Established in 2009, BLANK CANVAS is a professional dance residency programme, which offers Irish and international choreographers resources for researching and developing new works. It also offers the public an insight into the creative process, with each residency presenting a work-in-progress and public feedback session.

BLANK CANVAS International Exchange Residencies 2020

Call for submissions for two-week choreographic residencies at Firkin Crane, Cork, Ireland.

Since 2009, the BLANK CANVAS residency scheme at Firkin Crane has supported dance-artists to develop new ideas and make valuable connections with other dance professionals both locally and internationally. The focus of the residencies is not on creating finished work but on the studio-based research that allows artists to deepen, interrogate or refine their choreographic practice. However, participants in BLANK CANVAS are expected to share the outcome of their research, in whatever way is appropriate, during the Friday end-of-residency platform that is shared with other BLANK CANVAS residents, and for the engaged local following that BLANK CANVAS sharings have built over the years.

In 2020 BLANK CANVAS will take place in July and August. A total of 4 two-week residencies will be awarded over this period:

2 residencies in Phase 1: Monday 13th to Friday 24th July.

2 residencies in Phase 2: Monday 10th to Friday 21st August.

The residencies are open to independent dance artists and companies that have a demonstrable track record of professional choreography. Priority will be given to proposals that explain clearly how the residency would impact on the artist’s/company’s practice.

What Firkin Crane will provide:

  • Studio space for two weeks. 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Technical and production advice from Firkin Crane’s resident dance specialists
  • 13 nights self catering accommodation for up to 2 members of each project
  • €300 per dance artist contribution towards expenses for up to 2 members of each project
  • Opportunities to connect with the professional dance community in Cork including collaborators, dancers or an outside eye during your residency

What Firkin Crane expects of you:

  • Present something of what you’ve been working on in an informal sharing at the end of your residency.
  • Be willing to lead one week of Tuesday and Thursday professional class at Firkin Crane.

You will need to cover any additional travel and subsistence costs in excess of the Firkin Crane allowance. We are happy to provide letters of support if you are in a position to apply for funds elsewhere to cover these costs.

You are welcome to submit project proposals with more than two members but you will need to be able to cover all costs including accommodation for additional members.

There are two time periods so please indicate which phase you are applying for. Firkin Crane has multiple studios and can accommodate more than one residency at a time, encouraging artists to connect during the residency and to cooperate for the public sharing event on the final Friday.

How to apply:

  • Please submit a one-page proposal outlining what you’d like to achieve in the residency and why it would be beneficial to your practice right now. In addition, indicate how you expect to fund the extra costs of the residency.
  • Please also include a CV and links to online examples of your work that are relevant to the residency proposal.

Email your proposal – with BLANK CANVAS in the subject line – to
Only email proposals will be accepted.
Application Deadline: Monday 24th February 2020
Successful artists/companies will be notified during the week of Monday 23rd March 2020



In 2016 the call out attracted applicants from 14 countries, and the 6 successful artists, from emerging to established, exemplify the breadth of innovation across the field of dance, involving cross-art form collaboration, site-specific work, film and aerial dance.

The successful projects came from:

  • Louise Tanoto and Jacob Ingram-Dodd (Belgium/UK) started work on a new duet.
  • Mary Nugent (Ireland) developed her choreographic language as an artist with a disability.
  • Maire Dee (Ireland) explored instinctive movement in her choreographic work.
  • Kendall Rileigh (USA) developed an ariel/acrobatic interpretation of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy.
  • Mary Pearson (UK) questioned consumerism to develop a performance installation.
  • Dimitrios Mytilinaios and Nefeli Kadinopoulou Asteriou (Greece) used the phenomena of super-massive black holes as the subject of a new duet.


BLANK CANVAS Intensive 2015

In 2015 89 applications from 26 different countries proposed research projects in many different formats: cross-art form collaboration, site-specific work, film and circus. From this wide range, six projects were selected that represent the encouraging quality and exciting diversity of the applications.

The successful projects came from:

  • Dan Watson (UK) focused on balancing liveness and craft in his work.
  • Zoi Dimitriou and Henry Montes (UK) researched the idea of pilgrimage.
  • Oona Doherty (Ireland) tested skills for an instinctive and embodied performance practice.
  • Fatou Cissé (Senegal) worked with a musician-storyteller and a performer in the studio and in public space.
  • Jason Jacobs and Ekaterine Giorgadze (Germany) worked on translating information from distinct source materials into physicality through analysis, reflection and active engagement.
  • Agnietė Lisičkinaitė and Greta Grinevičiūtė (Lithuania) were researching the dialogue between casual and choreographed movement and the interplay between video documentation and theatrical contemporary dance.


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Mark Carberry (Limerick/London), worked on a site-specific research with Visual Artist Bláthnaid Ní Mhurchú and Fashion Designer Natalie Coleman
Emma Fitzgerald (Dublin) and Liadain Herriott (Dublin/Brussels) worked on the biographies and autobiographies of women
Micheline Heal (New York), researched magic for a family focused dance piece
Wanjiru Kamuyu (Paris) developed material towards a solo
Oonagh Kearney (Cork/London) with Riccardo Buscarini (UK) researched dance on film as a studio practice
Katherine O’Malley (Dublin), collaborated with composer Darragh Dukes.

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  • Lisa Mc Loughlin and Neil Kenny (Tipperary)
  • Clare Daly (UK)
  • Luke Pell and Jo Verrent (UK)
  • Rob Heaslip (Scotland) and Laura Murphy (Cork)
  • Frith Collective (Ireland) -Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Jenny Brown, Lucia Kickham, Orla Shine and Lisa Tighe.


  • Mary Wycherley (Ireland)
  • Adrienne Westwood and Katie Swords (USA)
  • Lisa Cahill (Ireland) and Erika Charters (UK)
  • Nerida Matthaei (Australia) 
  • Jamila Johnson-Small (England) and Mira Kautto (Finland)
  • Karen Bernard (USA) 


  • Tania Soubry (Luxemburg) and Géraldine Vessière (France)
  • Jasmin Chiodi (Argentina) and Alexandre Iseli (Switzerland) and Company with Mentor Catalina Fernandez (Colombia) Elodie Escarmelle (Paris) and two dancers from Europe
  • Micheline Heal (New York) with a filmmaker and two dancers from USA and three local performers
  • Stephen Moynihan (Ireland/London) Working with a Galway based Video artist and a dancer from Cuba
  • Kimberly Almquist and Aaron Draper from New York worked with a large cast of local performers
  • Stephanie Schober (Berlin) with a dancer from London
  • Katla Thor (Iceland) working with 2 local dance artists
  • Rachel Erdos (Israel) plus 2 dance artists and a composer with her from Israel.
  • Fearghus Ó Conchúir (Ireland/UK) working with dancer Mathew Morris (Berlin)
  • Kyle Abraham (New York) with 3 local dancers and mentor John Scott



  • Catherine Young
  • Inma Moya
  • Laura Murphy
  • Ursula Chapman.
  • Liz Lea (London)
  • Matthew Morris (Berlin)
  • Carlos Cortes (Spain).
  • Legitimate Bodies (Sligo)
  • Shakram (Cork).
  • Aerial Dance Company Fidget Feet (Donegal)
  • Phluxus Dance Collective (Australia)