Since I've been alive, I have always had a calling to dance, & I have always been drawn to the mysterious beauty of Western Ireland.
In 2009, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland for a week & audition for a spot in University of Limerick's (UL) 1-year Masters in Contemporary Dance program. The audition was amazing, I adored them, & I was accepted on the spot!
Here's the challenge:
UL offers no financial assistance for non-Irish, non-EU students, North American students, & the United States offers little grant money for full-time graduate study abroad in the performing arts. (Trust me, I've looked - & looked & looked!) In the past 3 years, I've raised $10 thousand, but I still have $10 thousand more to raise for the program.
One way or another, I'm going - classes start in September & I need your support to make it there!
Here's how you can get involved:
- Make a contribution - small or large, any amount will help*
- Connect me with someone who might be able to contribute (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Attend the benefit performance!
*Donors will receive a special gift once the UL program has commenced
What is your email?
What is the importance of dance & installation art when the world is falling apart?
Movement & art are shared languages that stretch across cultural boundaries & cultural experiences.
Learning more about movement & art is, to a large degree, learning how to become a better translator. It is learning more about.. contributing to the continuation of oral history; helping to re-empower those who have been un-empowered for such a long time; & revealing & addressing under-represented narratives, while helping to give a voice to people, places, & situations that often go unheard (or are completely written out of history) due to our imbalanced world structure & global systems of oppression.
At UL, I'll have the unique opportunity to take the experience I have already in Gender & Women's Studies, History, Politics/political action, environmentalism, & embodiment theory, & learn more in these fields, while I learn more about weaving them into my practice as a dancer/creator.
I'm also excited to continue my process of inquiry into the way we (as Westernized humans) have come to move through the world, & then re-envisioning - through movement - a different way we could live; an embodied looking-ahead to a completely different future that’s possible.
I have always been drawn to a life of service & to use my experience to bring about an empowerment of myself & of the communities of which I'm a part. This program at UL will help me realize this goal.
What's so great about this program?
The professor who directs the program is amazing; from our first meeting, when we made an instantly-strong connection, I knew I must study with her.
The whole University of Limerick Contemporary Dance (performance) department is constructed around the practiced understanding that bodywork, kinesiology, & studies of embodiment are crucial to the process of becoming a better performer (&, in many ways, a better person!). Through my research of internationally-available programs, I've found there are very few institutions in this country (& in all of North America) that focus on dance through this lens - & hardly any that integrate a holistic body approach with the performance aspect of dance at such a high level as does UL.
Indeed, while studying dance performance in this rigorous program, it will be a joy to be around other students who are interested in approaching dance the way I always have - as an integrated study of mind & body - & many of whom will be focusing on Ethnochoreology (the study of dance within its cultural contexts) as their major. (I've done study in this field before & loved it, & I'll be able to take an elective classes in the major if I choose.)
"Dance for Camera" is another elective option that I'm very excited about! The study of dance on film in general is much more progressed in Europe, & UL is on the cutting edge in this field (particularly in relation to performers learning how to take the production of dance film into their own hands).
The MA in Contemporary Dance program is an intensive, 1-year-long / 3-semester program, as opposed to a longer (& far more expensive) option.
Universitas Indonesia (UI) just released its GreenMetric results, ranking UL as Ireland's 2nd "greenest" university, based on UL's strong continuing initiatives to reduce waste (specifically paper & plastic usage reduction), increase reuse of resources, cut their carbon footprint, maintain green spaces on-campus, & create a smoke-free campus. I can't wait to see it for myself!
What do you plan for after the MA program?
I will to continue with the site-specific, performative, movement-based healing work I've been creating - but with a greater understanding of myself as a performer, storyteller, & overall embodied being.
I'm also very interested in starting my own company / collective whose members would do the same, as an inquiry into themselves as artists, & into their role in the world as challengers of the status quo.
"Mindful Movement Walking Tours" (in NYC/Brooklyn) is also an option :)