Step Up Dance project allows dancers chance to ‘re-connect’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Stepping up to the plate: The culmination of the Step Up Dance programme takes place in Dance Limerick on August 6 at 6pm. Pictured during rehearsals for Hopscotch are (l-r): Hayley Cunningham, Amy Robyn Lyster, Jessie Keenan, Olwyn Lyons, Marion Cronin. Picture: Maurice Gunning
DANCE Limerick will next week play host to a performance of a new, engaging contemporary dance piece, choreographed by internationally renowned dance artist Hélène Cathala.

DANCE Limerick will next week play host to a performance of a new, engaging contemporary dance piece, choreographed by internationally renowned dance artist Hélène Cathala.

The Step Up Dance Project 2015 culminates in the performance of Hopscotch, the fruits of five weeks of intensive training and rehearsals for young contemporary dancers Amy Robyn Lyster, Hayley Cunningham, Jessie Keenan, Marion Cronin and Olwyn Lyons.

The piece will be performed in Dance Limerick on Thursday, August 6 at 6pm, followed by shows in Firkin Crane in Cork and DanceHouse in Dublin.

This is the fourth year of Step Up, which is a partnership between Dance Limerick, Dance Ireland and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

Aiming to “bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Ireland”, it is open to dancers who have completed their professional training within the last three years and see them exposed to an intensive programme of classes, development, rehearsals and performance, directed by a guest choreographer.

Ms Cathala, a renowned French contemporary dance artist who recently featured in Liz Roche Company’s world premiere of Bastard Amber at the Abbey Theatre, has been working with the dancers on Hopscotch, which “explores the predicament of five individuals caught in a game where the rules are constantly changing”, with a nod to the playground, which can “become a battlefield, but with the start of each new game, joy and energy re-appear”.

Jenny Traynor, director of Dance Limerick, explains: “Many young dancers from Ireland train abroad. The Step Up programme is a wonderful opportunity for them to return and re-connect with the professional dance community here.

“Those selected to participate work with a renowned choreographer, they participate in professional classes with some of Ireland’s leading contemporary dancers and they perform in front of an audience largely comprised of invited guests from the dance sector in Ireland.

“This is a great opportunity for any young dancer who has the drive, energy and initiative to succeed, and for the audience to witness some of our emerging talent. All are welcome and the admission is free, so come and see what some of our best young dancers are up to,” she added.

See www.dancelimerick.ie for more details on the upcoming show.