Helen Maria Keenan
Helen is a multidisciplinary performer and theatre maker with a background in physical theatre, acting and dance. She is a recipient of a Dance Ireland Residency in DanceHouse 2021, and a LaunchPad Award in 2020.
She recently graduated from her master’s degree in Dance Performance and Choreography in the UK, where she created a series of dance theatre pieces that focused on merging the mediums of text, dance and technology, with specific investigations into, and use of projection mapping and visual effects using interactive software such as Isadora.
Helen has a passion to create innovative, high octane performance that inspires, educates and excites, while interrogating and challenging the status quo, shining a light on both Irish history, and keeping on top of the pulse of social and political issues not only relating to Ireland alone, but the human condition as a collective.
Having had a significant break in her performance training and career due to prolonged injury, Helen developed a strong interest in somatic practice and inclusive teaching. Throughout this period, Helen spent time as a choreographer for inclusive community theatre groups in Dublin (funded by Downs Syndrome Ireland), teaching dance, drama and yoga to special needs communities in Dublin, (in both community and school settings), before expanding her teaching skills in drama and dance for SEN schools and organisations such as Enable Ability in the UK.
Helen's current projects include the creation of work in progress; ‘Belle and Ball’ for early years audiences, utilising mediums of dance and physical theatre for outdoor performance. (Supported by Fingal Co Co. Mentor support: Anna Newall.)
Helen is also currently undertaking an 8 week R&D period for a Dance and Technology project supported by Longford and Cavan Co Co, and venue partners Backstage Theatre and The Ramor Theatre. The focus for this project is multidisciplinary performance making with interactive technology and AV affects as a key influence, using Isadora software. Throughout this time, Helen will also engage with mentorship and dramaturgical support from dance artist Jessie Keenan.
In addition to this, Helen will be undertaking a Dance Ireland residency this summer, investigating multidisciplinary performance where diversity and inclusion is a key focus for movement generation. At the end of her residency, she will share a new piece of experimental choreographic work for Dance Ireland's 'New Movements' programme.
With thanks to the Arts Council and the Dance Artist in Residency Scheme, Helen is also looking forward to commencing a 10 week dance residency at The Ramor Theatre this autumn-winter, which will include the creation of an outdoor performance work, and the delivery of a 6 week community 'dance and wellbeing' choreolab for the 50+ community.