Swedish born Traditional Dancer and Researcher Mats Melin was based in Angus, Scotland until early 2008. He has worked and performed extensively in Angus, Sutherland, the Scottish Highlands, the Hebrides, Orkney, and Shetland, in their schools and communities promoting Scottish traditional dance. He has also taught and performed in Sweden, Canada, USA, Russia, and New Zealand. Mats has a vast knowledge of all aspects of the Scottish Traditional Dance scene, but specialises in Cape Breton Step dancing and the old social dances such as the Scotch reels and Quadrilles. He has worked both with traditional and contemporary artists in Scotland.
Mats have been Traditional Dance Artist in Residence in Scotland for both Shetland (1995) and Sutherland (1996-97). Between 1998 and 2001 he was working as the Traditional Dance Development Officer for the Angus District and the same for Perth and Kinross between 2002 and 2003 on behalf of The Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust (STDT). He managed the Step 2000 Project in Inverness during 2001.
Mats started, and was part of the dynamic performance group DANNSA, and he was also the choreographer of Vesterled (1998) – a show making a journey in music and dance from Scandinavia to Scotland. Choreographed ‘Generating Heat’ in 2003 – a comissioned piece by the STDT, and later ‘Elements’ together with Frank McConnell for the St Magnus Festival in Orkney. He also performed and taught as part of CeilidhMakers together with traditional Scots singer Christine Kydd.
Mats was a member of the Scottish Arts Council’s Dance Committee until March 2003. He served as a member of the Scottish Governments Traditional Arts Working Group 2009-10 (Report 2010)
Mats has lectured and taught dance at the BA in Scots Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), Glasgow since 2001.
During 2004-5 Mats studied for an MA degree in Ethnochoreology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland.
Mats was appointed Lecturer in Dance in 2007 on the BA Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
Mats completed his PhD: “Exploring the Percussive Routes and Shared Commonalities in Cape Breton Step Dancing” in May 2012. He subsequently published the book “One with the Music: Cape Breton Step Dancing Tradition and Transmission” in 2015 (http://cbup.ca/books/melin-one-with-the-music-cape-breton-step-dancing/).
For more information see Academia.edu
Dr. Mats Melin
Course Director: MA in Irish Dance Studies
Room No: IW1.19,
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,