Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company

Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company
Dance Company in Residence  2021 - 2023
and Uillinn's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partners

Dance Development Residency: CHANGE
5 to 9 & 21 to 23 February, 8 to 12 April 2024

Working with climate scientists and a cast of international performers (with links to Malaysia, Brazil, Korea, Argentina, Cape Verde, Egypt and New Zealand) Croi Glan is developing a new and ambitious midscale performance exploring themes around climate justice and climate resilience. Gathering, exploring and weaving together ‘climate’ stories from different corners of the world Change will reveal personal experiences and feelings precipitated by our unprecedented times.

The research is supported by the Environmental Research Institute at UCC and also involves Karina Buckley, meteorologist for RTE, and founder of the NGO, Climate without Borders. The company is also engaging with local people and organisations as part of the research.

Supported by an Arts Council Arts Grant.

Dance Company in Residence

Uillinn and Croí Glan are excited to work together having recognised an alignment with our own goals; their integrity, creative curiosity and ambition; deep understanding of our community and location. We intend to benefit from the opportunity of learning working with Croí Glan and its Director, Tara Brandel whose work is embedded in celebration of diversity and inclusion.

In 2022, Croí Glan will research, develop and present work at Uillinn. They will do this through dedicated studio time for new work, Unseen; a Research Residency Commisison for Artist with a disability -  Tara Brandel in 2022 for her rehabilitation work 'I Dream of Water' and Tanya Turner in 2023 (details to be announced) and presentation of screen dance 'Armour Off!' with Linda Fearon at Uillinn Dance Season 2022.

Tara Brandel hosted Gentle Movement for Relaxation, a gentle short online movement class for long covid, CFS and anyone with a debilitating condition or any kind of disability. Find all of the details here.

I Dream of Water

For her Research Residency, Dance Artists and Choreographer, Tara Brandel will explore her Dreams of Water. This will take the format of short low tech film to be 'blogged' through her rehabilitation and shared via socials using theme title #idreamofwater. While some of the work will take place remotely, at home and on location, there will be 10 days of studio for Tara Brandel to use between now and November 2022, subject to wellness.

I want to do a project called, ‘I dream of water’, which is really about my inner experience of my rehabilitation as I heal. While I've been sick, I've been really thinking a lot about water bodies of water, lying in water, swimming in water, floating in a boat on water. This project will frame time in and by the sea and just feeling where my body is at this point in my rehabilitation and express that interconnection with the water in various ways.

I feel that my work is getting increasingly environmental, and Stacey (White) and I are planning a project called UNSEEN which is very much about water and plankton, so it fits well into that. It's very early days (in my re-habilitation) so I can't really tell yet where the work is going, but I'm feeling more and more of my work is going to be about 

water in some way and this is the beginning of that.

I want to make a series of one-minute videos which go out on social media that are expressions of my experience in my body at this point my rehabilitation and document  artistic moments and what I'm going through this point.

I want to have an engagement with the public about the kind of artistic experience of being ill, rehabilitating and not any of the kind of nuts-and-bolts effects of what it feels like on the inside. My experiences of being in this very still place in my life.

Interview is by artist Stacey White, wife, carer and artistic collaborator for UNSEEN  - recorded and 

transcribed, Sept, 2022

West Cork Arts Centre · Residency Information I Dream of Water by Tara Brandel 2022


Company development of a multidisciplinary durational performance looking at the notion of things that are invisible but vital parts of an ecosystem: from benevolent microscopic organisms, to hidden disabilities, and the invisibility that a middle-aged lesbian couple experiences. 

Working with her partner, environmental abstract painter Stacey White, Tara Brandel will create a live performance installation layering video projection, Contemporary dance, sound, text, and painting to make the invisible, present and felt. The work will draw on research into plankton (a life giving microscopic organism that produces 50% of the world's oxygen and absorbs carbon) and the couple’s personal experiences of hidden disabilities (Dyslexia and Epilepsy) and their sexuality.

The work will be created during 3 weeks (2 weeks WCAC, 1 week An Sanctoir) followed by Production Residency at Clonmel Junction and premiere at the Festival in July 2022 with further performances at West Cork Arts Centre, Ballina Arts Centre and Dublin Fringe Festival. Stacey White’s art works will be exhibited alongside performances as will be an art book created by Adele Shaw that is based on images generated during the creative process. The project benefits form the support of The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork (UCC) and specifically the UCC laboratories at Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve.

About Croi Glan

Led by Artistic Director Tara Brandel, Croí Glan is an award winning Contemporary Dance Company celebrating diverse bodies on stage. Creating work since 2006 Croi Glan has toured nationally and internationally: highlights of the company’s body of work include Liz Roche's An Outside Understanding (Dublin Dance Festival 2013, nominated Best Performers Dublin Fringe 2012), the multi award winning short film Armour Off! (in collaboration with Invisible Thread, Caroline Bowditch and Linda Fearon), and David Bolger's On the Wall (performed in multiple locations including Miami, San Francisco, Barcelona, Bern, Turku and Minneapolis).

Tara Brandel is an award-winning choreographer, contemporary dancer, aerial dancer and contact improviser originally from West Cork. She has been choreographing extensively since 1990.  She trained in Contact Improvisation with CI pioneer Steve Paxton when she was 15, and in aerial dance with aerial pioneers Terry Sedgraff, Jo Krieter and Genevieve Mazin. Tara holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Performance from UCDavis, where she was awarded the Della Davidson Award 2019, the Mondavi Fellowship, and the Women's Research Center Fellowship for her show Circus, which toured to San Francisco International Arts Festival, Seattle International Dance Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival and FRESH San Francisco 2020. Her dance film CAR was Director's Choice at the CDIFF in Toronto 2017.

Tara is also Artistic Director of Croí Glan Integrated Dance and for Croí Glan has most recently created TILT an integrated aerial dance show which has toured to Cork Midsummer, Tipperary Dance Festival and Dancer from the Dance Festival; In Place a site-specific performance made at IMMA; and Unseen a multidisciplinary performance about plankton.

Tara is currently developing an Environmental Dance training and a project focusing on climate resilience called The Hope Project.

Stacey White, a Northern California artist, graduated in 1989 with a BA in Art from the University of California, Davis. Later she did advanced studies at UC Davis’s advanced painting summer program. Influenced by the natural world, historical botanical prints and raw textured surfaces; her paintings present a dialogue between abstraction, botanical and microscopic imagery and construction materials on wood panels. Following graduation she has participated in six solo shows and numerous group shows in Davis and Sacramento California. Her work is in many private collections.

Tanya Turner, grew up in the beautiful Wexford countryside, and knew from an early age she had a passion for music and dancing. She practised Irish dancing from the age of 8 – 11 and then played violin in the Wexford Sinfonia orchestra from age 12 – 17. She discovered ballroom dancing in college and later Salsa dancing. Nothing made her feel freer, except for African drumming, which she took up after finding a tumour in her left leg – something that curtailed her enjoyment of dancing for quite a while. This tumour eventually led to cancer, which led to the amputation of her whole left leg, back in 2017.  But not long after this, she met Tara Brandel, whose enthusiasm and encouragement about her dancing in her new body led to her dancing with the Croí Glan company.

Linda Fearon has worked with Croí Glan since 2014. She is also a dancer with Luminous Soul Dance Project with whom she has performed across Belfast at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony, Bounce! Festival; Surmount Parliament Building and further afield. Linda has trained with various dancers and choreographers including Marc Brew, Caroline Bowditch, Claire Cunningham, Sheena Kelly, Kimberley Harvey and Janice Parker and has danced with companies including Candoco Dance, Blue Eyed Soul, Maiden Voyage Dance, Echo Echo Dance and Pony Dance. In 2012 Linda joined Kids in Control/Blue Chevy physical theatre company and she was a Creative Assistant with Kids in Control, working and performing with a number of all ability youth groups throughout Belfast. Linda is a certified Disability Equality Trainer.

Croí Glan Producer : Gwen Van Spijk is a Producer, Consultant, Trainer and Mentor who has worked across the full breadth of the live performance sector. She was Administrative Director for Motionhouse Dance Theatre 1992 – 1997 after which she embarked on a career as an independent working with artists including: Russell Maliphant, Carol Brown, Rosemary Butcher and Nigel Charnock as their manager and project and/or tour producer. Gwen has also produced a number of one-off projects including: Where The Land Meets the Sea, choreographed By Charlie Morrissey and performed by a cast of a 100 on Brighton beach; Destino, a co-production between Dance United and Sadler’s Wells for a cross generational cast of 130 performers with live music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and a large-scale dance programme for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 including a performance by a cast of 500 for the Opening Ceremony at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.  Gwen relocated from the UK to West Cork in 2019.

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