Léim Live

Marcel Bassachs: Module B Placement in Dublin

Author: Marcel Bassachs

Dance House Dublin

My placement at Dance Ireland’s DanceHouse (Ireland) follows my first placement at Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona (Spain) and as a reference, is the second part of Module B for the Léim project. Research was directed and supervised by Paul Johnson, Chief Executive of DanceHouse.

I divided my research into 3 sections. The first focused on the dance house and its operation. The second focused on research work carried out together with the University of Girona following the research lines of interest of the Science Gallery, Dublin, on synergies between dance an science. The third line was field work on education and art/movement.

A general meeting was set on the first day of my placement with Paul Johnson, Chief Executive; Siân Cunningham, General Manager; Inga Byrne, Marketing and Membership Officer and Judith Cooper, Administrator and Bookkeeper. After expressing my needs, we set up some meetings with some artists, teachers and dancers in order to fully field my focus on the proposed research fields.

I also assisted in some meetings in DanceHouse, including one directed by Carla Fasio and Michelle Cahill, with a nice and interesting project about Dance education in Primary Schools. Together with Inga I attended an informal meeting of the Irish Arts Marketing Managers and Una Carmody, Director of Arts Audiences, taking place at Project Arts Centre in Dublin. During this meeting we received a presentation of the new Culturefox website (www.culturefox.ie), the Irish guide for cultural events which will go live on 26 June 2014.

During my placement, I enjoyed some very interesting performances in the DanceHouse, as part of Dance Ireland’s New Movements series. Dance Ireland understands the importance for dance artist to present their work to a live audience.

One of the performances was performed by eight dancers, students of the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick: Sibéal Davitt (Ireland), Jumana Dabis (Palestine), Thalita de Cassia Reis Teodoro (Brazil), Kristyn Fontanella (US), Mohd Nur Faillul Adam (Malaysia), Jessie Keenan (Ireland), Murni Binti Omar (Malaysia) and Nina Pongratz (US). The students performed a program which comprised three ensemble choreographies: Group Solo directed by Mary Nunan, Shore Limerick by Emily Johnson and Octet of Bodies by John Scott (Irish modern dance theatre).

The second performance was by Ballet Ireland as part of the Dance Ireland Residency Program. The company has commissioned a new work from Royal Ballet choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela and the full program will be presented in spring 2015.

Two more dance performances caught my attention and I must say that they were a very nice experience. Swimming with my mother & Deep End Dance by CoisCéim Dance Theatre Company. Swimming with my Mother is a duet performed by David Bolger (choreographer) and his mother Madge Bolger. The “strange” duet talks about the relationship between a mother and son and their mutual love for swimming and dancing. Deep End Dance is a short film nominated for an Irish Film & Television Award 2011 and won the Best Short Film at the Boston Irish Film Festival. Again mother and son dance playfully above and under the water.

During a visit to Wexford, in the south of Ireland, I went to meet with Sheila Creevey, Léim participant, where she gave me a tour of the Wexford Opera House and Wexford Arts Centre. We discussed her approach to the educational program that she has been developing in situ.

While in the south of Ireland I had the pleasure of discovering The Falling Song in Garter Lane Arts Centre (Waterford). Under artistic direction of Megan and Jessica Kennedy, Junk Ensemble created a dance work which sparks the imagination. Performed by an international all-male cast, a live children’s choir and featuring a set of towering ladders, ropes and hundreds of apples this critically acclaimed production looks at the nature of flying and falling and the dangerous relationship between the two. I must say that it was an amazing experience.


Back to Dublin, after a short visit to the Cliff of the Moher, I got dug in to the work in the Science Gallery with Joseph Roche, Astrophysicist and Research Projects Coordinator at the Science Gallery.  I availed of the Dance Ireland DVD collection with highlights including Jess Curtis work Asymmetrical Tendencies and  Hit and Run from CoisCéim Dance Theatre Company

During this time I had the opportunity to meet with Philippa Donnellan, teacher, dancer and dance pedagog. Her community projects run within the umbrella of the educational/residential projects in the CoisCéim Broadreach program. As an example of her community projects I could mention the master class (love song & dance) a dance class and performance project for people aged 50+.

During my stay I also worked with Giulia Galvan, Léim Participant from Italy, on her project Mind Your Step in Bassano del Grappa for the Module C coming in August 2014.

Finally, I had the last meeting with Ellie Creigthon, Léim Participant from Dublin, before heading back to Spain.

During Module B in Dublin, in summary, I paid attention to both: the synergies of dance and other disciplines as well as a random point of views of contemporary dance in Ireland.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!