BREANDÁN DE GALLAÍ
Dancer, choreographer and dance academic Breandán de Gallaí’s involvement with dance is multifaceted. In his capacity as artist director and choreographer of dance company Ériu, Breandán explores the poetic potential of the Irish dance form and presents work that is explorative and innovative in a contemporary context. He has created several works, most notably Walls Talk, Salómae, Aon, Lïnger, Rite of Spring and Noċtú.
As a dance scholar Breandán interest lies in the contemporisation of Irish dance. He completed a performance-based doctorate in 2013, the first of its kind in the world. His PhD in Arts Practice title is – “Imeall-Siúl: A Choreographic Exploration of Expressive Possibilities in Irish dance”. He earned an MA in Ethnochoreology in 2009, and was external examiner for the MA in Traditional Irish Dance Performance at the University of Limerick from 2004 – 2008. Breandán has held the positions of Course Director of the Arts Practice PhD programme and the MA Irish Dance Performance at the University of Limerick. He is currently Course Director of the BA Irish Dance at the university.
As a dancer, Breandán toured with Riverdance from 1994 – 2003, 7 of which in the position of principal dancer. In 2007 he returned to Riverdance as Dance Director. His training is predominately in Irish step dancing, but is passionate about many dance genres and in 1988 he graduated from the Gus Giordano Dance Academy, Chicago, having been awarded a scholarship to study Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap dance.
Breandán held the position of artist in residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in 2008/9, and in County Cavan 2011/12. He regularly presents TV programmes for RTÉ and TG4 and acts in TG4’s popular soap opera Ros na Rún. He also holds a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics. Breandán is currently developing 2 new works for 2021: The Village with Ériu, and Balor with the youth branch of the company – Na Mic Ua gCorra.
Michael Ryan, a native of Co. Tipperary has been teaching Irish-dancing for over 20 years throughout Waterford, Cork and Tipperary. With a school of dedicated and accomplished pupils his is recognized internationally as one of the premier Irish-dancing schools. As well as having pupils ranked and title-holders of major championships such as All-Ireland, Munster, Great Britain, British Nationals, All-Scotland, and of course the World Championships he encourages and directs his pupils to pursue performance Irish Dance.
Michael is also a valued member of the faculty at The University of Limerick where he is a tutor of the B.A. and M.A. programme in The Irish Academy of Music and Dance. When not in class in Ireland, he is often invited to teach master classes in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A, to name a few.
Michael is also renowned for his choreography of such well-known shows as Flames of the Dance, The Booley House, Draíocht, and of course Ragus. Ragus has been touring the world for the past 13 years and is notably one of the best live shows to date.
Michael believes in encouraging his pupils to take part in shows when they are not busy practising for dance championships. “Shows and events like Take The Floor help keep dance alive and are a great showcase for the student’s talents”, comments Michael. As a result, many of his former pupils have gone on to have very successful dance careers in their own right.
Caoimhe Ennis from Dublin began her training at the age of four with the Clarke School of Irish Dancing. The school has since evolved to become the Ennis & Clarke Goodman Academy where she is an active TCRG. Throughout her enjoyable competitive career, she achieved numerous Championship titles at both local and provincial level including the well acclaimed World Championship for which she attained six titles.
Caoimhe attended the Billie Barry Stage School from the age of four where she spent many happy years. She was afforded the opportunity of performing in The Gaiety Theatre in several pantomimes as well as ‘Carousel’ with the Rathmines Rathgar Musical Society and a ‘Hallelujah Production’ in the Royal Albert Hall London. She went on to train at The Institute of the Arts Barcelona and earned a BA in Dance and Theatre Studies. After completing her degree, she then joined the cast in Disneyland Paris as character and parade performer.
In 2022 Caoimhe completed an MA in Irish Traditional Dance Performance at the University of Limerick. As
well as tutoring within the University, she is also continuing her studies this academic year undertaking an MA in Ethnochoreology.
Caoimhe has always been inspired by Eriu Dance Company and the many significant works that they have
created. She was delighted to make her debut with the company in their recent production of ‘The House of Bernardo Alba’.
Shannon Burke from Co. Cork began dancing at the age of five. Obtaining several championship titles, she decided to pursue Irish Dance professionally by studying a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Irish Dance at the University of Limerick.
She has travelled through Europe and the USA with various dance shows and represented the Irish embassy in Africa.
She returned to the University of Limerick to study a Master’s Degree in Dance Performance and is continuing to work as a tutor within the Irish World Academy. She has always had great interest in exploring contemporary Irish dance and has admired the work of Ériu for years. She just finished her first production ‘House of Bernardó Alba” with the company and enjoyed every part of the creative process to the performance. She is currently studying PE teaching while continuing to explore and focus on her dance career.
Kelsey Schuhle, a native of upstate New York, was a competitive Irish Dancer for 17 years under An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha. Kelsey moved to Limerick in 2011 to study Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance (University of Limerick). In 2015 she
graduated with a BA, and in 2017 received her Masters Degree in Traditional Irish Dance Performance.
Kelsey has had the privilege of touring with Rhythm of the Dance (2017 UK Tour), and Dublin Irish Dance (2018 USA Tour). Along with her touring experience, she has worked with globally known dancers such as Breandán de Gallaí, Ciara Sexton, Nic Gareiss, Colin Dunne and others.
Not only does Kelsey perform and teach regularly, she also choreographs her own material, and
has studied over 15 different genres of dance in her time at the Irish World Academy. Her own
style is a fusion of several percussive dance genres, however it is rooted in Irish step dance.
Kelsey has been a dance tutor/lecturer at the Irish World Academy since 2015, teaching BA, MA,
and PhD dance students.
She is currently finishing her PhD in Arts Practice. Kelsey is researching the art of decluttering the dance, showing the creative possibilities for an Irish dancer post-competition within the solo dance genre. She plans to have completed and received her doctoral degree by the conclusion of 2023.
Laura Lundy is a dancer and choreographer from co. Sligo. Laura started dance at a young age with the Sylvan Kelly School of Irish dance where she competed at a high level for many years. After completing her BA in
Irish Music & Dance, she transitioned from competitive dance to a world of dance performance, where she developed a keen interest in her own creative practice.
Laura then moved to The Netherlands where she continued to develop as a dancer. She received her TCRG qualifications allowing her to teach at the now – Kilkenny Lundy School of Irish dance in Den Haag. Whilst based in Holland, Laura choreographed for, and performed at, many events such as the International Arts Festival, The Dutch Embassy and The National Dutch Ballet. She regularly gives dance workshops around Europe and the US and has been lucky enough to dance alongside many influential dance artists such as the Fontanella Dance Company.
In 2021, Laura returned to UL to complete her Master’s degree in Irish traditional dance performance, where she is now currently working as a tutor at the University of Limerick. Through residencies, workshops and creative projects, Laura is constantly challenging the idea of Irish dance and where it can lead her. Most recently, she worked as a part of Ériu’s new production ‘The House of Bernardó Alba’ and looks forward to more performances in the future.
Sarah is a dance artist and teacher based in Limerick. Her exploration lies within the parameters of Traditional
Irish step dance through the lens of contemporary dance. Sarah is primarily interested in the processes involved when making dance.
She has worked as a professional dance artist with various Irish based dance companies and choreographers over the past ten years. These artists include, Kristyn Fontanella, Breandán de Gallaí (ériu dance company), Liz Roche Company (as an intern), Phillipa Donellan and Mary Nunan.
Having graduated from an MA in Traditional Dance and Contemporary Dance at The University of Limerick, she is delighted to be a tutor of Creative Practice on the BA in Traditional Dance at The Irish World Academy in UL. Sarah considers her practice with Ériu Dance company to be a huge part of her development as a dancer and dance artist. She is a proud member of Ériu since 2016.
**Please note all teachers are subject to change.