Maiden Voyage has established GRAD LAB for dancers from Northern Ireland who had left to train in dance to reconnect them to the dance community at home and to encourage these early career artists to build professional networks here.
Following an open call in August 2021, four recent graduates were selected to take part in this initiative. The four selected participants for 2021 are:
- Patrick Connolly University of Roehampton
- Gerard Headley Northern School of Contemporary Dance
- Conor O’Kane University of East London
- Rebecca Runchman Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Participants will take part in an intensive week of technique classes and learning repertoire from Maiden Voyage’s three commissioning strands. This will give them a wider experience of the technical and expressive versatility required across different types of contemporary dance work and for different audiences.
Alongside this, participants will engage with specialist workshops with a range of established NI based dance artists including Ryan O’Neill (Technique & Repertoire), Gareth Kelly (Injury Prevention), Suzannah McCreight (Choreography), Oona Doherty (Chaos Workshop), Sandy Cuthbert (Technique), Neil Hainsworth (Screen Dance), Jennifer Rooney (Movement Direction) and Nicola Curry (Somatics). These workshops will expand the participants creative skills and create direct contact with professionals based in NI who work in dance and the wider creative sector.
GRAD LAB has been curated and led by Artistic Director Nicola Curry, Lead Artist Ryan O’Neill, and Company Manager Nuala McGreevy. This core team will provide bespoke 1-2-1 mentoring, along with sessions in contracts, self-producing, funding, and follow up support to the participants.
GRAD LAB is funded by Idlewild Trust who support programmes that address the lack of opportunities for professional musicians, dancers, actors, writers, artists and those involved creatively in the arts at an early stage in their career. GRAD LAB participants receive a fee for taking part and assistance with travel/accommodation costs