Mermaid Dance Platform

Thu 7 Sep 2017


We guarantee this evening will have something for everyone ... everyone who loves dance that is! In July Mermaid issued an open call for artists, work and or ideas (in any discipline) that was a true celebration or homage to dance.  We were delighted with the submissions and struggled to shortlist because there was so many great ideas and beautiful work! Come along to see some of Wicklow’s (and Irelands) best artists dance and move and well as surprise and enthral us all.


Mermaid Dance Platform - Biographies and Work

1) Fergus Byrne and Macdara O'Maolbhuidh 

Fergus Byrne is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, sculpture, drawing and event curation. Underlying much of the performance work is the practice of life modelling of which he has extensive experience. In performance he tests the materiality of his body and frequently combines such action with spoken word. Through rigorous physical discipline he creates mesmerising performances.
He is a member of the Visual Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland and his practice has been funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.
His work can be viewed at

Macdara Ó Maolbhuaidh embraces the crooked nature of sound as a medium through performing, broadcasting and building instruments and installations. He began playing the cello while studying Intonation at the University of the Arts in Berlin to experience the unique "just-intonation" sonorities of the instrument. His interest in the physicality of sound is paralleled in his interest in contact improvisation where he has found a unique space to further his exploration of moving bodies.
Macdara founded the Experimental Music Workshop and co-founded Contact Improvisation Ireland. His work has been exhibited, performed and broadcast in Germany and in Ireland.

The Work - ‘Collapsible VII
This is a duet between cello and choreosculpture, a mobile wooden frame which can be operated as a movement instrument. The work explores balance and the articulation of the body in sympathy with that of the frame. The cello works with the ratio of musical intervals in response to the strict nature of the dimensions of the sculpture, the ratios of the seven lengths being fundamental to the quality of its movement.

2)  Mathieu Geffré

Mathieu Geffré trained at the Paris Conservatoire. He was a member of dance companies such as Dansgroep Amsterdam and National Dance Company Wales. He collaborated with Internationally celebrated choreographers: Itzik Galili, Johan Inger Mark Baldwin, Angelin Preljocaj and Caroline Finn among others. Now based in London, Mathieu is involved in projects with Didy Veldman, Theo Clinkard, and Eleesha Drennan. Awarded 3rd Prize Choreography during the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2016. Mathieu has also been commissioned as a choreographer by Nationaltheatre Mannheim, Monmouthshire Youth Dance Company and National Dance Company Wales. Mathieu has taught professional class for BalletBoyz, Skanes Dansteater, Rambert School and Greenwich Dance.

Angela Boix Duran: Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Angela trained at the Ballet Conservatory of Barcelona for 5 years before joining IT Dansa Companyia. As part of this company Angela dances with many prestigious choreographers : Ohad Naharin, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Rafael Bonachela… She wins 1st Prize during the Castellon National Dance Competition in 2010. In July 2012 she joins Noord Nederlandse Dans, company directed by Stephen Shropshire then National Dance Company Wales one year later. In Cardiff,  she collaborates with makers such as Alexander Ekman, Johan Inger, Roy Assaf and Marcos Morau. In parallel with her career as part of the Welsh company, Angela keeps developing her artistry with other independent artists such as Tuixen Benet, Ariadna Montfort and Mathieu Geffré.

The Work – ‘What songs may do’
An insight into the power of songs, reinforced by Nina Simone’s 1976 performance of the song 'Feelings'. Mathieu Geffré looks at what happens when we challenge the tradition of our seat for the freedom to respond as an audience. In this duet, the two dancers remodel the stage into their theatre seat and attend Simone’s performance. We look at how the relationship of the two characters will evolve as they embrace and express their emotions with authenticity in response to Simone's sounds.

What Songs May Do was first developed by Mathieu Geffré at National Dance Company Wales as part of its annual choreographic showcase, Alternative Routes, in June 2015, in collaboration with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. What songs may do received the 3rd Prize Choreography during the 9th Copenhagen International Choreography Competition.

3) Antje O’Toole

Antje O’Toole is a dance artist with a background in contemporary dance (MA) and education (M.Ed.). Additionally, she trained in dance therapy with FITT, Frankfurt. She has performed and created works since 2008, working with choreographers and companies including Yoshiko Chuma, Cie. Willi Dorner, Myriad Dance, Ready Fire Aim, Noelia Ruiz and Emma Fitzgerald. Her own recent choreographies include W…, Para-re and Tend (co-choreographed and co-performed with Emma Fitzgerald).
Antje’s work has been supported by Dance Ireland, the Arts Council of Ireland, County Wicklow Arts Office, Shawbrook Dance and Daghdha Mentoring Programme.

The Work - Gedankengang (‘train of thought’)
‘Gedankengang’ shows one person’s embodied state of mind. Mirroring her dance through space, the echoes of her movement turn into duets; shadowing, entangling, but never quite able to shake off an undercurrent of solitude. This dance work for screen refers to concepts of musical composition. Combining these with a physical sense of choreographic decision making, images become alive and meaningful through the editing process.

4)  Yuliya Prokhorova

Yuliya is from Belarus and currently, lives in Dublin. She graduated in 2011 from the Belarussian State College of Choreography (diploma with distinction) and has been highly placed in various international ballet competitions in Ukraine and Russia. She is a Laureate of President’s special endowment for supporting the talented youth of the Republic of Belarus. She has been a member of the National Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus and was a guest principal dancer in American Company by Talmi Entertainment. She has performed principal roles in Nutcracker and Don Quixote and many other soloist roles.

The Work -  ‘Russian dance from Swan Lake’
Russian dance from Swan Lake, choreographed by Michel Fokine for Anna Pavlova (prima ballerina of Mariinsky theatre 1906-1913).

5)  Emma Fitzgerald

Emma Fitzgerald is a performer and choreographer whose work combines story-telling, dance and song. Her work has been supported by the Arts Council, Dance Ireland, Culture Ireland, Wicklow CoCo Arts Office and by major international theatres. Fitzgerald moved to Greystones a few years ago and is excited and proud to be part of this vibrant and growing dance and arts scene. Fitzgerald trained at London Contemporary Dance School, one of Europe’s leading conservatoires and graduated with a BA Honours in Contemporary Dance. “Ms. Fitzgerald…is a gamine tour de force of charisma and contradictions.” New York Times.

The Work – ‘Spring’
“Spring” is a seven minute performances featuring song, story-telling and dance. Moments of high tension and drama contrast with lyrical sparsity. “Spring” was created with the support of the Arts Council Dance Bursary Award Scheme and Dublin City Council Arts Office’s Incubation Space Award. Special thanks to Ross McParland and Greystones Theatre for supplying research and rehearsal space.

6)  Russell Patrick Brown

Based in Dublin, Russell Patrick Brown’s approach to Step dance emerges from Irish traditional dance training with Donny Golden, Old and New Way Vogue dance training with Celso Satori LaBeija and contemporary dance practices with Maureen Fleming, Dr. Finola Cronin and Maria Kerin. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Limerick Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Supervised by Dr. Catherine E. Foley, he employs an Arts Practice research methodology to explore his queer mystic approach to Irish traditional dance. He has taught dance classes with the Blue Teapot Theatre and Galway Dance Project.

The Work – ‘The Heel’
In this dance I ‘pose’ a question by The Querist: ‘Whether we are not undone by fashions made for other people?’ (Berkeley 1735) The dance of the high heel, or relevé, has a long history of embodying economic, philosophical, sartorial and spiritual colonialism. As an Irish Step & Vogue dance artist, my exploration of this elevated fashion brings me back to my roots, when I learned to experience the world through the balls of my feet.

7)  Monica Munoz

Monica Mununoz Marin is a dance artist based in Dublin. She studied dance at the Folkwang Hochsule in Essen and completed her MA in Contemporary Dance Education at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. She has worked extensively throughout Europe as a performer. She was a recipient of a Mentored Residency Award from Dance Ireland (2016) Her work has been supported by Dance ireland, Dublin Dance Festival, South Dublin County Council and Dance Limerick.

The Work – ‘Sink or Swim’
The piece plays with the social norms and expectations imposed on women, with clichés of femininity in an over-sexualised society that accepts only a formula: women become the object, not the subject of desire, it questions some figures and attitudes that are irritatingly familiar.

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