A group of dancers recently represented the Institute of Technology, Tralee at a special performance in Krakow, Poland. The performance was part of an innovative Grundtvig Learning Partnership project X-TREAT, which IT, Tralee shared with a number of European partners from Austria, Poland, Spain, Romania and Italy. The cast comprised of Sharon Costello (lead dancer), Mary Leonard, Laura Kelleher, Yvonne Reidy and Cristina Aguilera. The performance centred round the theme of womanhood – the stages and issues which women experience throughout their lifetimes and the dancers used Contemporary and Irish dance to convey their themes. In the lead up to the performance the cast had undergone a five-month dance programme, during which they practiced differing dance types and learned to choreograph their own unique material.
The project which was part of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Care was funded by the EU Commission and supervised by Léargas, the National Agency, focused on developing initiatives to encourage lifelong learning and on emergent teaching practises in adult education in third level. All students studying the Bachelor of Arts in Social Care at IT, Tralee study dance as part of the curriculum and experience its value in community-based contexts.
The project was led by Kristin Brogan, Lecturer at IT, Tralee with Artistic Director Dr. Sharon Phelan. The performance has been positively received by audiences to date and it is expected that the dancers will perform again in the autumn. It is also anticipated that this initiative will spur funding applications for similar projects among other community groups in Tralee and the county.