The Master of Arts in Dance Performance (Contemporary) is a one-year in, full- time, post-graduate programme. It is designed to offer students an opportunity to undertake a period of intensive, primarily studio-based, research into contemporary dance, performance and choreography. One of the strengths of the programme is reflected in its aim to provide for each student to develop his/her own unique strengths as an artist. It is therefore particularly suited to students who are interested in researching a range of approaches to devising and performing dance.
The content and structure of the programme is such that it positively addresses the balance between what might traditionally be perceived as the hierarchical relationship between maker and doer in dance. It does so by honouring the creative process of devising ensemble and solo choreographies and also honouring performance as being in and of itself a creative act. Therefore throughout the year students have the opportunity to contribute, as dancers, to the process of devising ensemble choreographic works under the direction of a number of guest choreographers and also to create and perform their own solo choreographies. They will also engage with media technologies for performing arts and study choreography-for-camera. In addition students are introduced to practice-based dance research methods to support them develop a critical awareness of their own unique approach to creating and performing work and to contextualise their work within both a wider professional dance and academic framework.
Through its Elective Bundle module, students have the opportunity to interact with other MA programmes at the academy, including: MA Irish Traditional Dance Performance, MA Festive Arts, MA Ritual Chant and Song, MA Classical String Performance, MA Irish Traditional Music Performance, MA Ethnochoreology, MA Ethnomusicology, MA Community Music, MA Music Therapy, MA Arts Education (Music) and the Graduate Diploma in Education (Music).
Guest tutors and choreographers to date have included Mark Baldwin, Jean Butler, Joan Davis, Colin Dunne, Rosemary Butcher, Yoshiko Chuma, Patricia Crosbie, Sean Curran, Wendy Houstoun, Eva Karczag, Henry Montes, Lisa Nelson, Charles Linehan, Brigitte Moody, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Liz Roche, John Scott, Sandra Reeve, Liz Roche, Mary Wycherley, Laura Murphy, Catherine Young, Rob Heaslip, Helene Cathala, Mairead Vaughan, Alexandre Iseli and Jazmin Chiodi. Students are also provided with the opportunity to engage with the programmes run at Dance Limerick a professional Contemporary Dance Centre, resident in Limerick and with strong links with the MA programme.
Some students may also have the option to undertake the programme as a 2 year full-time programme of study.