Dance Artist In Residence 2017 Helga Deasy
With the Dance Artist in Residence Scheme 2017 at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre Helga Deasy seeks to develop her practice as a dance artist, choreographer and dance facilitator by investigating a choreological approach to dance. She also aims to promote dance as an art form by making it accessible and creating participatory opportunities through performance and community dance projects.
Choreological Practice is based on the contemporary developments of Rudolf Laban’s principles. It provides dance with a theoretical framework which demystifies the art form and brings in on par with its sister arts – this makes dance very accessible and at the same time opens an infinite spectrum of artistic possibilities. Helga is currently training as a choreologist at Trinity Laban, Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. The Dance Artist in Residence Scheme will allow her to refine skills and working methods through research in this specialist area and to promote the recognition of the significance of choreological practice by sharing it with other artists and the public through projects, workshops and performance work. The focus of Helga's work will be to investigate Laban’s principles of Space Harmony (choreutics) as choreographic and creative tools in both professional and community dance contexts.
Over the past years Helga has continuously developed her practice as a choreographer and performer. Helga's recent choreographic works include Etched in stone, washed away (Firkin Crane, Cork 2013), Longing Belonging (2 sold-out performances at Cork Midsummer Festival 2015), Traces of the Hand (Cork Midsummer Festival 2015 and Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement, Derry/London-Derry 2015) and When I’m here, I remember you which she performed at Dublin Dance Festival in May of 2016. The research and creation of the new choreographic work Helica at West Cork Arts Centre as well as the development of Symmetry, Asymmetry and Beauty in collaboration with German musician Maria Dorner Hofmann will allow Helga to deepen and refine her practice as a choreographer and performer and to expand her network of collaborators both locally, nationally and internationally. Engaging the public and bringing dance into community and health care contexts forms an essential part of Helga's work. She regularly facilitates workshops and projects in a variety of settings including active retirement, schools, care homes and hospitals. As Dance Artist in Residence at West Cork Arts Centre, Helga will direct particular focus on work with children and young people through participatory workshops in schools based on the themes of Helica and the Community Youth Dance Project twisted! in collaboration with film maker Colm Rooney. Regular contemporary dance classes for adults with a focus on choreological practice will also be facilitated.
Collaboration and experimentation are integral to Helga's artistic practice and working with dancers and artists of other disciplines, in particular music and film, will be a key component of the residency. She strongly recognizes the importance of networking on a local, national and international level both for her personal artistic development as well as for the promotion and development of dance as an art form. Collaboration, dialogue and exchange with artists and organisations in and around West Cork and Cork City, Ireland and Europe will be integral to Helga's work at West Cork Arts Centre.
Image: Helga Deasy in the UCC and Bollinger Family Space in 2017, Photo by Kevin O'Farrell Photographer, Image courtesty of Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre.