Pamela Cotter

Pamela Cotter

Pamela Cotter is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In 2006, she moved to Ireland to pursue the BA in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, from which she graduated with First Class honours (2010). She went on to successfully complete the MA in Ethnomusicology at the University College Cork (2011), where her thesis took the form of a comparative analysis of the leading organisations in traditional Irish music and dance, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha.  Specifically, her research examined the ‘Tradition-Innovation’ clash existing within the competition subculture of the fleadh and feis. Before moving abroad, Pamela also completed a Diploma in Honours Social Science with a double major in Child Studies and Women Studies from Vanier College, Montreal, Quebec.

Pamela began dancing at the age of ten, focusing on Tap, Irish, and Ballroom. Since moving to Ireland, she has had the pleasure of dancing with several shows around Europe and the UK, including performances at the Munich Philharmonic and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. Most notably, Pamela was commissioned in 2010 to choreograph a new Irish music and dance show, Scéala, later performed in Torino, Italy. Since 2013, she has also been the Dance Captain for the Limerick Musical Society.

Pamela is currently lecturing on both undergraduate programmes at the Irish World Academy, the BA in Irish Music and Dance, as well as the BA in Voice and Dance. At present, her research surrounds the communal participatory events which take place during traditional music festivals. She plans to explore this research further with a PhD beginning in Fall 2015 under the co-supervision of Dr. Niall Keegan and Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann at the Irish World Academy.


Cotter, P. (2013) ‘Foreigners in the Session: An Examination of Participation and Authenticity at the Costello’s Irish Music Session’, in Russell, I. and Ingram, C. eds. Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology, Elphinstone Institute Occasional Publications 9, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, in association with the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, 198-215.

Conference Presentations:

Cotter, P. (2011) ‘Foreigners in the Session: An Examination of Authenticity at the Costello’s Irish Music Session’, presented at 27th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, 15-19 September 2011.



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