A diverse range of dance programming for Autumn/Winter 2013 was unveiled last night as part of the launch of Dance Limerick, a new support and development organisation for professional dance artists in Limerick City.
Funded by the Arts Council and Limerick City Council, Dance Limerick has taken up residency in the dance space at the former St John's Church, which had previously been occupied by Daghdha Dance Company. Since the closure of the company, the Mid West Region has been without a large-scale professional dance resource.
The Dance Limerick programme includes classes for professional dancers, children and over 50s. Highlights in the performance programme are a triple bill that includes the Liz Roche Company and a performance of Missing by CoisCéim Dance Theatre.
In a clear move to entice dance artists back to Limerick City, Dance Limerick has also announced an open call for artists interested in residencies, which include funding and rehearsal space.
Encouraging dance artists to engage with Dance Limerick, Director Jenny Traynor said: “The Dance Limerick door is wide open. We invite dance artists to get in touch with proposals and ideas”.
Speaking at the launch, the Arts Council's Arts Director John O'Kane spoke of Limerick's legacy in dance and referred to “the special connection the Daghdha Space building has with dance audiences in Limerick”.
Performing at the launch were dancers Laura Murphy, Katherine O'Malley, Lisa McLoughlin, Nora Rodriguez and Dagmara Jerzak in a specially created commission by choreographer Mary Nunan.
With Limerick City of Culture 2014 rapidly approaching Dance Limerick is positioned as a key player in Limerick's arts and cultural scene.
PRESS RELEASE FOR DANCE LIMERICK – LIMERICK'S NEW CONTEMPORARY DANCE HUB
Dance Limerick, a new support and development organisation for professional dance artists launches in Limerick city. Funded by the Arts Council and Limerick City Council, Dance Limerick has taken up residency in the impressive dance space at the former St John's Church, which had previously been occupied by Daghdha Dance Company.
Dance Limerick's Director Jenny Traynor is leading the charge to reinvigorate dance in Limerick city. Jenny Traynor has a solid track history in contemporary dance having managed CoisCéim Dance Theatre, one of Ireland's leading dance companies, for over ten years. Ms Traynor has also previously worked at Project Arts Centre and the Arts Council. Commenting on the launch of Dance Limerick Ms Traynor says:
“The facilities at John's Square are absolutely phenomenal and I am delighted to have the opportunity to programme these world class facilities for dance artists and dance audiences in Limerick.”
Dance Limerick will officially launch at 7pm on Thursday 3rd October in the Church, now known as the Daghdha Space, John's Square. Choreographer Mary Nunan has been commissioned to create a performance especially for the event. An established and well regarded choreographer Mary Nunan is Course Director of the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick and was also the founding Artistic Director of Daghdha Dance Company.
“It is really fitting that Mary Nunan is creating a commissioned piece for the launch of Dance Limerick. Mary is responsible for so much of the excellence in dance that has happened in Limerick city in the last 25 years. In some way, Mary embodies dance in the Limerick region and I’m really excited to have her piece as part of our launch.” says Jenny Traynor.
Mary Nunan's commissioned performance will feature five female dancers, and is set to the 2nd movement of Schubert's String Quintet. A celebration of dance and of the beautiful space at Dance Limerick the performance resonates with the lyrical beauty of Schubert's composition. Commenting on her commission for Dance Limerick Mary says:
“In working on this piece I really wanted to celebrate the capacity that the dancers have and bring a layer of subtlety and detail to relatively simple movements. It takes a lot of skill and sensitivity to do this so I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work with what I consider to be some of the best dancers in Ireland in choreographing this work. I rarely work with music so taking Schubert's composition as my starting point was very unusual for me. What I've really tried to do here is to get inside the music with movement, in essence to get in under the music.”
Tickets for the launch of Dance Limerick are available via facebook www.facebook.com/dancelimerickhub
Following the launch in October, Dance Limerick will offer a programme of performances, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures. The programme to the end of 2013 includes performances by the Liz Roche Company, CoisCéim and the Donnellan Dance Company.
Established and renowned choreographer Mary Nunan has been commissioned to create a piece especially for the launch of Dance Limerick on the 3rd October at the Daghdha Space. An experienced and accomplished choreographer Mary Nunan is currently Course Director of the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick, and was the founding Artistic Director of Daghdha Dance Company.
Mary's commission (currently unnamed) has at its starting point the romantic and lyrical 2nd movement of Franz Schubert's String Quintet in C major. Fittingly Mary has created an ensemble piece with five female dancers. The choreography meets the otherworldly tranquility of the music with grounded, soft, earthy movements as the dancers trace patterns in the space. It also holds a steady intensity as it passes through the turbulent passages of the music with movement patterns that, rhythmically and spatially, fall together and apart: repeatedly.
A celebration of dance and also a celebration of the beauty and space of the church (Daghdha Space), the performance very much honours Schubert's composition while not slavishly following it. Commenting on her commission Mary says:
“In working on this piece I really wanted to celebrate the capacity that the dancers have and bring a layer of subtelty and detail to relatively simple movements. It takes a lot of skill and sensitivity to do this so I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work with what I consider to be some of the best dancers in Ireland in choreographing this work. I rarely work with music so taking Schubert's composition as my starting point was very unusual for me. What I've really tried to do here is to get inside the music with movement, in essence to get in under the music.”
Mary's commission is 15 minutes long and will be performed in front of approximately 100 guests at the launch of Dance Limerick on Thursday 3rd October. The five female dancers performing the piece are Katherine O'Malley, Lisa McLoughlin, Laura Murphy, Nora Rodriguez and Dagmara Jerzak.
For too long Limerick has been without regular weekly professional dance classes. It is one of Dance Limerick's priorities to provide access for dancers in the Limerick region to weekly professional classes. It is fair to say that life as a professional dancer places a lot of demands on your body and mind. It takes a lot to stay on top of your game and it’s to your best advantage to remain physically fit at all times. A weekly class is a place for a dancer to check in with his/her own body and to give space to really work on fitness as well as technique and creativity. Having regular contact with other dancers in the locality is also a great way of sharing ideas, gaining peer support and generating relationships for potential future collaborations.
The dance classes will be lead by local dance artists and occasionally by guest artists. The classes run every Thursday morning from 10am - 11am in the Dance Limerick Studio, John's Square starting on the 10th October. Classes operate on a drop in basis and the fee is E7 per class. The first five classes will be led by Isabella Oberlander. Living in Limerick Isabella has a wealth of experience in performing and teaching contemporary dance. Recent projects have included work with Legitimate Bodies Dance Company, a residency at Dance Ireland, and performances with Daghdha Dance Company.
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