Dance Research Forum Ireland's 2nd International Conference
The Dance Research Forum Irelandâ¿¿s 2nd International Conference, hosted by IT Tralee, was a resounding success. The opening reception took place at the IT last Thursday and the opening addresses were provided by Patrick Mc Garty, Head of Department, IT Tralee, Dr. Catherine Foley, Chair Dance Research Forum Ireland, and Sharon Phelan, Dance Lecturer at IT Tralee and local organiser, and Dr. Andree Grau, from the University of Roehampton in London.
The delegatesâ¿¿ contributions were diverse and interesting. They varied from practical workshops to academic papers. There were Contemporary, Ballet and Folk Dance Workshops. Darragh Carr, Professor of Dance at Hofsta University, presented a lecture-demonstration focusing on Percussive Dance, whereas Myriam Trembley, Professor of Dance in Montreal delivered a lecture demonstration focusing on Laban Contemporary Dance. Our local dance master, Jimmy Smith, demonstrated the Molyneaux style of dance of North Kerry, whereas Dorothea Hast, (Professor in Eastern Connecticut), had delegates dancing the New England Contra Dance. On Friday, the day ended with a Salsa workshop delivered by Oscar Masceranas, (University of Limerick).
The academic papers were equally diverse and the discussions surrounding them vibrant. They centred on themes such as
Dance Methodologies & Media
Irish Dance Perspectives
The schedule, outside conference hours, was very well received. On Friday night the delegates travelled to St. Johnâ¿¿s Art Centre in Listowel. There, they experienced a Mamuska night, organised by Catherine Young, local Dancer-in-Residence. Between acts the delegates mingled with the locals, had a glass of wine and discussed previous dances. On Saturday night, they observed the rich North Kerry step dancing tradition at Siamsa tire.
Kathrina Farrugia, from the Royal Academy of Dance, London commented â¿¿it was truly wonderful conference, the warm welcome, engaging conversations, and sheer good fun.â¿¿
Speaking on behalf of the Institute of Technology Tralee, Sharon Phelan, and local organiser of the conference commented that â¿¿The conference was a step forward for dance in Ireland and it is appropriate that it took place at IT Tralee, as dance has been a significant component in the development of the humanities for over a decade.â¿¿