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an early-career training programme


We have had an amazing response to our call out for early-career mentees to join a dance training programme facilitated and mentored by Joan Davis.  This training is titled ESSENCE, which brings us into a deep awareness of ourselves and explores how to bring this awareness into performance. It offers a new and transformative relationship with our bodies and also with Dance in the natural environment.

  Meet our Mentees  


What is ESSENCE?

Over six modules, we will deep dive into the systems of the body, exploring muscle, bone, fluids, organs and nerve. Alongside an exploration of our inner landscapes, we will work outdoors and in direct relationship with all that is alive in nature, moment by moment. Amongst many experiential and embodied approaches, we will use the practices of guided somatizations. We will explore co-creating with the land, leading to the creation of an environment from which to offer interactive and immersive performances outdoors.

Joan Davis offers wisdom honed over fifty years for dancers, makers and artists who love to explore into the future. Mentees will work closely with mid-career artists who have already trained and performed with Joan over the last two years.  This intergenerational support, together with an environment of curiosity, safety and positive regard - will be conducive to us being at our most creative, supporting us to imagine new movement and performance ideas.


It is highly recommended to attend ‘Garden as Gallery’ (outdoor dance events with Joan Davis and mid-career artists) which take place in the gardens of Gorse Hill in July, August and September 2023.  


  Meet our Mentees  


Maia Nunes is an Irish-Trinidadian performance artist whose work weaves with voice, cloth, movement, sound and the land to create immersive and multi-textural performance worlds in the form of films, audio-sculptural installations and live performances.


Fay Burnett studied Fine Art at Falmouth, ESAD Valence and Kingston School of art where she received her BA in 2018. She is a Welsh multidisciplinary artist, currently based in Cardiff. Her practice is focused on performance, dance and sculpture within the natural landscape. She draws on themes of relationship, communication and folklore. She is currently producing work linked to Welsh traditional culture. She is interested in a relationship between Irish and Welsh heritages. She has performed, exhibited and undertaken residencies in Wales, Ireland, Europe and Internationally. Her work has been supported by Mayo County Council Arts Office.


Claire Keating (she/her) is an interdisciplinary dance artist. While rooted in dance, her work spans voice and sound art, eco-somatic practices and performance art. Her investigations spiral around the listening body and emergent energetic architectures, exploring how sound and bodies move space in porous reciprocity. She has presented solo and collaborative work both as a creator and performer nationally in Ireland and across the UK and Europe.


Jess Lockhart is a designer, dancer and musician with a deep interest in exploring the nature of reality through direct experience and creativity. Stemming from ballet and gymnastics as a child to yoga as a teen, Jess was led to dance meditation practices such as Embodiment and 5Rhythms in 2015. Finding that she could communicate and have curious, refreshing, emotional and amusing experiences with others that seemed to precede mental cognition, she fell in love and has been practicing routinely since.

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