT]
Thought provoking, unsettling and original, combining into a powerful theatrical evening that lingers in the mind afterwards. Shocking and unflinching, it is honest theatre that never pulls punches, nor overdoes it in anyway, letting it speak for itself and to us. Together, they make an evening of original, satisfying, intelligent contemporary dance theatre, or any theatre for that matter. It is great to see such creative staging, lighting and storytelling, coupled with a skilled dancer and choreographer whose not afraid to make bold choices.
Alan Foran, theredcurtainreview.com, July 2014 (on With Raised Arms & Hear me sing your song double bill)
A beguiling duet full of flowing sequences and stillness. ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮
Michael Seaver, Irish Times, February 2014 (on TEN)
Liv O’Donoghue’s dance reinforced the sure-footedness and sharp attention to detail that give her work a satisfying sense of completeness. The choreography always operates to it’s own inner logic so that no movement feels out of place, and her concept and its realisation are in constant harmony.
Michael Seaver, Irish Times, February 2013 (On Hear me sing your song)
Ireland's independent dance scene has rarely been healthier, with lots of exciting choreographers around (and almost all female). Pick of the bunch right now is probably Liv O'Donoghue, who has two new works - Hear me sing your song and TEN - as part of Dance Ireland's 2013 anniversary programme.
Michael Seaver, Irish Times, December 2012
Liv O'Donoghue proved herself worthy of being Ireland's dancer of the year in a standout performance.
Sunday Times, David Dougall and Eithne Shortall, December 2011 (On Fast Portraits by Liz Roche Company)
With long slender limbs and a rough edge to her elegant moves, she is a joy to watch... She's a captivating presence.
Sunday Times Feature, Eithne Shorthall, May 2012.
We have featured Dancer and choreographer Liv O’Donoghue’s intriguing work on VULGO before, and she is doubtlessly one to watch...
You’ll have a chance to see what we are talking about at the Dublin Dance Festival from tomorrow in her own new choreography Prompted Breathless in collaboration with composer Benedict Schlepper-Connolly. One of only three Irish works to be selected to be part of the main festival programme, Prompted Breathless will give you an idea of what is new and exciting Irish choreography.
VULGO Magazine, Deirdre Mulrooney, May 2012
Prompted Breathless moves mutedly through a series of understated phrases to a backdrop of minimal lighting, lo-fi music, and monochrome costumes. Addressing the perennial themes of human interaction and identity, dancers alternate between standing claustrophobically close together, which prompts small gestures of irritation, and disconsolately apart. This is not a work of expansive movements. O’Donoghue’s choreography is markedly introspective; the performers engage in finely-nuanced and confined actions that give the sense of having been leashed. One striking scene sees the performers crushed together, vibrating in unison with expressions of distaste, boredom or irritation. A male dancer holds both hands aloft in front of him, clasped. A female dancer appears to fall asleep against his back, whilst he simultaneously supports her and pushes her away. To me, it recalled a tedious tube journey. Speaking to O’Donoghue herself after the show, she explained that the jerking, vibrating movements were inspired by television footage of an ecstatic crowd in South Sudan following the secession of that part of the country; a movement prompted by the ecstasy of a third-world crowd during a key political moment is transformed into first-world, work-a-day doldrums by the filter of spectator perception. The close of the performance sees two of the dancers standing close together, one in front of the other. The man behind cradles the right elbow and left hip of the woman in front as the lights fade to black, a poignant image that is a fitting coda to this interplay of dependence, boredom, irritation and tenderness.
Rachel Donnelly, Dance in Dublin, October 2011
There is supremely quiet confidence seeping through choreographer and performer Liv O’Donoghue’s Ten: white/grey studies in movement. She assuredly inhabits her territory, using swathes of gentle, reflective and accessible movement as she embraces the space, sometimes pushing against the ground as if to test its robustness. The soundscape is again provided by Tom Lane: a continuous, almost inaudible whispering, with hints of birdsong or distant waves as if the sound is intermittently running up and down the bodies of the dancers. Watching her duet with Maria Nilsson Waller gave a sense of being washed with movement, shadow and light, where even the sand being scattered or heaped in a small pile is both controlled and seductive. Final circular moves from the two dancers low to the ground seemed like stones softly skimming a pool of water.
Irish Theatre Magazine, Seona Mac Reamoinn, May 2011
Ten is pure and simply stunning. The two dancers enter the stage together although Liv breaks away almost immediately to deliver a superbly executed solo. Her movement is delicate, and her steps ever so light, yet quietly confident... All in all, this work boasts sophisticated technique and intricate dance vocabulary where the connection between the two dancers is sometimes lost, but then found again.
I would recommend this piece anytime, as exemplary for the richness of Ireland’s contemporary modern dance talent.
Jasbelly Online, May 2011
Genuinely spellbinding. Liv O’Donoghue’s This woman I met was an eerie, captivating play on the valium-fueled, masochistic housewife. A simple table, chair and lightbulb sufficed to create an atmosphere suggesting potential violence, both from within and without. A soundtrack combining a drawn out, repetitive dial tone and lines from a misogynist male comic contrasted poignantly against O’Donoghue’s erotic languor and treacle-like stretch and control. It was Simone de Beauvoir’s Woman Destroyed.
Belly Flop Magazine, Ray Filar,March 2011
Irish one man band, Liv O’Donoghue produced a pleasant performance of perfect poses in her solo This Woman I Met, a soft and tender reflection on what it is to be woman, ending on an eerie note.
Jent, The Londonist, March 2011
Finally, we have Liv O’Donoghue’s This Woman I Met which impressed greatly. With just a chair, a pair of gold shoes, a score consisting largely of Steven Wright’s deadpan delivery of surreal one-liners and choreography as adroit as it was fluid and intelligent, O’Donoghue leveraged my attention, sympathy and self-consciousness in an understated yet genuinely touching manner.
Dublin Dance Festival, Duncan Keegan, May 2010
Finally, a new solo excerpt that promises to take off in several interesting directions. This Woman I Met is by Irish dance artist, Liv O’Donoghue, who opened the first of the 'Mixed Bills', and who was also seen in Rex Levitates’ festival show. Her starting point was her soundscape, a stand-up comic routine brimming with cheap laughs and a sneering undertone regaling the shortcomings of an unconventional woman. Her authoritative presence and proportionate movement were well suited to paralleling and exploring the vulnerability of the imagined stereotypical character. There was originality of conceit and a sense of how to articulate through a personal dance vocabulary that left us wanting more.
Irish Theatre Magazine, Seona Mac Reamoinn, May 2010
Liv O’Donoghue gave us 'This woman I met’, a moment through which we fell into the ambience of the dance and spoken word, both relaxed and elegant.
Sebastian Johans, UNT, Sweden, September 2009
Beautifully elongated… heaven to watch.
Eileen Strong, Resolution! review, January 2009
Liv O’Donoghue impresses....
Dancing Times, June 2008