Jean Butler

Dancer, choreographer, and Our Steps Artistic Director, Jean Butler, is a leading figure in the world of contemporary Irish dance performance.

Her most recent production, a site -specific promenade piece entitled ‘What We Hold’ premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October to critical acclaim. Past works has been supported and presented by The Arts Council (Ireland), Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Baryshnikov Arts Center (N.Y.), Danspace Project (N.Y.), Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Irish Arts Center (N.Y.), Jacobs Pillow (MA), The Joyce (N.Y.), Kennedy Center (D.C.), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), and Seamus Heaney Homeplace (Northern Ireland).

In 2018 Butler founded Our Steps, a not- for-profit organization committed to expanding the way we think about history, practice and performance of Irish dance. Partnering with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library, Our Steps initiated the first living Irish dance archive, entitled Our Steps, Our Story: An Irish Dance Legacy Archive. To date, this ever -expanding archive has created over 100 hours of video and audio resource materials never previously documented.

Butler has taught at Princeton University, University College Dublin, University of Notre Dame Global Center, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University. She choreographed and starred in the original Irish dance productions, Riverdance and Dancing on Dangerous Ground and is the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors.

Image by Ste Murray