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LAURA

ABOUT THE DANCE ARTIST -

Laura Sarah Dowdall is an innovative dance artist creating engaging performance that is experiential, immersive and permeable to audience interaction, incorporating site-specific performance, spoken word and film. 

She integrates instant composition, immersive theatre and durational performance into contemporary dance work that is site-specific, staged and on film. The artist's research and choreography center on developing new avenues for audience engagement, breaking boundaries of hierarchy and expectation, and offering experiences of heightened awareness.

Laura is a socially-engaged artist and nature-based practitioner working collaboratively with communities and collectives to support positive action and awareness of access, inclusion, environmental, creative and wellness needs of people and our planet. She integrates her skills as a collaborative arts practitioner, somatic therapist, nature-based practitioner, and systemic constellation-work facilitator to create transformational experiences for personal and collective growth.

ACHIEVEMENTS -

In 2023 Laura was inaugural artist-in-residence at the newly rennovated Dún Laogaire Baths Artist Studios in 2023.

This prestigious commission enabled a broad program of community workshops, dance-dialogues, talks, site-specific performance and open studio visits. 

In 2023, Laura was a dance tutor on the first Inclusive Dance Training in Ireland supported by Firkin Crane and University of Cork.

She was guest artist at MOVE ME! Festival in the Netherlands where she will gave a dance-talk and facilitated workshops.

In 2022, Laura initiated a new research bodies of water investigating our biological, cultural and ritualistic relationship to water and the sea, exploring water-dancing and Janzu water techniques while based in Mexico. 

In 2021 during lock-down, Laura undertook a self-directed residency in a Victorain building while it was in the interim stages of being sold. Working within the main house, old school and gardens, Laura explored movement scores and filmic perspectives that have led to the creation of a series of short films.

Since 2020, Laura has taken her dance practice outdoors and began exploring the concept of an 'embodied nature' - this led to an outdoor durational  performance with musicians in Cabinteely park in September 2020 as part of Biosphere Festival, in collaboration with Kirkos Ensemble. 

Laura was awarded the Pavilion Theatre Studio Space award for 2019 and Dance Limericks' Percolate Residency Award for the development and performance of new work in 2019.

In 2018, Laura was selected and mentored by International Performance Artist Jennifer Walshe for Body Noise Work, a multidisciplinary project throughout 2018 supported by the Arts Council.

 

Laura was a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Bursary Award from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2017 and Dancer in Residence in RUA RED Arts centre in 2017.

Her choreographic work has been performed in: 

  • Irish Composers Collective Festival, 2023

  • Biosphere Festival, 2020

  • Dance Limerick, Oct 2019

  • Temple Bar Gallery, December 2018; 

  • The Model Gallery, Sligo August 2018;

  • Rua Red Performance Space 2017;

  • Smock Alley Scene+Heard Festival 2016;

  • National Choreographic Showcase, Boston (USA) 2016; 

  • Echo Echo Festival 2015, Derry (NI) and 

  • Dance Theatre of Ireland in 2015

Laura’s Screen Dance Films ‘Elan’ and ‘Between’ have been shown in festivals in Ireland and abroad. 

Based on her artistic practice and movement research, she has developed a series of dance workshops which she has facilitated in Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands and the USA.

INFLUENCES -

Laura enjoys collaborative practice and interdisciplinary exchange. She works with choreographers, dance theatre companies, filmmakers and collaborators in Germany, Ireland, France and the USA. She has worked with a collective of international artists researching the performative body in its expanded, transformative, political and imaginative states. 

Laura has had the opportunity to work and train with innovative creators in the field of experimental physical performance, contemporary dance, voice, contact and improvisation, some of which include: Rosalind Crisp, Andrew Morrish, Julyen Hamilton, Andrew Harwood, Nancy Stark Smyth, Maya Carroll, Bettina Neuhaus, Eva Karczeg, Stephanie Skura, Karen Nelson, Kirstie Simons, Stephanie Maher, Noa Zuk, German Jauregui and Tom Pritchard. 

 

INCLUSIVE DANCE PROJECT -

RUNNING BLIND: 

Laura's choreographic work 'Running Blind' began in 2015. It focuses on heightening awareness and perspective through the stimulus and hindering of our sensory and kinaesthetic environments. She was awarded the Artist in the Community Award managed by CREATE (Ireland) and supported by mentor Amanda Coogan, to work with the Anne Sullivan centre for DeafBlind in 2015. Since then she continues her relationship and weekly class with the residents.

In 2016, Laura extended this project to investigate new forms of experiencing dance through haptic communication and audio description. She was awarded the Dance Ireland 2016 Tyrone Guthrie Centre Residency Award to facilitate this research, working with collaborators, Walei Sabre,  accessibility activist working in New York and Janie Doherty, contemporary dancer based in Derry. Laura was the recipient of the Dance Ireland Mentored Residency award in 2016 where she worked with, Writer, Dancer and Theatre Director, Tom Pritchard to explore the use of text and voice in dance as a creative tool and integral element of dance performance. 

As Dancer-in-Residence at Rua Red in 2017, Laura facilitated a programme of creative lab sessions with participants who are blind and integrated workshops with professional and community dancers. In August 2017, she presented an accessible dance performance that incorporated tactile environment, immersive soundscape, interactive performance and live audio-description. Three of the six performances included audience with sight-loss. In 2018, Laura further developed this Inclusive Dance project ,delivering two six week programmes in collaboration with the National Council for the Blind, supported by the DLR Arts Office, Sports Partnership and  Vision Sports Ireland. 

In 2018, Laura further developed her Inclusive Dance work, Running Blind, and delivered two six week programmes in collaboration with the National Council for the Blind, supported by the DLR Arts Office and the Arts Access Grant. The impact of this work was acknowledged with receipt of the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award.

In July 2018, the Irish Independent featured this project as the cover story of their Health Supplement. 

Click here to see the 2 page article. 

Running Blind is an interactive dance performance that brings the audience on a journey of the senses, guiding them to experience dance in a new way.  This work is accessible to all.​ 

For more details on this work see: www.runningblind.ie

Contact laura@runningblind.ie to receive Press and Media Pack.

David Keane- The Reviews Hub

 

“Dowdall’s performance vacillated between ecstasy and despair, and she was a visual feast in pure flowing white… Dowdall was mesmerising and hypnotic ...an intriguing performance with Dowdall and O’Braoin being above par in their respective field."

 

Tatiana Lobza- Dance Reviewer

 

“Laura’s movements were mesmerizing and flawless making you part of something special and intimate – the world you don’t explore or see every day... you feel the strength and  more confident steps, emotions, light and darkness, momentous joy and realization of reality. Laura is magnificent to watch."

 

 

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