MA Contemporary Dance Performance

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance programme. Please find below answers to frequently asked questions that have arisen over the years since the course commenced.

Applying

What is the closing date for applications?
Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis if there are vacancies in the programme. It is advisable to apply as early as possible as there is a limited number of places on the programme.

How many students are accepted onto the programme?
8 students maximum are accepted on an annual basis.

What is the application process?
Step 1
Fill out your application online. You will find the application form at: www.ul.ie/graduateschool/courses/research/irish-world-academy

Step 2
Send via email Viemo/YouTube links of your work to the Course Director. The appropriate email address can be found here.
Links should include all or some of the below:

  • Footage that shows your ability as a dancer, preferably Contemporary Dance but other styles are accepted. Footage maybe as a solo dancer and/or in an ensemble work. (Please highlight your role in the ensemble by your clothing or exact time of your participation and/or your position in space).
  • Samples of your choreographic work e.g. Dance film work, works-in-progress showings, theatre productions.

Links should be as recent as possible. Please send 3-4 links maximum.

Step 3
Based on your application you may be required for an interview/audition at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance or via Skype. You will be notified of the date, time and venue by the Course Director.
Your application will then be processed.

I live overseas, how can I audition for the course?
If you live outside of Ireland you will be requested to send video footage of your work to the Course Director via YouTube/Viemo. He/she will the interview you via Skype.

What are the scholarship opportunities?
There are currently no specific MA Contemporary Dance Performance scholarships.
The Irish World Academy offer Stepping Stones Scholarships for (Non-EU and General). You are also advised to examine the scholarships available for students in your country or county if you are in Ireland.

Requirements

I do not have a primary degree in dance, can I still apply?
The programme requires applicants to have either a primary degree with first or second class honors or an approved equivalent qualification or an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience.
If your primary degree is not in dance you will need to demonstrate relevant degree level qualifications (and these would be reviewed on a case by case basis) as well as exceptional activity in dance. We encourage you to be thorough with the original application, highlighting your relevant performance and dance experience alongside any courses, classes and workshops you have attended.
Additionally it is important to indicate why you want to do the programme, questions you may have about your dance/artistic practice and what you hope to achieve in the programme.
Please include the above information in the supporting statement in your application.

Can I take part on the programme with no undergraduate degree?
As above, the programme requires applicants to have either a primary degree with first or second class honors OR an approved equivalent qualification or an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience.
If you are applying with an equivalent qualification or capability/experience we encourage you to be thorough with the original application, highlighting your relevant performance and dance experience alongside any courses, classes and workshops you have attended. You can also refer to persons you have worked with and/or any choreographic work you have undertaken and shown in a public arena.
It is important to indicate why you want to do the programme, questions you may have about your dance/choreographic and artistic practice and what you hope to achieve in the programme to develop your future career in dance.
Please include the above information in the supporting statement in your application.

The Programme
The MA Contemporary Dance Performance comprises of 3 Semesters.
There is no requirement for students to be on campus during the third (Summer) Semester.

Weekly Schedule for Autumn and Spring Semesters
The schedule for the first and second semester is such that students are required to attend classes/workshops/lectures for 3.5/4 days of the week (Monday -Thursday).
Final Performance Exam (Part 1) – a programme of ensemble and solo choreographies will take place in May following week 12 (exact date to be confirmed). This performance is 60% of the Final Exam.

Semester Three
During the Third Semester students are required to complete an independent performance project.There are no scheduled classes and/or workshops during the Third Semester but the Course Director will be available to provide feedback to the students on their projects. This project has to be submitted at the end of August/beginning of September (exact date to be confirmed). This project is submitted as the Final Performance Exam (Part 2). This is 40% of the Final Exam.

What is a typical day on the MA programme?
The MA programme is intensive and primarily studio based. A typical day commences at 9.00am/10.00am and finishes at 5.00pm/6.00pm.
Students are requested to arrive early for class to warm up and be prepared to begin at 9.00am/10.00am.
Classes are held Monday to Thursday with Fridays allocated for personal practice and research.
Each day commences with a morning technique class. This varies from contemporary dance technique to Somatices (typically yoga or pilates) to ballet.
The afternoons are spent working with guest choreographers on ensemble choreographies, solo mentoring or workshops with selected guest dance specialists.
Please see programme outline for more information on the modules on the programme.

Is there a way to do the programme part-time?
The programme is full-time for one year and 100% attendance is required. It is difficult to complete the course unless you are able to be on campus from Monday to Thursday during Semester 1 and 2.
While classes are usually four days per week there is a large amount of work to be undertaken including rehearsals, research and writing assignments. There is one day per week allocated to students for this.

What is a typical timetable for the programme? Can I organise part-time work?
Some students have taken part-time work during the MA Programme, however it is encouraged to devote as much time as possible during the year to the programme.
The timetable for all university students is advised in the first week of semester. Please be assured that faculty will advise you of your timetable as soon as this is finalised in the university system. Full attendance is expected at all classes. We do understand that life events and health issues can arise. In such cases the student may be asked to provide a medical certificate. Occasionally unexpected seminars or guest lectures are scheduled outside of the regular class times. These will be advised to students well in advance.
Please note that during Semester 1 and 2 you will be required to be on campus each week from Monday – Thursday.
Semester 3 (June – August) is a self-directed project whereby students do not have to attend classes on a weekly basis at the University. They are required to attend three tutorials over the summer semester either via Skype or in person at the University depending on the project.

What are the number of credits for the overall programme?
The programme of study for semester one, two and three totals 90 credits.

What are the academic/written modules on the programme?
In Semester 1 there is one module/three credits which requires written documentation.
In Semester 2 there are 2 modules/six credits that require written documentation.
The Final Performance Exam and Semester three is also mainly practical with 90% for a practical presentation and 10% for a written portfolio (i.e. 27 credits for a practical presentation and 3 credits for a written portfolio).
In summary from a total of 90 credits for the MA Contemporary Dance Performance Programme, 12 of these are allocated to written assessments.

Who will we be working with on the MA Contemporary Dance Programme?
Tutors and choreographers selected by the Course Director. They include members of faculty at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance alongside invited guest tutors and guest choreographers.
Guest tutors and choreographers to date have included Mark Baldwin, Jean Butler, Joan Davis, Colin Dunne, Rosemary Butcher, Helene Cathala, 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, Alexandre Iseli, Jazmin Chiodi.
Students are also provided with the opportunity to engage with the programmes run at Dance Limerick, a professional Contemporary Dance Centre, based in Limerick and with strong links with the MA programme.

What do previous students go on to do?
The programme is beneficial for students wishing to pursue careers in dance performance (solo and ensemble), improvisation, choreography, devising original works for performance, devising and producing original works in a range of contexts, teaching dance. Many graduates have secured positions as dancer-in-residence and others have been founder directors of dance festivals in their location. Some students have pursued a PhD in dance.

Links to contemporary dance centers and resources in Ireland:
Dance Limerick, Limerick
Dance Ireland, Dublin
Firkin Crane, Cork
Galway Dance Project, Galway
The Arts Council of Ireland 
Culture Ireland

If I have further questions, what should I do?
Any additional questions about the programme should be directed to:
Dr. Mary Nunan, Course Director, MA Contemporary Dance Performance – Mary.Nunan@ul.ie

Information about tuition fees, scholarships please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office:
www.ul.ie/about-ul/contact-information
Information about accommodation options can be found at www.campuslife.ul.ie/

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