'Hysteria — as a disease, and later, a set of symptoms — was characterised by unusual physical behaviours believed to be brought on by trauma or a disorder of the nervous system.
Psychoanalysis had its origins in the study of hysteria: Freud was able to explain that the physical manifestations of hysteria were not a result of nerves or disorders in the physical body. Instead, symptoms were brought on by mental trauma. Freud was among the first to assert that hysteria happens in the mind.' — From the Wellcome Collection



Hysteria is a dance/performance video work which responds to ideas around the invisibility of mental pain and the visible manifestations of trauma.

Created by Maurice Kelliher and performed by dancer Daniel Whiley (Punchdrunk, Sweetshop Revolution)—Hysteria integrates archive footage of patients from Netley Hospital (1917) who present with symptoms of "combat hysteria" or "war neurosis"—or more commonly, "Shell shock".

Hysteria was originally commissioned by Science Gallery Dublin for their TRAUMA exhibition (Nov. 2015 - Feb. 2016), where it was installed for three months, specially screened from inside the gallery —but positioned to be viewable from the street—on a loop all night and every night for three months. The viewer on the street was invited to stream the audio directly to their mobile device, for a public/private experience of the installation.

In August 2016 Hysteria was part of the Official Selection for São Carlos Videodance Festival; and in September 2016 it was programmed by invitation for the PROBE festival (Trinity College Dublin)—where it was specially screened outdoors; projected onto the stunning 1935 Reading Room.

From August-October 2017 Hysteria will be installed at Centro Universitário Maria Antonia—a multidisciplinary contemporary arts space in central São Paulo, housed in historic buildings at USP, Brazil.


"A multidimensional masterpiece. This work gives physicality to the lamentations of trauma."
—Andrea Bandelli | CEO Science Gallery International

"Visually impactful...The rawness of traumatic stress is rendered as choreography—intimate and hypnotizing"
—Science (magazine)

"A work which many of our visitors reported as being the most compelling experience of the TRAUMA exhibition"
—Lynn Scarff | Director | Science Gallery Dublin


  • Maurice Kelliher
    See: https://mauricekelliher.com/
  • Daniel Whiley
    Dancer / performer
    Punchdrunk; Rambert: Sweetshop Revolution
  • Tadhg Conway
    Camera operator
    See: https://vimeo.com/yellowfurze
  • Maurice Kelliher
  • Maurice Kelliher
    Sound design
  • Film Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    3,800 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 'Trauma' exhibition at Science Gallery Dublin
    November 20, 2015
    European premiere
    Commissioned work
  • São Carlos Videodance Festival
    São Carlos
    August 18, 2016
    South American premiere
    Official Selection
    September 30, 2016
    Programmed by invitation
  • Centro Universitário Maria Antonia
    São Paulo
    August 16, 2017
    Programmed by invitation, from August-October 2017
Director Biography

London born artist Maurice Kelliher is a performance maker with a background in theatre/acting/performance and contemporary dance. He trained as a dancer and choreographer —having also previously worked/trained as an actor/performer. Since 2010 he has focussed solely on making work—working across dance theatre, audio, and video.

He holds a BA (Hons) Dance from Trinity Laban, London (2007). In 2012, As a part of an international mentorship programme, Maurice was mentored for six-months of by Kirsten Dehlholm - the award-winning artistic director of international performance laboratory Hotel Pro Forma (Denmark).

Maurice’s practice has been supported by: The Arts Council (IE); Dublin City Council/The LAB; Galway City Arts Office; Dublin Fringe Festival; Dance Ireland; Science Gallery, and Dance on the Radio/Arts Council England.

His work has been described critically as "provocative", "moving", "compelling", and "stunning" - and it has been programmed and commissioned for exhibitions, festivals, and venues including: Laban theatre (London); Dublin Fringe Festival (2010, 2011, 2014); Project Brand New; Science Gallery Dublin; Official selection São Carlos Videodance Festival; Festival of Curiosity; Live Collision International Festival; and Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, São Paulo. In 2011 his work was nominated for the Spirit of the (Dublin) Fringe Commissioning Award.

In 2015 Maurice was commissioned by Science Gallery Dublin to create a video work for their 2015/2016 exhibition TRAUMA.

In March 2017, after responding to a call for proposals that answer the question—'what can dance on the radio be?—Maurice's response, 'Lost Broadcasts', won a Dance on the Radio funding award; curated by Claire Hicks and Laura Sweeney—and supported by the Arts Council England.

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