Live Archive at DANCE LIMERICK, Sat 28 January at 8pm

Connections between past work and current practice are explored in Live Archive, a special performance of choreography from iconic Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre, at Dance Limerick on Saturday 28 January.

Live Archive, a special performance of choreography from the archives of the iconic Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre, takes place at Dance Limerick on Saturday 28 January at 8pm.  Original company members Robert Connor, Joan Davis, Mary Nunan and Loretta Yurick explore some of their previous choreographies, working along with present day early and mid-career dance artists.  Through this process of bringing their archive back to life, they open themselves up to what can happen when dance artists re-examine their past work with a new generation of dancers.  Tickets €12/€10 are available from 

Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre was the first state funded contemporary dance company in Ireland and operated from 1979-1989.  The company evolved from Dublin Contemporary Dance Studio, set up by Karen Callaghan and Joan Davis to pioneer modern dance in Ireland.  Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre (DCDT) rapidly built up a varied repertoire of both original and guest choreographers’ work and many of Ireland’s key choreographers and dancers began their professional careers with the company.  

Director/Curator of Live Archive Emma Meehan invited original company members to respond to the archive of DCDT by selecting works they would like to re-visit and dancers they were interested in collaborating with, in order to re-examine and pass on their work.  Meehan explains “Of particular interest is the process of re-visiting as much as re-creating the works in their entirety.  What happens when dance artists re-investigate their past work with a new generation of dancers?”

Answering this question will be well known dance artist Mary Nunan, who will work with dancer Katherine O’Malley and musician/composer Óscar Mascareñas to re-visit her first choreography Search (1983), based on Samuel Beckett’s Company; Robert Connor and Loretta Yurick will recreate their duet Coupled Reflections (1984) with dancers Eimear Byrne and Anderson de Souza; Joan Davis will explore her choreography Continuum (1986) through a collaborative re-working based on her current practice with dancer Lisa Cahill; and Robert Connor will reconstruct, with Anderson de Souza, the male solo  from Lunar Parables (1984) by guest DCDT choreographer Jerry Pearson.  Emma Meehan will weave the evening together using stories from the process of working as researcher with the dancers and archive.  The performance will conclude with a post-show conversation hosted by Mary Wycherley, Limerick’s Dance Artist-in-Residence. 

Announcing details of the performance, Director of Dance Limerick Jenny Traynor said “We are really excited to present Live Archive here in Limerick.  Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre was a trailblazer in the development of contemporary dance in Ireland, with many of the original company members going on to become leaders, educators and key influencers here in Ireland and overseas.  This is a fantastic opportunity for audiences to see the evolution of contemporary dance and to experience dance as a living, breathing, organic artform.  Limerick audiences are in for a very special evening of dance”. 

Original Company Members:
Robert Connor
Joan Davis
Mary Nunan
Loretta Yurick

Eimear Byrne
Lisa Cahill
Anderson de Souza
Óscar Mascareñas
Katherine O’Malley

Director/Curator: Emma Meehan
Administration & Production Support: Kristyn Fontanella
Poster Design: Neill O’Dwyer
Post-show conversation host (Limerick): Mary Wycherley

Saturday 28 January: Dance Limerick
Saturday 18 February: Firkin Crane, Cork
Live Archive was first performed at DanceHouse, Dublin on the 8th and 9th of December 2016.

Dance Limerick opened in October 2013 as a centre for professional dance and to promote dance in Limerick and beyond.  Through a programme of performances, artist residencies, classes, talks and workshops, Dance Limerick provides opportunities for dance to be created, experienced and discussed in many ways, by all ages.  Dance Limerick supports the development of new and innovative work and encourages dance participation by the wider community.  For further details, see

Funded by the Arts Council and Limerick City Council, Dance Limerick is a support and development organisation. Through a combination of performance platforms, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures, Dance Limerick advocates for artistic dialogue and exchange. In collaboration with dance artists across a range of practices, Dance Limerick promotes the creation of new and innovative work and devises programmes of access, engagement and participation for the wider public.

Photo Credit Tony Pinder
Photo Credit Tony Pinder

Artist Biographies – DCDT Original Members

Joan Davis has pioneered innovative contemporary dance practices since 1976. From 1996, she developed the arts practice and performance offerings of Maya Lila. In 2012 Joan offered a somatic training, the first of its kind in Ireland, called ORIGINS. This training covers somatic experiences, developmental and psychological movements from pre-conception to approximately eighteen months of age. In 2013 Mary Wycherley, a dance filmmaker based in Limerick, Ireland, was funded to make a film of the work of Maya Lila. This film, In the Bell’s Shadow, was given a private showing in the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin in December 2014 and has since been screened at many international festivals.  

Mary Nunan is a contemporary dance artist: choreographer, performer and teacher. Her professional career began when she joined Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre (1981-86). She was founding Artistic Director of Daghdha Dance Company (1988-1999) and founder Course Director of the MA Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick (1999-2016). Throughout her career Mary has created a substantial body of solo and ensemble choreographies that have toured extensively to national and international venues. Artists with whom she has collaborated include Joan Davis (Maya Lila), Karen Power, Óscar Mascareñas, Nigel Rolfe, Monica Spencer, Jürgen Simpson and Mary Wycherley. She earned a practice based PhD from Middlesex University in 2013. 

Robert Connor and Loretta Yurick, former co-Artistic Directors of DCDT, went on to found Dance Theatre of Ireland (DTI).  As Artistic Directors and choreographers of DTI, they have created and produced over 40 original dance theatre works for theatre and outdoor festivals, collaborating with many dancers, composers, choreographers and designers. Their productions have been described as “a constant reflection on our human states of frailty and strength” (Sunday Times) and have toured widely throughout Ireland and internationally.  They are also co-founders of Dance Ireland, the Dublin Youth Dance Company (DYDC) and The Centre for Dance in Dun Laoghaire, where a programme of innovative classes, workshops and performances for all ages takes place year-round. As dance educators and progenitors of one of Ireland’s largest, most diverse, educational outreach programmes, their work is aimed at increasing access to dance and is driven by a passionate belief in the power of dance to transform people’s lives, improve their health and put people in touch with their creative selves.   They were recently shortlisted for a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award for their latest programme, Well – Dance for Seniors, a programme of modern dance classes for seniors which has now had over 350 participants.  This programme and has been the subject of published research confirming its effectiveness at improving mobility, engagement and quality of life by the Occupational Therapy department at Trinity College Dublin.  Robert and Loretta also direct Nature Moves, which combines guided outdoor experiences for students and the creation of dance projects inspired by Nature; Vintage Youth, a performance group for Seniors; and Dancing Well with Parkinsons, classes in partnership with Move4Parkinsons. 

Performer Biographies

Eimear Byrne holds a BA (Hons) in Dance and has recently graduated with a First Class honours in her Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance from UL. While based in the UK, she performed with Remote Intermedia Dance Theatre Company. She is the contemporary dance tutor at BIFE and teaches Intermediate Contemporary at Dance Theatre of Ireland (DTI).  She has a strong interest in duet work and is exploring and developing this area of her dance practice further by collaborating with different dance artists at present.  

Lisa Cahill graduated in 2010 from the MA Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick. Her practice integrates performance, choreography and dance in education. Since 2014 she has been Dance Artist-in-Residence at the Froebel Dept of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University. This residency is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. Lisa’s own work has been shown nationally, most recently as part of the Limerick Dance Collective, Making Space: Changing Ground.  In 2015, Lisa completed Origins, a somatic movement and therapy training delivered by Joan Davis.  

Óscar Mascareñas (PhD) is a poet, composer, performer and musicologist. He has published work, given concerts, conferences and master classes extensively in Europe and the Americas. He is the founding course director of the BA in Voice and Dance at the Irish World Academy in UL, and founding chair of the Cage-Cunningham Professorship in Contemporary Performance at the Monterrey Conservatory in Mexico. Óscar has collaborated with Mary Nunan for the past 11 years focusing on the study of the interaction between voice and movement. He currently lectures and researches full time at the Academy. 

Katherine O’Malley is a dancer, teacher, choreographer and Amatsu Practitioner. She is Associate Dance Artist with Liz Roche Company and holds an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from UL. Katherine has performed work by Mary Nunan, John Scott Dance, Sara Rudner (USA), Fearghus Ó Conchúir, Cíotog Dance Company, Liv O'Donoghue, Dylan Quinn, Splinter Productions with Morleigh Steinberg and Oguri (USA), Thomas Lehman (GR) and Catapult Dance Company, the Abbey Theatre, Pan Pan Theatre and Bedrock Productions, among others. Katherine choreographed and performed Bias for the Dublin Dance Festival 2016 produced by Liz Roche Company and presented as part of Originate 2016.

 Anderson de Souza has been dancing since he was 14. He trained in Brazil with Andrea Pivatto, Cristina Moreno, Fabia Vasconcelos, Mauro Rodriguez, Roseli Rodrigues, Ruben Terranova and Tony Oliver in Modern Dance, Contemporary Dance and Classical Ballet.  He was a guest performer to the project Distante Dialogue in the Akademie Schloss Solitude – Stuttgart, Germany in 2013 and was guest teacher at COISCÉIM Dance Theatre in Dublin in 2014.  He recently choreographed BodyTalk2 for Dublin Youth Dance Company.


Emma Meehan is a Research Fellow at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research. She received her BA and PhD from the Drama Department, Trinity College, Dublin. Her doctoral research focused on the work of Irish choreographer Joan Davis.  Emma is associate editor for the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, and co-convenor of the Performance as Research Working Group at the International Federation for Theatre Research.  Most recent creative projects in 2016 include: Home Practice exhibit at Shrine to Women’s Work, Awol Studios, Manchester and Lace Dance, Bantham Beach, Dorset, both of which explore her female lineage and Irish heritage.

Administration/Production Support:

Kristyn Fontanella is a dance artist/choreographer and holds an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from UL.  She has toured with Riverdance, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and performed lead female role in Gaelforce Dance.  Kristyn most recently was awarded the Traditional Arts Bursary for her new work IN LiMBO, which will be shown in the first Limerick Fringe Festival in March 2017.  She was recently invited to perform her duet ‘As We Know It’ with Sibéal Davitt, at the DRFI conference in NYC and in Dusseldorf Germany at the Tanzmesse Performance Platform.

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