Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre in partnership with Cork County Council have received an Arts Council Award to support dance artist Mairéad Vaughan, to further develop and share her dance and choreographic practice within professional, educational and community contexts. Mairéad Vaughan’s dance and choreographic research reflects on how our inner sensed and felt experience extends out to influence our perception of and our relationship with our environment. As a choreographer she is interested in constructing immersive performance installation environments that elicit a sensory, kinaesthetic and energetic response. Her work questions our perceptions of the moving body-image, our understanding of what dance is, and how to create spaces of inclusivity in performance.

Mairéad’s year-long residency includes:

  • an open series of dance workshops for the community at Uillinn

  • environmental dance workshops as part of the West Cork Islands Festival

  • movement workshops for actors / performers as part of the Fastnet Film Festival

  • a site-specific dance performance with young people as part of the Skibbereen Arts Festival

  • and a schools programme

  • all of which will culminate in a cross-disciplinary, installation, performance and a professional dance performance platform in late Autumn.

To support her continuing enquiry, Mairéad has devised a movement, compositional and performance practice called ‘Attuning’. This practice is the result of her PhD research into the symbiotic relationship between body, mind and environment. ‘Attuning’ is designed to cultivate sensory, kinaesthetic (position and movement of the parts of the body), energetic, awareness. It is informed by principles from release contemporary dance and choreographic practices (focus on breathing, muscle relaxation, anatomical considerations, and the use of gravity and momentum to facilitate efficient movement), improvisation, Yoga and somatic (relating to the body) practices.

Three spaces are explored - inner bodily space, outer environmental space and third creative space. ‘Attuning’ facilitates a way of ‘listening’ or ‘tuning in’, to these three fundamental spaces,  exploring how our ‘inner connectivity’ and our ‘outer expressivity’ might expand and unfold into an inclusive, receptive, creative, third space of awareness.

‘Open Attuning’ sessions take place weekly on Fridays from 10:00am  – 12:00noon and are an open invitation to dancers, artists, performers, somatic therapists and anyone interested in developing new approaches to creating art and living a more embodied life. See here for further information.