Ailish Claffey

Ailish Claffey is a freelance collaborative dance artist, choreographer and curator based in Kildare.

Ailish has worked with diverse groups within the community developing her embodied co-creative and Dance for Health practice for over two decades. Heavily informed by landscape, Ailish’s work explores the complexity of human relationship and examines the lived experience of those she works with. Through the support of The Arts Council’s, Dance Bursary Award 2021, Ailish’s practice marries transdisciplinary collaboration with her grounding in choreology (Specialist Diploma, Trinity Laban, UK) as she continues her exploration into the raw beauty of vulnerability and fragility.

As Dance Artist in Residence at The National Centre for Arts and Health (2015 – 2019) Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), Ailish’s dance film documentary The Dance Back Home received a Certificate of Excellence from the HSE Excellence Awards (2018). 2022 Kildare Platform 32 recipient, Ailish has designed and delivered many large-scale projects nationally and is the recipient of numerous awards. Her work is kindly supported by Dance Ireland, The Arts Council, Ireland, Culture Ireland, Kildare Co. Council, South Dublin Co. Council, The Meath Foundation, Creative Ireland,, The National Centre for Arts and Health among others.

Ailish is the recipient of the inaugural Artist in Residence programme at The ACRE Project, Celbridge, a partnership with Kildare County Council Arts Service (2022-2023) whereby she established weekly intergenerational dance workshops with the local community resulting in ongoing meaningful artistic collaboration. 

Image of recent project: Dance Buladh Bos, funded by Creative Ireland Bursary Award. Taken by Anthony Griffin. Ailish Claffey and Philippa Donnellan performing at McAuley Place, Naas.