Firkin Crane ReFramed Bursary Covid-19 Response 2020

Firkin Crane ReFramed Bursary

Covid-19 Response – Munster Dance Artist Bursary – July 2020

The bursaries were provided to five Cork or Munster based independent dance artists that have a demonstrable track record of professional choreography.  Priority was given to proposals that explain clearly how the bursary would impact on the artist’s practice. 

This award, made up of five separate €1,000 bursaries, was made possible due to the re-purposing of funds from Firkin Crane professional programme events that were cancelled or postponed due to the restrictions introduced in the fight against the transfer of Covid-19.

There were 13 applications for the Bursaries, and the successful candidates were:

Rachel Ní Bhraonáin (Waterford)
Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín (Cork)
Sara Hernandez (Cork)
Cormac Mohally (Cork)
Natasha Bourke (Cork)

Funding for the bursary was redistributed from Butter Nights #3 to be curated by Junk Ensemble, Cork City Dance Artists in Residence at Firkin Crane following consultation with the local dance sector, and our BLANK CANVAS International Exchange Residencies which were due to take place over the summer months.

The purpose of the award, specifically aimed in response to the current climate created by the Covid-19 pandemic, is to support Cork or Munster based professional movement artists at any stage of their career to develop their practice. The intention is to support artists with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and critically engage with their art.

We will be holding a series of mini-colloquia throughout 2021 as part of our monthly online forums, the schedule for these mini-colloquia is as follows:

Friday 7th May: Sara Hernandez

Friday 2nd July: Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and Rachel Ní Bhraonáin

Friday 6th August: Cormac Mohally

Friday 1st October: Natasha Bourke

Firkin Crane professional programme is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council Arts Office.


Rachel Ní Bhraonáin

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Over six dedicated days Rachel will begin researching an idea that has been milling around in her head for several months - with an eye to one day developing a new work for stage and screen. For the purpose of this bursary she will only be focusing on the film aspect of her idea. She will spend time during this week studying theory around directing movement for screen, which she has practical experience in but has never had time to study.

Rachel is a Waterford based artist making multidisciplinary shows and short films. With storytelling at the heart of her work, she combines dance, writing and at times aerial dance, to create visually exciting and emotionally honest work. Her short film Marian was selected for Gaze Film Festival 2020 and her first full-scale live show Losing Your Body won the Wild Card Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2019 and was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Movement Direction in 2020.


Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín

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Siobhán proposed a period of focused time reflecting and expanding on the fundamentals that make up her creative practice. She feels an urgency to identify her values and to understand more consciously what motivates her as an artist. Siobhán knows her vision and drive in relation to her work has changed and evolved, but has been very busy so had little time to consider the core values that guide her. She will work with life coach, Susanne Bentley, over 8 sessions to clarify the values that are intrinsic to her work and identify areas that need more development.

Cork based dance artist, Siobhán's primary focus is on place-based and site-specific work manifesting in film and live performance. She seeks to question how the human body engages with the Earth in a way that gives agency to both. She enjoys collaborative and multi-disciplinary work and has created alongside poets, actors, singers, geologists, boat-builders and musicians, she has also worked with a range of community groups with a special focus on primary school aged children. Siobhán is Rinceoir Cónaitheach, Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne Co Chorcaí 2018-2020 funded by Arts Council, Cork County Council, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and kindly supported by Ionad Cultúrtha.  She is a recipient of the Arts Council’s Next Generation Award (2018).


Sara Hernandez

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Sara will create a period of research and development in the studio around a body of work that explores 3 different art forms, she will develop this idea by working with two collaborators: Ilse de Ziah, cello player, and Valeria Vendetti, writer/philosopher. Each artist through their own artistic language will create and develop ideas of work from experiences and impressions during lockdown, and then develop this idea responding to each others creative impressions. The text will be translated into music and dance, the dance into music and text and the music into dance and text, creating a synergistic interdependent cross-pollination. Sara was in the studio in Firkin Crane in December, you can visit her page to see the results of this.

Sara Hernandez, originally from Barcelona, is a contemporary Dance Artist based in Ireland since 2011. With a foundation in classical dance her focus has always been in Contemporary Dance. She creates dance work from life experiences, constantly seeking new models of exploration and communication. Her recent choreographic work "Im - I am" was commissioned by Cork Butter Museum under the Percent for Art Scheme 2019. Most recently she has collaborated on the film "River Fragments" directed by Helga Deasy.

Cormac Mohally

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The pandemic has shone a light on how Cormac values his role in society, and how restrictions can present new solutions and creative ideas previously untenable become viable. From the beginning of Lockdown he began to document and photograph the experience he was having of his city as he did his daily exercise, developing ways of staying fit and using the landscape as the framework for his movement. He has developed 4 movement routes (North, South, East, West) from and around Firkin Crane within a 2km zone and offered “Running of the Dancers” workshops engaging with the city landscape through movement to change gait, height and tempo, creating a living “running-dance” mythology. Cormac ran two of his workshops in October, but these were delayed due to Level 5 Restrictions, he has started 2021 by slowing down and has invited people to go for walks .

Cormac Mohally, who is Artistic Director of Cork Circus Factory and a circus polymath, has had a passion for Circus from a young age, and since training at the Belfast Circus School in ’99 – ’00 has made Circus his career. From performing solo shows on the streets of Cork, he went on to win the Street Performance World Championship in 2013, as one half of comedy duo, Lords of Strut.


Natasha Bourke

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Natasha’s plans for the coming year includes research towards new interdisciplinary water-based performance work involving movement, harness, tightrope, breath work, live sound and visuals – merging core areas of her practice into a unique poetic language. She envisions this research evolving into an immersive complex site-specific performance that reflects on our rapidly changing body, water and landscapes whilst engaging with audiences in an innovative, humorous and kinesthetic way. During September Natasha performed “Testero Utero Go! Litter Womb”, incorporating Zorb balls, as part of Biosphere by Kirkos Ensemble, which has served as a valuable part of her research and development moving forward.

Natasha is a Cork-based Interdisciplinary artist of Irish/Dutch descent with an extensive movement background in contemporary, break/folk/jazz/African dance, ballet, butoh, body weather, authentic/poetic movement, aerial/harness, physical theatre, clown, acrobatics, puppetry, swimming, yoga and tai chi. Her broader practice embraces performance, lens-based media, installation, archive, drawing and sound. With a BA in fine art, she has developed her practice working intensively, continuing to train, teach, exhibit and perform, whilst remaining committed to the dance community as well as a breadth of other disciplines and networks. She looks forward to developing her ideas and materials with initial development support from Cork City Council Arts Office and an Arts Council Next Generation Award.