Oran Leong- Half Irish, half Chinese, Oran was born in Dublin, Ireland.
At the age of 6 he started training in the competitive Irish dance style and participated from local to international platforms for nearly 18 years. In 2016 after winning the World Championships for a third year in a row he hung up his feis shoes and completed his exams for TCRG. While no longer a competitor, he remains a part of the feis world by assisting at competitions and offering workshops to dancers of all ages and levels.
During his career as a competitive Irish dancer, Oran sought to explore movement through a more liberal and expressive genre. After a few drop-in contemporary dance classes at DanceHouse, Dublin, he was accepted into the Dublin Youth Dance Company, under the mentorship of artistic director Mariam Ribón.
Oran went on to pursue the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. During and since his time there, Oran has become increasingly interested in objects and concepts of gender in movement, upon which his MA thesis was based. He graduated in January 2018 with First Class Honours.
Having been selected for the Step Up: Dance Project 2017, Oran worked with award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke to create RAVENOUS that toured nationwide. Later, as project and marketing manager, and also performer, Oran pioneered for RAVENOUS to be brought to the Limerick Fringe 2018. This was the first time a Step Up work was performed outside of the programme.
Since then Oran has worked with companies and choreographers including Kristyn Fontanella, Catherine Young, Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, Justine Doswell, Iseli-Chiodi, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Monica Munoz Marin, Muirne Bloomer, Cie Marie Lenfant and has been Assistant Artistic Director of Laois Youth Dance Ensemble. On TV, he has mentored contestants for TG4’s Irish dance series An Ríl Deal in collaboration with RTÉ. He continues to work as a freelance Irish dance and contemporary dance tutor.
In February 2020, Oran was awarded a short residency at Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne, to continue his research between contemporary and Irish dance and is currently working with Norwegian choreographer Tony Tran for a premiere in 2021.
Images: Ewa Figaszewska & Maurice Gunning