No standing still for Firkin Crane's dancer in residence Laura Murphy

Choreographer Laura Murphy aims to build on her success at Firkin Crane

Supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council, and the Firkin Crane, Laura Murphy is Cork’s Dancer in Residence at Firkin Crane for 2013/2014. Originally from Kinsale, this highly-qualified dance artist, performer and choreographer is bubbling over with ideas.

“The residency is three fold: Professional dance, community dance, and the development of my work as a dancer/choreographer, with the overall aim to promote professional dance practice in Cork.”

It is the second year in a row she has received this prestigious award, which means, she says delightedly, that she can continue some important projects and programmes she set up during 2012/2013. “There is so much more we can achieve.”

A highlight of the programme will be the large-scale Community Cork Dance Project, which will premiere in June 2014.

“Right now, the working title is A Dance Concerto, and I’m collaborating with composer Irene Buckley and Cork-based dancers Helga Deasy and Siobhan Ni Dhuinnin. Irene and I are composing and choreographing a live music score. The community, either as a cast or an audience member, can integrate as dancers/musicians/viewers within the structure we will create.”

A Dance Concerto is open to professional, semi-professional and community dancers, she explains, and is multi-generational (as any true community project should be). No previous experience is necessary, just an interest in creating, moving, music. An open mind also helps, with Laura saying: “Yes, it’s good to be ready for anything.”

Workshops and classes for A Dance Concerto will commence early in 2014.

Throughout the year, guest choreographers and dancers from all over the world will give classes and workshops at the Firkin Crane and a series of professional dance classes will also take place.

“The Improvisation Class is new. I want to welcome artists from other disciplines into the studio and allow for exchanges to take place. For example, a musician may come and dialogue with dancers through their separate artistic languages. Movement and body awareness are vital in acting, circus and performance art. The Improvisation Class is a place to train without the formalities of a strict individual technique. It’s going to be intensely creative.”

Inquiry, the research and development platform for professional dancers and choreographers initiated by Murphy during last year’s residency, will also continue in 2013-2014. To be offered a space — free from the pressures of having to create something saleable, or instantly popular, free from the constraints of everyday practicality, is what any creative artist yearns for — and that’s what Murphy’s residency offers. Participants this year already include choreographer Inma Moya and circus artist Guillaume Vélo. Members of the public can view the artists’ works-in-progress free of charge at special Open Inquiry events. (To apply, email research ideas and biography to murphylauraireland@gmail.com).

Murphy also sees the residency as furthering her own development.

“The professional classes feed into my daily practice. I train on an ongoing basis, and engaging with other dancers and artists is part of my work.”

She is also in the throes of co-creating a new work with choreographer Rob Heaslip of Max.Imeall Dance Company, Scotland, which will debut at the Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow.


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