Associate Artist

A nuanced partnership of support and development for a dance artist with Dance Ireland.

The Associate Artist programme is a significant means for Dance Ireland to support the development of dance artists and choreography in Ireland.  

With each Associate, we offer a suite of supports, including administrative support, studio space, advice and networking, in support of their self-directed projects. During their year-long association with Dance Ireland, our Associate Artists also act as ambassadors for the organisation and for dance as a whole.

We maintain an open and responsive engagement with all our Associate Artists: Aoife McAtamney, Emma Martin, Liv O’DonoghuePhilip Connaughton, Maria Nilsson Waller, Catherine YoungPatricia CrosbieLiam ScanlonLuke MurphyAine Stapleton and Sibeal Davitt.

2021/2022 Zoë Ashe-Browne

Zoë Ashe-Browne is an award winning dance artist and choreographer from Dublin, Ireland.
She began her professional dance training in 2003 with Irish National Youth Ballet Company. In 2006, aged 16, she won a full scholarship to train at the English National Ballet School in London where she completed her education.

Upon graduating in 2009 she returned to Ireland to dance with The National Ballet of Ireland, dancing principal roles in Morgann Runacre-Temple’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Carmen’, both of which were created on her. Subsequently, Zoë danced with the English National Ballet Company, The Peter Schaufuss Ballett Company (Denmark) and Ballett Vorpommern (Germany), before joining the Royal Ballet of Flanders (Antwerp, Belgium) in 2018 under the directorship of world renowned choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Her vast performance repertoire includes classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan, Alexander Ekman, Benjamin Millepied, Meryl Tankard, Derek Deane, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Wayne Eagling, Ludovic Ondiviela, Herald Lander, Michael Corder, Martha Graham, Bryan Arias, Brigel Gjoka, Jeanne Brabants, Daniel Proietto, and many more.

Earlier this year Zoë was a recipient of the Countess Markievicz Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media.
Find out more about Zoë here

2020 Sibeal Davitt

Sibéal Davitt is a dance artist and performer from Dublin. She has performed at venues and festivals all over the world for over 10 years. Her style of dance is influenced by contemporary, classical and Irish traditional ‘sean-nós’ dance, having trained in all styles from a young age.

In 2016 she created 'Fógraím/I Proclaim' and performed at the GPO as part of 'Embodied', a series of six solos by female choreographers commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival, in partnsrship with Dance Ireland, and in 2017 she performed in 'As We Know It’ alongside Kristyn Fontanella at First Looks, Open Studio at Tanzmesse at KLAP Marseille and ‘Tradition and Beyond’ for Echo Echo Festival of Movement and Dance.

In 2017/18 she co-choreographed two pieces with Olwyn Lyons for CoisCéim Dance Theatre's youth dance company ‘Creative Steps’. In 2018 she created  a short ensemble work ‘Surrender Navigation’ for Five Lamps Arts Festival.
She co-choreographed 'Ask Too Much Of Me' directed by Veronica Coburn at the Abbey Theatre in August 2019.

Sibéal is one of five recipients of the 2019 inaugural Markievicz Award. To find out more about her, click here.

2019 Áine Stapleton

Áine Stapleton is a dance artist. She creates choreography for both stage and screen, in partnership with arts organisations in Ireland and abroad. She has a 1st Class Honours Degree in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey, London. Áine is currently producing her second dance film based on Lucia Joyce, called Horrible Creature. It is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, with additional support from Arts and Disability Ireland, Dance Ireland, The James Joyce Centre Dublin, Fringe Lab at Dublin Fringe, the Ticino Film Commission in Locarno, Tanzarchiv Zurich, and The Irish Embassy in Bern, Switzerland.

Her first dance film Medicated Milk, was also based on Lucia Joyce. It was created with José Miguel Jiménez, and features an original sound score by Somadrone. “Brave, provocative and deeply sensual...A must see" Film Ireland.

She recently performed extracts from her work Queen of Vacation as part of ARTWORKS at Visual Carlow and Carlow Arts Festival, in June 2018. Queen of Vacation is inspired by natural beekeeping, permaculture, and systems thinking. The choreographic score for this work was recently included in a new publication called ‘Holon’, and as part of a conference exhibition ‘Learning from the Bees’ in the Netherlands.

'I am absolutely thrilled to be Associate Artist with Dance Ireland in 2019. It’s been such a pleasure to partner with Dance Ireland on various projects throughout the years, so I can only imagine the joy and inspiration that a year of full-time collaboration will bring. In 2019, I will research and produce a variety of choreographic projects in Ireland and abroad. I am very grateful to Dance Ireland for being my creative anchor, as well as my levante!'  says Áine on her appointment.

Over the next few months, Áine will finish creating her new dance film Horrible Creature with dance artists Michelle Boulé, Sarah Ryan and Céline Larrère, voice-over artist Rebecca Warner, cinematographer Will Humphris, and sound artists David Best and Ed Chivers (Fujiya & Miyagi). Horrible Creature will premiere at the Irish Film Institute in June and in Switzerland during Winter 2019.

She was artist in residence at the NMAC Foundation in Andalucia, Spain in 2019,  an exhibition space situated on 30 hectares of Mediterranean pine grove, and features permanent works by international artists including Marina Abramovic and James Turrell, where she completed research for a new dance project called 'alone as everything'.

Áine will shared her research with a work-in-progress at DanceHouse in the Autumn of 2019, and offered movement workshops based on her research themes throughout the year. Read more about her year in this blog- here.

2018 Luke Murphy

Cork born Luke Murphy, is a choreographer and performer based between Brussels, Cork and New York. He has danced with Ultima Vez since 2014 touring internationally in In Spite of Wishing and Wanting, Booty Looting and Spiritual Unity and with Punchdrunk since 2009, performing leading roles in Sleep No More in Boston, New York City and Shanghai, as well as The Drowned Man in London. He has danced in the companies of Martha Clarke, Kate Weare, Pavel Zuštiak, John Scott and in projects with John Kelly, Jonah Bokaer and Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Luke’s own work has been supported by various commissions, awards and residencies including the Arts Council, Cork City Council, Culture Ireland, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, Kaatsbaan International Dance Centre, Pavilion Theatre, Dance Ireland, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Irish Arts Centre NYC, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Dance Limerick, Dance Base Edinburgh, Tribeca Performing Arts Centre. He has created five evening length works: Drenched(2012), Icarus (2013), Your Own Man/Mad Notions (2015), On Triumph and Trauma(2016) and most recently The Dust We Raised, which was presented in Cork and Dublin earlier this year. 

Luke founded Attic Projects in 2014 as an umbrella for his various independent projects in dance, film and theatre. Luke is the producer and curator The Catch8 Workshop Series (Cork) and is currently working toward the opening of a new dance residency centre in County Cork.

Luke trained at Point Park University, Pennsylvania, where he earned his BFA in Dance and English in 2009 and University of Chichester where he earned an MA in Choreography in 2017.

As an Associate Artist of Dance Ireland, Luke has planned a wide ranging programme including working on a publication; teaching, research & developemnt and residencies at DanceHouse; touring his current work The Dust We Raised plus working on an international masterclass workshop week (Catch8) in June as part of Cork Midsummer Festival.  

On his appointment as an Assoicate Artist, Luke is  '​delighted to be joining DanceIreland as Associate Artist for 2018, the opportunity allows me to enter new territory in my practice and engage in a really exciting and diverse programme of projects. Its a rare thing to be supported across  the full breath of your practice and I'm very excited to be able to work through my various strands of interest in dance; from teaching to  creation, from curation to writing. I really look forward developing my practice and engaging further with Irish dance community in whats sure to be a very exciting and very busy year.' 

2016-2017 – Liam Scanlon

Sean Nós dancer Liam Scanlon is our Associate Artist for 2016-2017. Mayo born Liam is an award winning and accomplished Sean Nós performer, collaborator and teacher, working nationally and internationally.

A recent graduate of the MA in Traditional Dance Performance at University of Limerick, Liam has performed extensively throughout Ireland, the UK, France, New Zealand and the United States, with among others Damhsa Dance Company, and on shows including Ragús, Avalon Celtic Dances, Atlantic Rhythm. Currently Liam is working on Sokalo Remix in collaboration with Zogma Danse Collectif, Montreal on Irish and Canadian tours. Liam has also performed alongside an eclectic range of traditional music artists, including Altan, Goitse, De Dannan, Kíla, We Banjo 3.

A winner of Corn TG4 at Oireachtas na Gaeilge (2008) and winner of senior Sean Nós dancing at the World Fleadh (2009), Liam frequently adjudicates at competitions including All Ireland Fleadh, An tOireachtas, Féile Pan Cheilteach and Féile na Mí. In addition his extensive teaching engagements, include Le Bono Winter School, Ballyshannon Folk Festival, Tokyo C.C.É and summer schools in Birmingham, Westport, and Irish Dance Festival, Carlingford. TV work includes TG4 An Jig Gig, Poball and Féilte.  

Liam was commissioned to choreograph Patrick by Westport Town Hall Theatre (2016) and has contributed choreography to shows including Legend of Grainne Mhaol, The Admiral and Wild Atlantic Show. This is an area of focus for Liam, who will use his time as Associate Artist to develop his choreographic ideas and creative collaborations.

Liam has identified Dance Ireland’s Associate Artist Programme as

‘…A key opportunity to develop my own dance practice further through strengthening links with dance artists in other genres as well as the traditional arts, and through time to explore, learn and reflect, and allow me valuable time to realise my vision as a choreographer at this critical stage of my career.’

Read more in this blog post about Liam attending the B Motion conference in 2019.

2015-2016 – Patricia Crosbie

We worked in partnership with Cork based ballet mistress, teacher and choreographer Patricia Crosbie on the research and development phase of Journey Through The Mirror, an ensemble work focused on developing a personal narrative of relational values and identity negotiation, combining classical, contemporary and Irish traditional vocabularies. Journey Through The Mirror culminated in work-in-progress performances at DanceHouse in June.

Patricia was a member of Irish National Ballet, Vienna Festival Ballet, and London Ballet Theatre. She toured worldwide with the renowned rock band, The Kinks, choreographing and performing in their concerts. She was awarded an MA in Dance in 2011 at the University of Limerick where she now teaches ballet on the MA and BA Dance courses at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

2014-2015 – Catherine Young

At the time of her appointment as Associate Artist, Catherine Young identified Dance Ireland’s Associate Artist Programme as “a key opportunity to progress as an artist which will allow me to realise my vision as a choreographer at this critical stage of my career.”  Catherine’s year ended with a First Look studio showing at DanceHouse as part of Dublin Dance Festival of her new work ‘Ultima Thule’.  Her quote was accurate, as this work was fully realised in April 2016 and presented at Project Arts Centre and at other venues around the country.  Catherine continues to develop her choreographic career.

Catherine was Dancer/Choreographer in Residence at Siamsa Tíre Theatre (2006-2015) where she was artistic director of Catherine Young Dance, Kerry Youth Dance Theatre and founder/co-artistic director of Tocht International Dance Festival (2011-2015). Catherine holds an MA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Limerick where she is also a guest lecturer/choreographer.  She also holds a certificate in Theatre Directing from National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Catherine trained and performed for eight years in San Francisco and New York and has studied/worked with Printz Dance Project (USA), The American Conservatory Theatre (USA), Darell Jones (USA), Retina Dance Company (UK/Belgium), Lacina Coulibaly (Kongo Ba Teria Dance Company – Africa), Wendy Houstoun (UK) and Hofesh Schecter Company (UK). She has created work for the Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Shawbrook Touring Company and the University of Limerick among others.

Catherine served as a board member of Dance Research Forum Ireland 2008-2012 and is also a certified yoga teacher.  Catherine was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist in 2014/15.

“She is a choreographer that we will hear about for a long time” Jonathan Kelleher, Artistic Director, Siamsa Tíre – The National Folk Theatre of Ireland

“Catherine has an ability to inspire creative, technical and intelligent work in dance.” Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer, Kerry County Council

2013 – 2014 – Maria Nilsson Waller

During her year as Associate Artist, Maria Nilsson Waller focused on engaging with Dance Ireland’s national and international networks to network and present her current repertoire which includes solo and group work.  Maria continues to choreograph and is creating a new work for premiere in 2017 entitled merry.go.round which is a full length dance work for five dancers.  Maria also continues to create imaginative and other worldly solos.

Maria is a freelance dance artist and choreographer. She was elected "Hoffningsträgerin" (bearer of hope) 2015 by Tanzmagazine. With work described as idiosyncratic, mesmerizing, pure, quirkily humorous and as poetry from the lingonberry forest, she is a multidisciplinary artist who also composes the music for her pieces as well as designs light, video and costume.

Maria was born in 1984 in the Swedish town of Östersund, county Jämtland. Surrounded by music, she grew up playing various instruments and was strongly influenced by the traditional music of the region, as well as by classical and modern music. At the age of 15 she left home to pursue a career in dance, a passion she had already carried for many years. She graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet School in 2004. Around this time, while working as a freelance dancer, her interest in choreography and composition started to grow. This led her to further studies at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, and from there to France. Between 2007 and 2009, Maria was part of Cannes Jeune Ballet where she choreographed several pieces for the company’s repertoire under the artistic direction of Monique Loudiéres.

Maria is based in Dublin where she continues to create as an independent artist, dividing her work between Ireland and Sweden, often in close collaboration with dancers, musicians, film artists and photographers.

Maria is a member of Jämtlands Kulturkompani and was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist 2013/2014.   She has been supported by the Irish Arts Council, Dance Ireland, Culture Ireland, Estrad Norr and Konstnärsnämnden, Sweden.

2013 – 2014 – Philip Connaughton

Philip Connaughton used his year as Associate Artist to develop his choreographic practice and is proposing to focus on the development of a trio; in addition he is also working on solo pieces and using his time as an associate artist to focus on the technical side of production.  The effect of this year was seen with his large scale ensemble work, Tardigrade, presented as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival in 2014, which won a Design Award.  Since that time, Philip has had success in nationally and internationally touring WHACK!! , a duet with collaborator Ashely Chen (FR). His latest work, Extraterrestrial Events, will be performed in Paris and Dublin in early 2017. Philip also continues to work with and perform the work of many other choreographers.

Philip is a choreographer/performer originally from Dublin. He began dancing locally and then went on to train at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. As a choreographer, his first solo, Embody, was created during a residency at Movement Research (NYC), and since then he has been performing his work internationally. Philip was Artist in Residence at Axis Ballymun [2012] where he created Mortuus Est Philippus for Dublin Dance Festival. His lecture-performance Dance Uncovered (sensational) was featured is Dublin Dance Festival 2015.  WHACK!! will be performed at MOMA NYC in September 2016 and continues to tour throughout France in 2016/17.
His latest work, Extraterrestrial Events, will be performed in Paris and Dublin in early 2017.
Also working in theatre and opera, his credits include Der Vampyr for Cork’s Midsummer Festival, The Gate Theatre’s production of The Threepenny Opera for Dublin Theatre Festival and Noel Coward’s The Vortex - also at The Gate. He was choreographer/ass. director on Faust at The Everyman and  The Bloody Irish for PBS TV, America. Most recently, he choreographed I'm Your Man for THISISPOPBABY for the Dublin Theatre Festival. 
As a teacher Philip has taught professional classes and workshops for Dance Ireland, Galway Dance Project, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Step Up, Dance Limerick. The University of Limerick, Penn. State University and Drexel University, Philadelphia.
Philip is a proud recipient of the 16 x 16: Next Generation Bursary Award. Philip was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist in 2013/14.

2012 – 2013 - Emma Martin

During her time as Associate Artist, Emma Martin focused on developing a dance work for six performers.  This period resulted in Dogs, which was premiered at Project Arts Centre in September 2012.

Emma Martin produces new work using dance, live music, song, text and any other means necessary to create work that is triggered by the world around us, the characters that inhabit it and the situations that stir it. For more information about her company visit

Emma Martin graduated from John Cranko School, Stuttgart, Germany in 2000, subsequently performing with the Stuttgart Ballet and Tanztheater Trier (Germany), Ballet Ireland, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Wexford Festival Opera, Opera Ireland and Muse Dance Theatre (NYC). From 2007-09 she was artistic director of Drogheda Youth Dance Company.
 Her choreographic works include Lulu (Samuel Beckett Theatre, 2009), Packing Room, Drive (short film Dublin Dance Festival 2008), Listowel Syndrome (ABSOLUT Fringe 2010, Dublin Dance Festival 2011) and the multi- award winning Dogs (2012). Emma holds a BA degree in Russian and Drama Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

Her work has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dance Ireland, Carlow County Council.  She was also a Modul-Dance artist, a multi-annual cooperation project funded by the European Commission through the Culture Programme.  Emma is currently Dance Artist in Residency at VISUAL Carlow.  Emma was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist in 2012/13.

2012 – 2013 - Aoife McAtamney

Aoife spent her year as Associate Artist working intensively in the studio on her own choreographic practice with the aim of generating material for three shows.  Aoife also aimed to increase her international connections and networks during this time through Dance Ireland’s European DanceHouse Network and other international projects we were involved with at the time such as modul-dance.  Her most recent work, Age of Transition, premiered as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe in September 2016.

‘McAtamney’s songs, performed excellently, include Happening, a tune so perfectly complete that you feel as if you’ve known it forever.’ Irish Times

‘‘Age of Transition’ is one of those truly captivating works, so good it restores the soul.’ TheArtsReview

Aoife has continued to choreograph and work regularly in other international contexts as a choreographer and performer.

Aoife McAtamney is a freelance dancer, choreographer, songwriter living in Dublin. Aoife studied at London Contemporary Dance School & the D.A.N.C.E II programme dancing with choreographers William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand, Angelin Preljocaj, Sara Rudner (NYC), Regina van Berkle (GER), Anneke Hansen (NYC), Emma Martin (IRE) and Dutch dance company T.R.A.S.H.

Aoife has been choreographing since 2009, with her first work Sweetheart that’s the interesting part… premiering in the Pavilon Noir, Aix en-Provence. She went on to create her first solo Softer Swells, which was an Aerowaves selection for 2014 touring to The Place London, La Briqueterie for Les Plateaux Paris with upcoming performances in RomaEuropa & Espaces Des Arts. In 2012 Aoife formed DISH Dance with long term collaborators and friends, Anna Kaszuba, Juan Corres Benito and Ilan Kav creating The Spinner & Empty Echo.

Other collaborations include Egg Charade with choreographer Nina Vallon of envy&p, premiering at the Dublin Dance Festival in 2013, A Room For All Our Tomorrows with Igor Urzelia and Moreno Solinas of Igor&Moreno, supported by The Place and Cambridge Junction and One One One! a duet with Ioannis Mandafounis. Aoife was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist in 2012/2013.

Aoife is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, DanceIreland, Dublin Fringe Festival, Project Arts Centre, and the Goethe Institute Dublin.

2012 – 2013 - Liv O’Donoghue

Liv O’Donoghue focused on engaging with Dance Ireland’s national and international networks with her current work Prompted Breathless and other pieces.  Liv has continued her work as a choreographer with works Hear Me Sing Your Song and With Raised Arms.  Dance Ireland achieved funding from the EU for a project entitled Communicating Dance along with five other European DanceHouses.  Liv was a participant in the professional development opportunity created by this project, and has resulted in the quarterly publication DRAFF since 2015.  Liv has also been involved with other European Projects such as Act Your Age.

Liv trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in the UK, graduating with the Outstanding Achievement award in 2007. As a choreographer, her work has been shown as part of the Dublin Dance Festival (Ireland), DancEUnion/Southbank Centre  (UK), Time to Dance (Latvia), Bealtaine Festival (Ireland), Immersia/LEAP (Germany), Autopilot (Sweden), The New Choreography Showcase (UK) and the DMJ International Video Dance Festival (Japan).

As a dancer, Liv has worked with companies and choreographers including Henri Oguike, Carol Brown, Darshan Singh Bhuller, John Scott’s irish modern dance theatre, junk ensemble, and Material Sequence Dance Company. Liv has been working with Liz Roche Company since 2009, working on five new creations with the company and touring widely throughout the USA and Europe.  Liv was a Dance Ireland Associate Artist in 2012/2013.

Liv’s work has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland and Dance Ireland.

Check out our News section for the latest on the Associate Artists.