MA Irish Traditional Dance Performance


The Master of Arts in Irish Traditional Dance Performance is a one-year *, full-time, taught postgraduate programme. It is unique in that it is the only programme of its type at any university in the world. The programme provides advanced training in Irish traditional dance performance practices within a variety of historical, theoretical and dance performance contexts. Through engagement with master tutors and lecturers, students explore aspects of repertoire, style, and choreography for a reflexive, critically aware, and embodied understanding of Irish dance performance practices. In addition, students examine contemporary dance choreographic techniques within the context of western theatrical dance; and body awareness studies.

Solo and ensemble work, both original and traditional, allow for the artistic development of students while adhering and honouring the artistic integrity, history, and identity of Irish dance. With performance at its core students are encouraged to engage in critical debate within academic modules to equip them with the necessary academic and performance skills required for further performance and research. The programme provides an artistically secure environment for students to develop their own voices through the medium of Irish dance.

Through its elective system, the programme facilitates dialogue with other MA programmes at the academy, including the MA in Ethnochoreology, the MA in Ethnomusicology, the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance, the MA in Irish Tradiitonal Music Performance. In addition students on the MA in Irish traditional dance performance programme are offered the opportunity to learn dance research methods and techniques to develop their critical awareness and appreciation of dance studies in general. In addition, Labanotation, the universal movement documentation tool is included within the study of dance methods.

Master tutors on the MA in Irish Traditional Dance Performance to date have included: Peter Badejo, Olive Beecher, Ira Bernstein, Roisin Cahalan, Maire Clerkin, Michael Cooney, Carmel Doherty, Marie Duffy-Messenger, Colin Dunne, Breandán de Gallaíi, Carol Leavy-Joyce, Jonathan Kelleher, Tara Little, Ruth Long, Roisin Ni Mhainnin, Katarina Mojzisova, Peggy McTeggart, Victoria O’Brien, Paraic O hOibicin, Seamus O Mealoid, Anthony Nolan, Cian Nolan, Lee Payne, Michael Ryan, Sandy Silva, Jimmy Smith and Tarik Winston.

* Students may be permitted to extend their study over a second full-time year subject to a available places, the agreement of the course director and the head of the Irish World Academy.

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