By Bianca Paige Smith, University of Limerick Student Ambassador
Hi everyone! I’m excited to be able to share with you a bit about what Limerick has to offer in the dance scene. For those of you who don’t know, dance is one of my life’s biggest passions and apart from my love of Ireland, I was drawn to UL to study Contemporary Dance. The other thing you might not realize, (and what I am here to tell you today) is that Limerick is so rich and full of culture, history and appreciation for the arts. From what I’ve experienced so far, Limerick City really supports the arts and dance in particular has a pretty great platform.
So a couple of weekends ago I volunteered at the Light Moves Festival of Screendance and I am happy to be able to shine a spotlight on the festival. The entire weekend was filled with different activities- symposiums, dance film screenings, talks by renowned choreographers and dance scholars and installations, all of which were centered around the theme of ‘Peeling away the Layers’.
This event was so different to any other dance festival I had ever been to because there were no live performances at all! I thought I might have missed that aspect of it but to be honest I found it so interesting to be able to just sit down and watch screenings of dance film after dance film without any stopping; and without the pressure of the “audience etiquette” that exists in a live performance.
My favorite films of the entire weekend were actually the student screenings- these were all films that were created by students either in their Masters or Undergraduate programs at various universities around the country and the world. The photos below are taken from two of the films of students whom I know (both students at UL! Go UL!) and I was very excited to see their work on the big screen:
Release by Conor O’Brien
BBoy by Vivian Brodie Hayes
Apart from these films I thoroughly enjoyed a few of the talks by some very intelligent people in the field of dance – including our very own Mary Nunan – the Course Director for the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance. The whole weekend was filled with inspiring information from creative minds from all over the world. It was really nice to see how dance can bring a group of people together.
The festival was curated by Mary Wycherley and Jürgen Simpson in collaboration with the staff at Dance Limerick who all did a fabulous job making sure that the program was informative, inspiring, enticing and gave people something to talk about.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with dance, a festival like this (of videos that is) could be a great start given the times we live in! Sometimes it can be hard to watch a live performance if you aren’t sure that you’re interested in what you are going to watch. But perhaps if you watch a dance film (or a screendance as they call it) it could give you a different perspective. You never know what you might like. Either way, whether you are interested in dance or not, this event is definitely one worth going to next year. It really speaks to the value of dance in a city like Limerick that Dance Limerick were able to put an event like this together and attract an invested crowd. When I was training in New York City they always use to say to us – GO SEE DANCE! So I will pass this advice onto you – and if you are in Limerick city and you are ever looking for something to do – check out Dance Limerick and GO SEE DANCE =)