Dance Ireland Residency: Nóra Fay

Mon 27 Nov 2023 - Fri 1 Dec 2023
10:00 - 18:00

Nóra Fay is the recipient of a Dance Ireland residency. 

NAF Dance is headed by Nóra Ní Anluain Fay and primary collaborator Sorcha Murphy. They will graduate from Fontys University Tilburg, the Netherlands, in July 2023 in choreography and contemporary. They both trained with Dublin Youth Dance Company and have worked with many choreographers such as Oona Doherty, Liz Roche, John William Watson, and Kerren Rosenburg performing globally. Their work focuses on the bridge between dance and theatre fusing dance, writing, film, music, physical theatre, and slapstick comedy to create theatrical explosions on stage. Striving to highlight the magic in the mundane and the marriage between tragedy and humor while being molded through a cinematic lens, humoristic, eclectic, magical worlds begin to unfold. Their international choreographic debut was selected as the Dutch nomination piece for the Szoloduo Festival Budapest 2022. Since then the work has been shown across Europe with the latest, 'Usual Programming,' being part of Scene and Heard Festival Dublin 2023.

They will spend this summer researching and creating their new production 'Ham Sandwiches and Discipline,' a duet which Nóra and Sorcha will perform about the GAA. They have residencies lined up with both Uillinn Arts Centre Skibbereen and Galway Dance Project over July and August. They will use this residency with Dance Ireland to further develop and push this work forward. There is also such a raw theatricality to sports and its spectators and clear dramaturgical lines to matches that they would adore to delve into. The rich culture that pours from the GAA is calling to be explored, from the ham sandwiches wrapped in tin foil, 30 jerseys hanging out to dry on the line, the sound of the soaking muddy stud boots, completely vexed commentators, screaming from the sidelines in the bitter cold to the ritualistic trips to Croke Park. The 60 minute structure of a club match provides the perfect arc for a piece.

They will have workshops and sharings with the local GAA clubs in Cork and Galway and feed their knowledge into the piece.They can see and make the connections themselves between the game and the material. With weekly sessions between members of the club, there will be time to share what NAF Dance has done and open up the conversation to what the players would like to see and what they would feel would be relevant to have in the piece. The summer residencies are where they would predominantly research this world and begin to construct the final piece. 

The residency in Dance Ireland is where Nóra and Sorcha will solidify the piece and set the work as a whole. Having space in between their time in Galway in August and stepping into the studio in Dance Ireland will give them the perfect opportunity to refine and reflect on the intended material they want to focus on. Their primary movement language traditionally revolves around gestural physical theatre and slapstick comedy. A key element that they want to introduce into their practice is delving into all the possibilities that the use of floor work has the power to open up. Floorwork entails such power and raw physicality that it fits perfectly in line with the theme of the work, the intensely physically demanding GAA.

They will spend the first half of each day training and exploring the discipline of floorwork. Then in the second half of the day they will delve into how that can transfer to the material of the piece. Having thebalance of experimenting and trying in the morning with the combination of delving into how this can become concrete movement, alongside the background of material that is already there will marry the two worlds together. With this working blend they can bring the entirety of the piece into fruition. The week will culminate with a trial showing of the finished work on Friday with a discussion and feedback talk to be able to keep progressing the piece and pushing it forward. With the true beacon of the GAA, Croke Park being up the road, it makes Dance Ireland the perfect home to finalise this new work.

Read more about Nóra...

Nóra Ní Anluain Fay graduated from Fontys University, the Netherlands in choreography and is the artistic director of NAF Dance. She has worked with choreographers such as Oona Doherty, Liz Roche, John-William Watson and Kerren Rosenburg performing across Europe. Her own work is interdisciplinary and focuses on the bridge between dance and theatre. Her international choreographic debut was selected as the Dutch nomination piece for the Szoloduo Festival 2022.