MA Ethnochoreology


Dance or structured human movement practice is an important aspect of the lives of human beings the world over. Ethnochoreology, the study of dance, movement and culture, aims to extend our knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures and the movement experiences that these cultures offer.

Ethnochoreology is an academic interdisciplinary field and is inclusive of all dance or structured human movement practices. Through critical examination of relevant literature within the social sciences, exposure to diverse dance practices – theory and practice, first-hand experience in the field and subsequent reflection on the process of ‘doing’ fieldwork, students of ethnochoreology document and examine the different meanings of dance and movement within the context of culture. This assists in extending students’ horizons of understanding into how and why people move the way they do and what this tells us about the cultures from which these practices have emerged.

Designed and directed by Dr Catherine Foley, the Master of Arts in Ethnochoreology was established in 1996 at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and was the first programme of its type at any university in Europe. In this pioneering spirit it continues to be a leading programme in

The Master of Arts in Ethnochoreology is a one-year, fulltime, taught postgraduate programme. It offers specialised training in the history, theory, and methods of ethnochoreology while acknowledging the significance of ‘practice’ in learning and in research. It collaborates with other postgraduate programmes at the Academy such as the Master of Arts Degree in Irish Traditional Dance Performance and the Master of Arts Degree in Ethnomusicology. It provides a strong foundation for doctoral research.

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance offers a suite of taught postgraduate and two undergraduate programmes in both music and dance. Together with the MA Ethnochoreology, MA Ethnomusicology, MA Festive Arts and MA Irish Traditional Dance Performance programmes, other Master of Arts Degrees are available in Classical String Performance, Chant and Ritual Song, Community Music, Contemporary Dance Performance, Irish Traditional Music Performance, Music Education and Music Therapy. Lunchtime concerts, seminar series, artists-in-residence, visiting guest lecturers and tutors, and a strong research community of doctoral students in ethnochoreology and other related fields of research, all contribute to providing a rich learning, research and artistic environment for students of ethnochoreology.


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