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Valentina Nicoli: Module B Connecting Dance in Ireland

Author: Valentina Nicoli
Photo / Credit: Dublin Youth Dance Company

While in Dublin I had the opportunity to join a Dance Sector Meeting hosted by Dance Ireland, where artists and professionals in contemporary dance came together, shared their experiences and talked about solutions and opportunities to develop the dance sector in terms of ways of communicating dance, the need to develop an educational dance programme in Ireland, improving networking and protecting the rights of those who work in the field of dance. Dance Sector Meetings to date have taken place twice a year and all those working in dance are welcome to attend.

I would like to share something about the area of dance education in Ireland: in Ireland there is not a professional dance education programme yet; dance is not integrated within the primary and secondary level of school studies. With third level education young dancers can continue their educational journey within some dance companies in Ireland including Dublin Youth Dance Company, Irish National Youth Ballet and the College of Dance. These realities are very important for young Irish dance artists because it allows them to have performance dance experience, work with national and international choreographers, improve their dance skills as individual artists, take part in artistic residencies and perform during festivals.

During my staying in Dublin I attended the Irish Youth Dance Festival in the Pavillion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire. Each year dance schools, young dance non-professional companies and dance groups from varying counties of Ireland come together for a weekend dedicate to youth contemporary dance. It is a sort of showcase of the new Irish dance talent. It isn’t just the performances that these young dancers are taking part in, there is also a dance residency supported by Dance Ireland with  special guest choreographers (this year was Toni Bravo from U.S.), and working sessions where the young dancers have the opportunity to work in a performance with the guest choreographer. The atmosphere during the festival is full of input, exchange and energy! For more information visit www.dublinyouthdance.com10382079_10152502956884817_6549856632390328676_o

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