In this talk, performer Lisa Dwan (CBA ’17) explored the relationship between body and identity in the works of Samuel Beckett. Drawing on her extensive experience with performing Beckett’s works, Dwan highlighted the role ballet played in developing her unique way of unlocking Beckett to a modern audience and how it was her experience as a dancer that helped her first and foremost to explore and give expression to the expansive metaphysical world where identities exist.
Lisa Dwan(CBA ’17) is an Irish performer and director. Having originally trained in the UK as a ballet dancer, including dancing with Rudolf Nureyev in Coppelia in Dublin, she began acting professionally in her teens. She has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television, both internationally and in her native Ireland. She starred as Anna in a new version of Leo Tolstoys Anna Karenina by Marina Carr at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Most recently Lisa completed a critically acclaimed world premiere of her one woman show of her selection of Becketts prose called No’s Knife at London’s Old Vic Theatre. Earlier this year she performed opposite Matthew Broderick in Conor McPhersons Shining City in New York and a workshop performance of Samuel Beckett’s Text for Nothing at the Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. She has also toured all over the world to great audience and critical acclaim in her “Beckett Trilogy” of Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby. She was coached by Billie Whitelaw and has collaborated with Walter Asmus since 2012. Originating at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and immediately transferring to the West End the Beckett Trilogy’s sold out a worldwide tour including the Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYU Skirball Center, Perth Festival, Paris, Belfast, Hong Kong, Boston, Galway, Belfast, Los Angeles,Toronto. In addition to her film and theatre credits, Dwan writes, presents, lectures and teaches regularly on theatre, culture, and Beckett. She recently completed a documentary for the BBC on Beckett and Dante and has been commissioned to write a book on Beckett for Virago.