Step Up Dance Project 2020 continues to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice. Step Up is curated by Irish born, Marguerite Donlon, International choreographer. She is the Artistic Ballet director and resident choreographer of Ballet Hagen at Theater Hagen. She is also the founder and director of Donlon Dance Collective, A project company based in Berlin. More on Marguerite here.
Step Up aims to enhance young dancers’ professional networks, by connecting them to the Irish and international contemporary dance community, thereby improving professional opportunities for young dancers in Ireland and abroad. The eight-week programme is open to dancers who have completed their professional training within the last three years and participants will be selected via audition on 10 April.
This year’s eight-week programme combines:
- Creation of new works with leading choreographers
- Working on specific technical skills from a renowned improvisation teacher
- Learning repertoire from a former dancer with renowned international companies
- Personal and professional coaching
- Performances in Limerick, Galway, Cork and Longford
Creation and Performance of New Choreographies
Oonagh Doherty, Choreographer (Ireland). Oonagh is based in Belfast and since 2010, has created and toured internationally dance and theatre works with companies such as TRASH (NL), Abbattoir Ferme ( BE), Veronika Riz (IT) and Emma Martin/United Fall (IRE). Since being selected as an Aerowaves artist, Oonagh’s choreographies have been seen through Europe and at many high profile festivals including Dance Umbrella in London. More on Oonagh here.
Lucyna Zwolinska, Choreographer (Poland, Germany). Lucyna has performed with many internationally acclaimed companies including The Forsythe Company, Ballet des Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken and Company Susanne Linke. Her own choreographies have been presented by Stuttgarter Ballett, TANZtheatre INTERNATIONAL and Tanzcompagnie Gieβen among others. More on Lucyna here.
Ursula Robb, Rosas Repertoire and Methodologies (Australia, Ireland). Ursula Robb has had an extensive dance career spanning over twenty years, working with internationally acclaimed companies such as ROSAS, Brussels (A.T De Keersmaeker), ULTIMA VEZ, Brussels (Wim Vandekeybus), cie.ZOO, Brussels (Thomas Hauert), among others. Ursula has taught at dance schools and institutions worldwide including P.A.R.T.S (Brussels), The New Zealand School of Dance (Wellington, NZ) and at the Danish National School of Performing Arts (Copenhagen).
Prof Dieter Heitkamp, Improvisation teacher (Germany). Dieter is a professor of contemporary dance at the HfMDK Frankfurt am Main and director of the education department at the ZuKT (Zeitgenössischer und Klassischer Tanz). He is a founder and former collective member of Tanzfabrik Berlin, and was one of their artistic directors until 1995. For the last 40 years he has been working intensively on the study, teaching, documentation and performance of contact improvisation. More on Dieter here.
Eoin Mac Donncha, Ballet master and Rehearsal Director (Ireland). Eoin trained at The Rambert School of Ballet in London before working at various state theatres in Germany including Stadtheater Giessen and Staatstheter Saarbrucken. He has worked with the Cathy Sharp Dance Company, Switzerland, the Expressions Dance Company, Australia, and has danced for Ballet Hagen under the direction of renown choreographers including Wayne McGreggor. Currently, he works as a soloist in Budapest with choreographer Pál Frenák. Eoin has taught at the Hong Kong academy of performing arts in Hong Kong, and has set a piece for the students of the graduating year there.
Eoin will teach morning class and will assist the choreographers and rehearse the new works. He will be in the studio at all times, to assist with artistic matters.
Guest teachers working in Ireland will provide opportunity for participants to connect with Irish-based working choreographers and performers. The teachers in 2020 include Lucia Kickham, Maria O’Malley & Laura Mackin. See www.stepupdanceproject.ie for further information.
Independent dance artists are required to initiate their own opportunities, to manage their career paths and often their own projects. The Personal Development aspect of the Step Up dance project aims to give participants a broad toolkit or road map for taking the next steps in their career path. Activities will include:
Coaching with Rivca Rubin, Personal Coach (England). Rivca encourages artists to ascertain their vision, locate the essence and refine their practice, grow purpose, align practice to values, and create working cultures people engage with, flourish and enjoy working in. More on Rivca here.
Meeting key personnel within the dance field in Ireland
Meeting Step Up Alumni to hear their experiences since participating in Step Up
Workshop facilitated by Jenny Traynor of Dance Limerick emphasising self-empowerment, tips and guidance on presenting yourself professionally, online and in approaches to dance companies, programmers and funders.
Timeframe / Key Dates
The full training / rehearsal / performance period runs from Monday 6 July – Saturday 29 August, using state of the art studios and facilities at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University of Limerick initially, and then at Dance Limerick, before performing in Limerick, Galway, Longford, Cork and Dublin.
Terms & Conditions
Rehearsals will take place 10.00 – 6.00 pm Monday to Saturday for the duration of the rehearsal period. Some additional hours in the evening or on Sunday will be required, at the discretion of the choreographers.
A full scholarship on the programme includes:
- Accommodation on campus at UL, and subsequently in artist-friendly houses in the city for the second period of rehearsals.
- Tour accommodation and tour travel as required, will be arranged and paid for by Step Up.
- A weekly stipend will be paid toward day to day living costs
Participants must be available on an exclusive basis for the full programme
What’s Not Covered
- Travel Expenses to and from Ireland / Limerick
- Health Insurance
- Visa Costs (if applicable)
How to Apply
We are seeking applications from exceptional young dancers who will graduate prior to Summer 2020 or who have graduated from professional level dance training within the past three years.
Please send your CV and a personal statement describing why you would like to be involved in Step Up and confirming your availability for the full programme which runs Monday 6 July to Saturday 29 August 2020.
Applicants should send web links of recent live dance footage, on stage or in studio to include:
- An excerpt of a dance solo
- An excerpt of improv
Applications should be submitted via email by 5pm Friday 20 March to firstname.lastname@example.org with Step Up Application in the subject line.
A shortlist of applicants will be invited to an audition on Friday 10 April. Up to eight dancers will be selected from audition to take part in the Step Up 2020 programme and letters of offer will be sent in the week immediately following the audition.
Queries on the application / process can be addressed to Jenny Traynor, Programme Director at email@example.com.
Step Up Dance Programme is a partnership between Dance Limerick, Dance Ireland, the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and the Arts Council.
A weekend workshop with Guy Dartnell, an award-winning artist from the UK, who specialises in voice and movement.
Date: 28th - 29th March 2020
Time: 10am to 5pm
Venue: The Blue Box, LEDP, Roxboro Rd, Limerick
Working with emotional qualities can be fun as well as challenging and moving. This is a chance to experience the power of your own and other people’s emotional voice-body in an exciting way, while developing the sense of presence, play and spontaneity. We will explore how our emotions are shaped through our sounds, motions and facial gesturing and how in turn emotions shape our physicality and voice.
Alongside this we will see how awareness of the quality, speed and rhythm of our expression can enable us to connect with inner emergences, or block them off. We will look at the creative force of active witnessing and how we can find new sounds in ourselves through blending with those of others. We will touch on the need for silence and stillness in framing our expression and how awareness of this can help us avoid becoming slaves to the active element of our creativity, developing our ability to direct, control and make choices around our expression, while paradoxically experiencing ourselves in the joy of self-abandonment.
This taster workshop is available to performers and non-performers alike.
Cost: €100 if a non-refundable deposit received before 1st March, €120 after that.
Info and Bookings: contact Kate Hilder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 085 131 5848.
About Guy Dartnell
Guy Dartnell is an international award winning solo and collaborative artist, teacher and mentor. His work spans the realms of theatre, music, dance, circus and film. As a specialist in voice-movement expression he has worked with the likes of Meredith Monk and run Voicemotion workshops and projects extensively around the world both in creative, developmental, social inclusion, academic and corporate contexts. Guy co-runs the Peripheral Spaces project and Earl Street Creative Space in Hastings, UK and is also a Humanistic Integrative counsellor. http://www.variousguyses.org
Image: Flora Wellesley Wesley by David Ball
Catch our free, pop up performances for all ages on Saturday 8 February.
In Ormston House, Patrick Street from 1-2pm:
IN/OUT by Emily Mickus
This solo piece explores how music can evoke not only movement, but a range of emotions. Using a traditional dance vocabulary, Mickus allows the music to influence her rhythmic choices, disposition, and sense of control.
MAD SESH COMMA CMOUT by Limerick Youth Dance Company & 2nd Hand Drills
Limerick Youth Dance Company, led by Rachel Sheil, and musicians 2nd Hand Drills present a live musicand dance piece full of wild energy, intrigue and playful mischief. 2nd Hand Drillsand dancers swap their regular spaces to showcase their talents, from performing onthe stage to busking on the streets.
In Arthur's Quay Shopping Centre, from 2-3pm:
STREET DANCE FOR EVERYONE by Tobi Omoteso
Have you ever wondered how to do the cabbage patch or the one-two step like you see in music videos? Well wonder no more, Tobi Omoteso and the LimerockerCru will be teaching you some moves from the “Baby Freeze” to “Back Spins” and“six steps” that will be sure to blow your friends away.
What Next dance festival 2020 brings you a programme of fresh and captivating performances and interactions from a bold new generation of dance artists.
Featuring exciting performances, off-site dance, a climate action dance manifesto and the inclusive Ceíli Afro Dabke, What Next has something to offer everyone. Local artists based in Limerick, Cork and Dublin join artists from Madrid, Columbia and France to perform in the city over the festival weekend.
Dive In, Discover Dance at the What Next dance festival, 6-8 February at Dance Limerick.
Download our festival brochure HERE or scroll down to view the calendar of events day by day.
Offsite Pop Up Performances at various locations across Limerick city
Thursday 6 February
Dance & Climate Action - Talk / Workshop at Ormston House
Festival Opening Reception (featuring Pop Up Performances) at Ormston House
Festival Club at Mother Macs
Friday 7 February
Professional Workshop with Jesús Rubio Gamo at Dance Limerick
Friday Performance Triple Bill at Dance Limerick
Festival Club at Mother Macs
Saturday 8 February
Individual Tickets can be booked through the events pages above. Tickets cost €14 full price or €12 concession. Get 10% off by booking your ticket online today, why pay more on the door!
Be a Dance Hero!
Make someone's day by becoming a Dance Hero. From January 2020, when you buy an online performance ticket at Dance Limerick you can choose the option of a second ‘Hero Ticket’ which will be gifted to an individual who is not able to buy their own ticket for financial or other reasons. Hero Tickets available for all What Next performances. Click here for more info.
17 - 28 February
Rachel Sheil and Matt Szczerek will be exploring the generation of movement material from comic books, anime, cartoons & fantasy. Rachel has been interested in this kind of work since her MA in 2016 and is excited to move from solo-making to duets and making work on another body. She hopes to deepen her choreographic practice by finding her unique voice, culminating in a sharing of the duet's work-in-progress.
Fantasy, fiction and animation have different rules. It's a different reality. In this new reality, Rachel wants to explore what's possible; how humans can push past, push through to new depths of magic.
Dance artist Catherine Young returns to Dance Limerick for a 2 week residency to research a new project I am not political. During this time she will host morning classes for professional artists, more info on the classes here.
Catherine also joins us in February as co-curator of the What Next dance festival.
Make someone's day by becoming a Dance Hero. From January 2020, when you buy an online performance ticket at Dance Limerick you can choose the option of a second ‘Hero Ticket’ which will be gifted to an individual who is not able to buy their own for financial or other reasons.
The Dance Hero ticket will be available for all performances at Dance Limerick including shows during the What Next dance festival happening 6-8 February.
Giving the Gift of Dance this holiday season means sharing creativity, movement, fitness and fun! With such a wide range of events, classes and performances at Dance Limerick, a gift voucher is the perfect present. Vouchers are available for €90, €50, €12.60 for a Performance Ticket.
Get Your Gift Voucher HERE
How to use your voucher:
You can use the gift voucher for any of the events listed below. Simply choose the class, performance or event you would like to attend and email email@example.com / call 061 400 994 with your Ticket Number to reserve your place.
Gift vouchers can be redeemed against the following:
- Adults Dance Classes
- Dance Clubs for Young People
- Evening Performances
- What Next dance festival programme of events
- Gift vouchers are valid for 1 year (expiry 31st December 2020)
- Adult classes vouchers can be redeemed against are: Contemporary Dance, Ballet and our Over 50s Dance Project
- Vouchers not redeemable against Limerick Youth Dance Company
- Pre-booking essential for all events, classes and performances due to limited numbers
Studio Friends Scheme | €70 per year | Open Call for Local Artists | Closing 17 Janurary
In 2020, The Studio Friends Scheme is open for a small number of professional artists interested to develop their work or their practice. The scheme offers 40 hours of studio space which can be used by the hour, day or week and subject to availability. In addition, the subscription will entitle artists to free professional level classes which will run at least once monthly and to concession rate tickets (€12) to Dance Limerick’s performance programmes. Available dates and times are subject to Dance Limerick's evening class schedule and Saturday Dance Clubs.
Performance tickets will be available online and will include all booking fees. The total value of the package is approximately €1,000.
Applications are welcome from dance and performance artists living locally. Interested artists should send a CV and a short statement about how they may wish to use the studio space in 2020.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with applications and for more details.
Learn to dance, have fun and meet people from around the world at our Céilí Afro Dabke Performance Project.
Céilí Afro Dabke is a world music céilí featuring African dance, traditional dabke dance from Palestine/Syria and the old style Irish céilí dances.
There are 2 parts to the project:
- A series of 8 free workshops in African dance and dabke in January and February 2020 (workshops suitable for 18yrs+).
- A performance during the public Céili Afro Dabke on Saturday 8 February during the What Next dance festival (céilí suitable for all ages).
Open to everyone to come dance and meet folks from all over the world that live in your neighbourhood. No previous dance experience required.
If you'd like to get involved or would like more info on the project email email@example.com or call us on 061 400 994.
Tuesdays and Thursdays | 7-9pm
January 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th & February 4th & 6th
Performance: Saturday 8th February, 8pm
Dance Theatre of Ireland are currently recruiting for an immediate opening for the full-time position of Marketing & Finance Executive, closing date 12 December.
Dance Theatre of Ireland is a professional dance Company based in a beautiful, purpose-built Centre for Dance studio and office in Dún Laoghaire, with Award-winning Dance & Health and Educational Outreach programs working locally, nationally and internationally. Winners of a 2019 National Lottery Good Causes Award, over 2,500 people are engaged in a variety dance programs throughout the year at the Centre and in the Community. In very welcoming atmosphere we bring joy to children, teens, Adults and Seniors and introduce them to their creative selves, offering innovative opportunities for all ages to Learn, Create and Perform.
Marketing & Administration Executive
This is a very dynamic position in a busy arts organisation, reporting to the Artistic Directors. A full-time multi-faceted role which includes marketing, social media, accounts management, development and public contact.
To apply please send a cover letter of application and your CV to
The Artistic Directors
All applications will be held in strict confidence.
Collaborative Solo - Fn - Fibonacci Sequence
Follow a number of years of developing duets and large ensemble works, Kristyn Fontanella is focusing on a solo. In this residency Kristyn will study the beginning order of the Fibonacci sequence to create rhythms through traditional Irish dance methods.
The Fibonacci Sequence was made known by Leonardo of Pisa, but was actually discovered by Hemachandra, an Indian poet and polymath who discovered the sequence 50 years before Fibonacci. Indian scholars who had long been interested in rhythmic patterns that are formed from one-beat and two-beat notes studied these numbers.
Kristyn would like to take these patterns and rhythms and interpret them through Irish dance. After finding a basic understanding of the sequence and what possible rhythms, she will invite a musician, mover and poet into the studio to collaborate with their interpretations.
As a dance artist and choreographer, Kristyn Fontanella holds a BFA with high honours in Theatre and Dance from CCSU and an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from the University of Limerick. Kristyn has toured the world with many prestigious dance shows including: Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and performed lead female role in Gaelforce Dance.
Her current choreographic works focus on her past knowledge of Irish step dancing and presents it in a contemporary context and has been presented at multiple platforms: Tanzmesse, Düsseldorf Germany; Dublin Dance Festival; Echo Echo Dance Festival, Derry; and KLAP Marseille, France. Kristyn’s latest ensemble work, IN LiMBO has been supported by the Irish Arts Council and will tour Ireland in February 2020. Her current mission is to show another side of the complex world of Irish Step dancing to future generations of dancers.
Through a combination of performance platforms, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures, Dance Limerick will advocate for artistic dialogue and exchange. In collaboration with dance artists across a range of practices, Dance Limerick will promote the creation of new and innovative work and will devise programmes of access, engagement and participation for the wider public.
Based at the premises of the former Daghdha Dance Company, Dance Limerick houses offices and a fully equipped studio space along with a separate performance venue known as the Daghda Space
Further information about facilities and opportunities for professional dance artists available from Jenny Traynor at