LED BY LAURA MACKEN
CREATIVE STEPS Youth Dance Group for AGES 15-25
A DANCE AND PERFORMANCE PROJECT
NOVEMBER 2019 – MAY 2020
In this new action-packed dance project with guest choreographer, Laura Macken, Creative Steps young dancers kicked off by exploring physics and taking a fresh look at one of the core concepts – SPEED and what it means on scales large and small. Together they created some dynamic choreography, which reflected upon how speed affects the way the body moves through time and space.
Then the world slowed down. The project changed direction and culminated a little differently than everyone expected…
“Working with the group since our taster sessions in December 2019, Project Velocity engaged the energy and vibrance of the group to explore movement that focused on velocity. As well as speed and direction, we looked at power, strength and emotions that spark particular ways of moving and combined them to structure the piece. We aimed to represent a wide variety of movement from accelerated movement to slow motion and everything in between. The group developed, created and bonded and as we got close to having a finished piece and towards our planned performances, we were stopped in our tracks by Covid-19 and the project transformed into using this movement in the context of our immediate landscapes. The culmination video, LANDSCAPE is a series of snapshots of some of the material from the piece – filmed by the dancers themselves in their various lockdown locations. I would like to thank them for their dedication, creativity and commitment to the project.” – Laura Macken
This short film is a snapshot recording of an action-packed dance project that started live in the studio. It was screened as part of DIGITAL DANCES on 2 May 2020, which coincided with what would have been the culmination performance at NOISEmoves Youth Dance Festival.
Term 1 3 February – 9 March 2020 (no session St Patrick’s Day week)
WHEN | Mondays 6 – 9pm
WHERE | CoisCéim Dance Theatre, 14 Sackville Place, Dublin 1
Term 2 23 March – mid May 2020
WHEN & WHERE | online creative sessions
Originally it was planned to culminate the project at Unanimous, Belfast, Laois Dance Platform, Portlaoise and NOISEmoves, Dublin – with the cancellation of these festivals a digital project was created and a snapshot was screened in May 2020 as part of DIGITAL DANCES.
LAOIS INTERGENERATIONAL DANCE PLATFORM | DUNAMAISE ARTS CENTRE, PORTUMNA
Thursday 1 April | Performance PROJECT VELOCITY
UNANIMOUS YOUTH DANCE FESTIVAL | THE MAC ARTS CENTRE, BELFAST
Saturday 4 April | Attendance at dance workshop & performance of Gary Clarke Company: Wasteland
Sunday 5 April | Performance of PROJECT VELOCITY
NOISEMoves YOUTH DANCE FESTIVAL | SDCC, CIVIC THEATRE, TALLAGHT, DUBLIN
Friday 3 May | Attendance at EMERGENCE Showcase performance/young professional dancers
Saturday 4 May | Attendance at dance workshops led by professional guest dance artists
Sunday 5 May | Performance of PROJECT VELOCITY
ABOUT LAURA MACKEN
Laura Macken trained at The Irish National College of Dance and joined Dublin City Ballet as a student member at the age of 15. Dancing with the company for several years Laura danced corps de ballet and solo roles in ballets such as Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, and Gisele. The company also extended its repertoire to many contemporary and jazz works in which Laura danced, such as Transfigured Night by Anna Sokolow and works by Arlene Phillips. The company also featured in The Dublin Grande Opera Society’s productions of Aida, Macbeth, and Turandot. Following the company’s closure, Laura became a freelance dancer and was a founder member of Irish Modern Dance Theatre, and was featured in many of their productions. She also worked with Dance Theatre of Ireland, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Co-Motion Theatre, and many other musical theatre productions in the Gaiety, Tivoli, and Olympia Theatres. Other theatre credits include The Secret Fall of Constant Wilde, at The Abbey Theatre, The Barbican Centre in London, and the Melbourne Theatre Festival, and more recently, The Dead at the Abbey Theatre. Film and television credits include Penny Dreadful, Sunday Night at the Olympia, Circle of Friends, Widow’s Peak, An Awfully Big Adventure, and The Bernadette Greevy Show. Laura has also travelled the world performing on Regency, Celebrity and Radisson cruise lines. Laura settled in America for six years working on many productions as a dancer, and choreographed several large productions, including Cruisin’ 57 for Dick Clark Productions. Since returning to Ireland, Laura has been a regular ballet teacher for Dance Ireland’s professional programme. She teaches at the College of Dance and has choreographed for their end of year performances. She also teaches company classes and has worked as rehearsal director for John Scott Dance and has assisted with John’s work on “Step Up” dance project in 2013 and 2018, as well as his work with students at the University of Limerick. Laura has also taught company classes for many of CoisCéim Dance Theatre’s productions, and assisted David Bolger with the choreography for RTE’s Centenary at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in 2016. The centenary year also gave Laura the opportunity to perform in Laochra for the GAA at Croke Park. Laura has choreographed for Pan Pan Theatre’s production of The Seagull and Other Birds, and A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream at the Abbey Theatre. Laura is also a qualified yoga teacher, an element complimentary to dance training that many dancers currently desire. In 2016 she received an Arts Council travel and training award to train in Autism Movement Therapy in New York. She currently teaches dance classes for people with intellectual disabilities in Stewarts’s Care and in Rossecourt Resource Centre. In January 2017 Laura graduated from the University of Limerick, completing her MA in Dance, focusing her thesis on an examination of versatile dancers in Ireland. In July 2018/2019 Laura choreographed and presented her first two original works Connections in the neoclassical style, and Lift with funding she received from The Arts Council of Ireland, and through residencies with Dance Ireland, Shawbrook dance, Fringe Lab and St Catherine’s centre. Both pieces will be performed in November 15 th and 16 th at Project Arts. Laura is excited to lead CoisCéims Creative Steps this year.
ABOUT CREATIVE STEPS
Established in 2007 as part of CoisCéim BROADREACH, Creative Steps is a dance theatre group for young people aged 15-25. Based at CoisCéim Dance Theatre’s studio in Dublin City Centre and coordinated by Broadreach Director Philippa Donnellan, it offers young people the opportunity to collaborate, devise and perform dance theatre for the stage and the screen and work with guest choreographers, teachers, and professional artists in different mediums. Click here to find out more…