CONTEMPORARY dance artist and filmmaker Mary Wycherley has been named as Limerick’s new dance artist-in-residence.
Ms Wycherley, who will be based at Dance Limerick as part of the scheme - funded by the council’s arts office and the arts council - takes over the position from Megan Kennedy, who had a successful stint in the role.
Dance Limerick director Jenny Traynor explained that the dance artist in residence scheme was intended to provide a link with the Limerick community through collaborative opportunities, mentorships and curatorial activities, as well as supporting her creative practice.
As an artist, director, curator and educator, Ms Wycherley has long been an advocate for innovative modes of presentation for dance and movement. Her work embraces live performance, choreography and film and has been presented at festivals and galleries throughout the world.
Her screendance film In the Bell’s Shadow premiered this year and is being shown internationally including the Galway Film Fleadh, The Lighthouse Cinema and the American Dance Festival.
She is a director and curator of Light Moves, Ireland’s first festival of screendance, and a guest lecturer at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL.
“We’re really pleased that Mary Wycherley will be our new dance artist-in-residence,” said Ms Traynor.
“Mary has extensive experience in dance and screendance/film and we’re very excited that she can bring this expertise and vision to the project. Mary takes over the mantle from Megan Kennedy, who led a number of exciting initiatives over the past year, including the dance theatre production Marble and Bread at The Sailor’s Home and the setting up of the Limerick Dance Collective.
“We’re really lucky i to have another artist of such high calibre taking over the role and we’re really looking forward to working with Mary over the next 12 months,” she added.
The new dance artist in residence said she was “delighted to have this time to engage with ideas, people and the city and county of Limerick.
“Focusing on cultural and political questions within the creative process, I am looking forward to exploring new approaches, developing new materials and forging new collaborations,” said Ms Wycherley.
The residency scheme is supported by the arts office of Limerick City and County Council and assistant arts officer Dr Pippa Little said the partnership would “bring new dance work to audiences in Limerick and nationally”.
“This residency makes an essential contribution to the cultural ecology of dance in Limerick,” she explained.
“It offers new opportunities to dance practitioners, through Mary’s strong mentoring role, presents newly commissioned work and, with Light Moves, Ireland’s festival of screendance, which Mary directs and curates, creates a space for innovative work in screendance. “These types of partnerships are a rewarding and valuable way of developing strategies for audiences and form a vital approach to Limerick 2020, the bid for European Capital of Culture.”
For more, see Dance Limerick.