Cathy Coughlan | Dancer-in-residence

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Cathy Coughlan
Dance artist Cathy Coughlan has been artist in residence at RUARED since January 2015.

Cathy’s work explores new modes of audience engagement, collaboration and participation through screen based technology. This work is both the culmination of Cathy’s reasearch, supported by Create’s – Artist in the Community Scheme – Bursary Award and the presentation of work in progress developed through The Arts Council’s – Dance Artist in Residence Award.

The artist will present a dance film ‘OUT SIDE IN’, a digital duet ‘NON-VERBAL‘ and a web based initiative ‘HAVOC’ in collaborative with dance artists Ailish Claffey and Michelle Cahill.
Out Side In examines the physical and sociological impact of pregnancy and motherhood on the female body. Drawing from the series of interviews, the work was developed in collaboration with a wide demographic of Dublin based women and tells the story of one woman’s transition, as her inner world becomes exposed.

This work is an outcome of research into new modes of collaboration through screen based technology. The footage was gathered almost exclusively through improvised movement and explores the editor as choreographer. A reduction in large expansive movements, creates space for the camera to pick up on the subtleties of the dancers choices. This technique is intended for application in collaboration with non-dancers and community participants, where larger movement may be restricted.
The term non verbal is often used to describe dance as an art form. It is also one of the most crucial spectrum distinctions, in the diagnosis of Autism in young children. In this work, the artist explores the idea of mothering an autistic child through movement, touch and repetition. The child is projected into the performance space, where the live dancer can respond to his movements. As a piece of research and work in progress, this work looks at using recorded performance as a way of affording children and adults with additional needs the space and time to work within their own comfort levels. It allows for slow, consistent progression, with contact time focussed on the individual or group.
Havoc is a remote company (web based initiative) established through Cathy Coughlan’s research into screen based technology and collaborative dance practice, supported by Create’s – Artist in the community | Bursary Award, with continued support from The Arts Council, through the Dance Artist in Residence Award. The project is managed through a cooperative of dance artists, including Michelle Cahill, Ailish Claffey and Cathy Coughlan. At the core of this initiative, is an interest in producing high quality outcomes from socially engaged practice and in generating water audience for dance in general.

As a ‘stand alone’ project, HAVOC considers the expanding possibilities of what dance can be. It aims to open the process of dance making, enable a broader understanding of the art form and gather an archive of dance works created in a socially engaged context. It also provided resources and technical support to artists working collaboratively with communities such as educational material, symposium/festival material, a template for the best practice and the opportunity to present images and video of work in progress.

HAVOC is a home for embodied practice outside of the traditional theatre setting, capturing and archiving the work that dance artists engage in to deliver work within communities of interest or place. This is work that may not always make it into the public arena but is, none the less, imperative to the development of audiences for professional dance, both in Ireland and internationally.
Hosted on this website is over 10 hours of interviews with some of Irelands leading choreographers, venues and producers. Including; David Bolger, John Scott, Catherine Young, Arts Audiences, Cian O’Brien, Philippa Donnellan, Jenny Traynor, Ailish Claffey, Anica Louw, Michelle Cahill, Aoife Courtney and Philip Napier.

See here for more information about Cathy.
Image: Cathy performing Non-verbal at the Rewind Film Festival