The dance landscape in Ireland has changed significantly over the past decade. It is individualised, fluid, characterised by informal and short-term artistic alliances and collaborations. Practices have diversified to include socially engaged forms, and collaborations across artistic and non-artistic disciplines. Independent dance artists are at the centre of this shifting landscape.
The independent dance artist is choreographer, performer, teacher, facilitator, producer, promoter, technician, art-form developer, advocate. The career of the independent dance artist has many possibilities - for innovation, artist-led initiatives, self-determination, and forging an individual and unique aesthetic. The diversification it demands can lead to new connections, new forms of dance expression and new applications of dance knowledge.
It is also a challenging path - personally and professionally. It demands a wide range of skills, many of which are not included in professional training contexts, it demands motivation and drive, and also the ability to be flexible and adaptable. The recession and massive cut-backs have led to a decrease in supports, performance opportunities with proper remuneration have diminished, and the art-form’s absence from primary & secondary education settings continues to stunt its profile. Financial hardship is a real problem.
In these quick-change times, how do you nurture and develop your creative practice? How do you evaluate and reflect on it? How do you keep abreast of new forms of knowledge? How do you plan for uncertainty? How can you stay inspired? How can you take care of yourself?
Dance Artist Survival Toolkit @ Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days Festival is a unique opportunity for you to focus on your personal and professional development. We will facilitate you to understand the skills needed to support the planning of your creative work, to reflect on where you are creatively at present, and support you to think about the development of your practice and artistic/creative work.
We will guide you to ask the best questions to help you to find the best answers.
Convened by Ríonach Ní Néill and Finola Cronin, and facilitated by psychotherapist/musician Eoin Nash, this ‘hands-on’ weekend will involve practical sessions, led by expert practitioners, to help you focus on developing your practice and your career.
What are you doing now - what do you want to do - and what do you need to do it?
Inspiration for career pathways, models of practice, and self and communal organisation, will come from international guest speakers, who will share their experiences of forging inventive artistic careers. These include Charlotte Vincent, choreographer and artistic director of Vincent Dance Theatre, and provocateur and catalyst for critical debate and social change.
This is a weekend of hard work. You will be working individually and in groups, and you will get assignments and recommended readings to support you to prepare for the weekend.
We will endeavour that, at the close of Dance Artist Survival Toolkit, you will have access to a set of skills to support your independent thinking on how to develop and sustain your career into the future, how to think about preparing for practical challenges and how to reflect on and evaluate your creative practice. You will be encouraged to network and research, to capitalise on existing opportunities and to create new ones.
Dance Artist Survival Toolkit takes place as part of Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days and participants will have the opportunity to be inspired by performances taking place throughout the city.
Compagnie Nacera Belaza returns to the Black Box on Saturday 9th April with an evening of duet and ensemble works. Awarded the Chevalier des Ordres et des Lettres in 2015, Nacera’s 20 year career is testament to an unwavering choreographic vision.
On Friday 9th April, sites in the city will play host to new and adapted works by Breandán de Gallaí/Ériú, Oona Doherty and Ella Clarke.
Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days ends with a rare opportunity to participate in a workshop/audition led by Nacera Belaza for three days from 10-12 April, towards the creation of a new Algerian/Irish work for international touring.
Attendance at the Dance Artist Survival Toolkit involves commitment, and you will need to agree to complete the preparatory work. In order to plan the weekend optimally, advance booking is essential, and places are limited.
We have reserved bunk accommodation at very cheap prices (€18/n). If there is demand, we will organise a child-minding service.
Dance Artist Survival Toolkit is part of Ríonach Ní Néill’s Galway Dance Artist in Residence (2010-16) programme, supported by The Arts Council, Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Town Hall Theatre, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Galway Arts Centre, Gallery 126 & National University of Ireland Galway, affiliated with the Ómós Áite: Space/Place Research Network, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway