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Shawbrook Residency - Kristyn Fontanella (IE)

This residency will be the beginning of the research and development period for a new piece by Kristyn Fontanella Dance, where we take what we know from traditional Irish step dancing and use it in a contemporary context. This new dance piece for 4 dancers revolves around the competitive nature of Irish Step dancing. This competitiveness heavily influences other various areas of our lives as dancers - all of which this residency will allow us to explore. Kristyn will be working with Sibéal Davitt, a long-standing collaborator, as well as 2 younger dancers, Sarah Fennel and Yuki Nomiya. We will immerse ourselves in the subject matter, which not only applies to the dance form itself but also affects the social, emotional and mental aspects of a dancer's life - additionally exploring what each dancer’s coping mechanisms are. How does it feel to win or lose; be in the shadows of someone else’s victory or just not feel good enough? Do we ultimately ever really win or are we always‘the first loser’, second best or runner-up?

Kristyn Fontanella is a dancer and choreographer residing in Galway, Ireland. Her work has been presented at multiple platforms around Ireland and Europe including: Tanzmesse, Düsseldorf Germany; Dublin Dance Festival, Ireland; Echo Echo Dance Festival Derry, Northern Ireland; and KLAP Marseille, France. From a young age Kristyn studied with The Griffith Academy in Connecticut, USA. She continually pushes the boundaries of her own work within the strict format of the traditional form. Kristyn has toured the world with many prestigious dance shows including: Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, On Eagle’s Wing, Celtic Nights, Beyond the Bog Road w/ Eileen Ivers and as the lead female role in Gaelforce Dance. Kristyn is currently a dance tutor on the BA and MA dance programmes at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. After attaining her Masters Degree in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick, Kristyn has pursued her unique voice in her choreography, which sits between the two worlds of Traditional and Contemporary dance. She received the Traditional Arts Bursary Award as well as the 2018 Traditional Arts Project Award from the Arts Council for her ensemble piece IN LiMBO, which premiered at the Firkin Crane, Cork and at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway in September 2018.