Show brings audiences on a diverse dance journey

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

If you’re the sort of person who goes to a dance show and struggles to follow the story, even though you know there’s a story, because the company has told you there is one, then the work of Galway’s current Dancer in Residence, Magdalena Hylak might strike a chord.

Polish-born Magdalena, who has been living in Ireland for more than a decade, is not interested in telling a story – rather she wants to explore how the body moves.

“Dance is a human need. We have a certain necessity for movement,” she says simply.

“I want to invite people to think that dance isn’t something that needs to be understood. No pre-existing knowledge is needed.”

Magdalena will be performing in the city’s Black Box Theatre this Saturday night, March 23, as part of a triple bill, which she has curated in her role as Galway’s Dancer in Residence.

Like the other dancers – Mary Nunan and John Scott – she will perform a solo piece. Hers is called A Dance and will be in conjunction with her musical collaborator, Lionel Kasparian, as they each explore their own art form.

“For me, I am asking what is dance, and for him, it’s what is music?”

Magdalena previously explored the nature of dance during the 2022 Clifden Arts Festival while she was living in North Connemara.

“We performed four times in four different spaces, going to people during this wonderful community arts festival,” she says.

One of those spaces was a living room with a large glass windows, through which the audience viewed the show. Another was in Mullarkey’s Bar at Foyle’s Hotel – a venue more associated with trad music but which embraced this experimental show, as did the community at large, she says.

Magdalena moved to Ireland in 2011, to join a friend who had already moved here and was working in Keogh’s Bar and Restaurant in Ballyconneely.

Pictured: Galway Dancer in Residence  Magdalena Hylak will be performing in a triple bill this Saturday night at the Black Box. It also features  Mary Nunan and  John Scott, with whom she has worked with regularly in the past decade. PHOTO: JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY.

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