Prize for Ballet 2018


01 / 06

Katie's Dream - Titanic

Ballet Ireland

Katies Dream - Titanic


A tale of the Titanic told in dance, music, set and design from the perspective of Katherine Gilnagh, who survived the sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic. She was also choreographer Marguerite Donlon’s great aunt. Young Kate boarded the Titanic in Cobh in 1912, holding a ticket to a new life paid for by her sister Margaret who had emigrated to the US two years earlier. Within the family, this brush with history was legendary and resonated throughout decades of family folklore. Now internationally recognized choreographer Marguerite Donlon, in her first major Irish commission, tells her great aunt’s story; the unbearable news of the sinking, the agony of waiting for news of the living and the dead, Young Kate’s survival and getting into the last lifeboat by way of a white lie. The work will ask universal questions about human needs: the desire to survive, and the desire to want a better life. This Titanic tale will triangulate between three Kates, combining audio and physical presences. The first is the teenage Kate, who boarded the Titanic: a timid dreamer with notions, utterly ill-suited to paternalistic, pre-independence Ireland. The second is the ideal: the spirited, cheeky and ambitious woman the real Kate hopes America will allow her to become. The third is the voice of the 60 year-old Katherine, reflecting on how and why she survived: watching, commenting and challenging her younger self, reliving her outer joy and inner conflict over how the great drama of her life unfurled, allowing rather than curtailing a new life. The score, underpinned by traditional music will be combined and supported by an experiment sound score that merges ship and environmental sounds with recorded and live dialogue to provide an audio mood board. This major new commission by Ballet Ireland is an opportunity for organisational transformation and creative growth for a medium sized company.

Artistic Team

Maggie Donlon

Marguerite Donlon


Conor Murphy

Conor Murphy

Set Designer

Paul Keogan

Paul Keogan

Lighting designer

Donnacha Dennehy

Donnacha Dennehy


Dirk Haubrich

Dirk Haubrich



Meritxell Aumedes Molinero

Video artist

Co-producing Partners

Apollo Theater Siegen Logo

Apollo Theatre


Dublin Theatre Festival Logo

Dublin Theatre Festival


Belfast International Arts Festival Logo

Belfast International Festival

United Kingdom


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