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MEET
THE

TEAM

Joan Davis
Artistic Director 

Joan Davis has been exploring the nature of creativity, particularly from a body based perspective, for over 40 years.  She pioneered contemporary dance in Ireland in the 70s & 80s and has experimented with collaborative art as a professional artist and therapist.

Joan has three children and four grandsons and is committed to the spiritual approach of Advaita Vedanta. 

From 1996, when she moved to Wicklow, she developed the arts practice and performance offerings of Maya Lila.

Joan is a Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner, has studied Authentic Movement with Janet Adler, and Voice Work with Chloe Goodchild and Rajeswar Bhattacharya.

She continues to study developmental processes as well as embryology and early infant trauma. She has extensively studied Process Oriented Psychology (Mindell) and is a Hakomi Sensorimotor Trauma Psychotherapist. 

Deirdre Cotter
Dancer

Deirdre Cotter is an independent dance and performance artist for over 30 years, holds a Diploma in Dance and a 1st class honour post grad Dip in Dance from University Limerick.

 

Her early career saw choreographic collaborations in physical theatre and intercultural performative practice. Through dance studies in Turkey and later India she developed an ensemble performative style at the intersection of Contemporary Theatre Dance, Classical Indian Dance and Middle Eastern women’s dance traditions, leading to an Inter -European dance community exchange and Dance as Lived Practice networking.

 

In the last decade she has specialised in somatic embodiment teaching and practice and is registered as a Somatic Movement Educator, Therapist and Dancer with the international association ISMETA

 

Her artistic enquiry has led her through community arts provision and collaborations with visual artists, photographers, filmmakers and deeper into a personal and performative practice in the natural environment and embodied dialogue with elemental forces.  She continues to build an intimate relationship with revisited wild sites and places in nature near her home in West Cork and particularly over a decade of embodied interpersonal enquiry and Witness Practice on the lands and garden at Gorse Hill, Co Wicklow.

Laura Murphy
Dancer 

Laura Murphy is an award winning choreographer, a performer and a teacher based in Dublin, Ireland. Taking an expansive approach to dance, her work includes staged work, dance film, video installations, site-specific performances, solo and ensemble pieces and large scale, socially engaged dance projects. 

 

Laura Murphy Dance has been presented at galleries and festivals to include Reykjavik Dance Festival (IS), Irish Arts Centre LA (US), Judson Church (US), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (RO), NN Contemporary Northampton (UK), Dublin Dance Festival and Cork Midsummer Festival (IRL). Her work 'Abacus' was recently selected to present at FiraTarrega, Spain (2021) and Tanzmesse (2022). 

 

Laura has been a recipient of numerous National Arts Council awards, as well as several prestigious national and international residency opportunities. Notable awards include Dance Ireland's HATCH Award 2019 and Best Movement Director, The Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017. 

 

Laura's teaching is rooted in her choreographic and her personal dance practices, along with her specialisation in Choreological Studies, the contemporary practices of Rudolf Laban. She teaches professional and community classes, and at third level institutes. She currently teaches on the BA Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College, Dublin.

 

http://www.lauramurphy.ie 

Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín
Dancer

Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín is a dance artist from Cork, Ireland. The primary focus of her work is on place-based and site-specific dance film and live performance. Siobhán enjoys a multidisciplinary and collaborative process and has created work with sean-nós singers, poets, geologists and visual artists. She often works bi-lingually in Irish and English and was Dance Artist in Residence, Gaeltacht Mhúscraí 2018-2020 funded by Arts Council. Siobhán’s work has been shown nationally and internationally including at Tipperary Dance Platform, Echo Echo Festival of Movement and Dance, Cork Midsummer Festival, Dance Limerick, Folkestone Fringe (UK) and Kaunas Biennial (LT). Siobhán is an Arts Council Next Generation Award recipient. She was Associate Artist at Dance Limerick and the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick (2021-2022)  

 

Siobhán trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) and subsequently completed a Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance graduating in 2012. She has performed with Joan Davis, Jessie Keenan, Junk Ensemble, Laura Murphy, Mary Nunan and Mary Wycherley. Siobhán was also a member of Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company performing works by Fearghus Ó Conchúir and David Bolger.

 

http://www.siobhannidhuinnin.com

Ailish Claffey
Dancer

Ailish Claffey is a freelance collaborative dance artist based in Kildare. Specialising in choreological studies, Ailish is concerned with dance, health and well-being. Over the last two decades, Ailish has worked with diverse groups within the community developing her co-creative and Dance for Health practice. Heavily informed by landscape, Ailish’s work explores the complexity of human relationship and examines the lived experience of those she works with. 

 

As Dance Artist in Residence at The National Centre for Arts and Health (2015 – 2019) Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), Ailish’s dance film documentary The Dance Back Home received a Certificate of Excellence from the HSE Excellence Awards (2018). 2022 Kildare Platform 32 recipient, Ailish has designed and delivered many large-scale projects nationally. Her work is kindly supported by Dance Ireland, The Arts Council, Ireland, Culture Ireland, Kildare Co. Council, South Dublin Co. Council, The Meath Foundation, Creative Ireland, artsandhealth.ie, The National Centre for Arts and Health among others. Ailish is the recipient of the inaugural Artist in Residence programme at The ACRE Project, Celbridge, a partnership with Kildare County Council Arts Service (2022-2023).

Kristyn Fontanella
Producer

Kristyn Fontanella (Producer) finds producing, rehearsal direction, and performing other artists’ work to be a benefit to her own creative practice.  Some artists that she has worked & assisted with productions are Jean Butler and her non-profit organization Our Steps Foundation, and Rob Heaslip’s creation & tour of ‘Strawboys’.

 

Kristyn has also co-produced and managed choreographer Laura Murphy’s dance piece ‘ABACUS’ at the 2017 Dublin Fringe, 2018 What’s Next Dance Festival, 2021 FiraTàrrega Festival in Tàrrega, Spain and Tanzmesse 2022 in Düsseldorf. Kristyn also performed and line-produced in Murphy’s new work ‘The Shake’ at the 2021 Cork Midsummer Festival and 2022 Dublin Dance Festival.

 

Most recently she produced for Catherine Young Dance; ‘Floating on a Dead Sea’ in 2021 and ‘A Call to You’ in 2022 as part of Dublin Dance Festival. Kristyn is currently producing the 2023 eight venue tour of ‘A Call to You’, supported by the Arts Council.

 

Kristyn resides in Co. Galway where she is the Executive Director of Galway Dance and continues her own creative process exploring the two worlds of Traditional and Contemporary dance. She creates, directs and produces her own work which has successfully toured 7 venues across Ireland in February of 2020. She is currently funded by the Arts Council, GIAF and THT for research into her current solo work.

 

www.kristynfontanella.com

Rosemary St. Leger
Arts Administrator

Rosemary St. Leger has a degree in English from University College Dublin and worked in publishing in the US and Dublin for many years. She was Assistant Editor for IT Magazine in Dublin. She discovered a love of Yoga and Dance while living in Boston and when she returned to Ireland she studied Authentic Movement with Joan Davis and trained in Somatic Therapy. She also worked as an Administrator with John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre. She will qualify as a Cranio Sacral Therapist in June and has a great appreciation and curiosity for the human body and the stories that lie within its layers. Rosemary worked on Garden as Gallery in 2021 and is delighted to be back supporting the artists in these exciting and vibrant outdoor creations. She lives in Dublin with her family.

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