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Stephanie steps up to new dancing challenge in UL

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Galway woman Stephanie DuFresne is among six dancers currently taking part in an advanced training programme for contemporary dance graduates at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

Stephanie was selected for the prestigious Step-Up Contemporary Dance Project following a national open call in April, which attracted 24 entrants. She and the other participants are studying under two of Ireland’s top choreographers, John Scott and German based Margeurite Donlon.

Stephanie, who is from Kinvara, graduated from Codarts Dance Academy, Rotterdam, Holland last year with BA in Dance.

A former student of the Galway based school, Youth Ballet West she regularly performs locally with Chrysalis Dance Company, most recently last March, at the Black Box Theatre.

“It’s a great programme for dancers who have graduated in the past three years or less and who are from Ireland or resident here,” Stephanie says of the eight-week Step-Up programme, which will culminate with three public performances of two new dance pieces. 

Step-up is an initiative between the Arts Council, Dance Ireland and the University of Limerick, which aims to bridge the gap between dance education and professional practice in Ireland by getting participants to work with these two established choreographers, she adds.

Although Stephanie is classically trained as a ballet dancer, she specialised in Modern Dance at university and that’s also what she is doing in UL, where the dancers are spending four weeks each working with Margeurite and John. 

Both the pieces they are working on are for six performers and she says the process is invaluable in terms of acquiring professional practice, by “picking up new movement styles, and working in a group”.

Since graduating last year, Stephanie has divided her time between Ireland and Holland. 

CITY TRIBUNE

Comedian Shane for city show

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Comedian Shane Clifford.

Shane Clifford, who has been described by podcaster and comedian Blindboy as ‘The best comedian in Ireland, hands down’, will be at the city’s Town Hall Studio next Thursday, December 1, at 8.30pm to perform his new show, AW Class.

It’s being presented by the Lisa Richards Agency who are promising loads of laughter as Tralee man Shane tries and fails to get to grips with rugby fans, posh dogs, sinister yoghurt and retail breakdowns.

Shane who previously worked in Tesco, was 30 when he did his first stand-up show about six years ago. That was after he had quit his job, gone travelling and decided, on a whim, to upload some silly videos to the internet. He dealt with issues such as mental health and masculinity in an original and funny way in these videos and has since gone on to gain a reputation as an original voice on the Irish comedy scene, playing festivals and venues including Whelan’s.

Tickets €15, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Theatre box office.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

INO present Donizetti comedy at Town Hall

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Graeme Danby as Don Pasquale and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Norina. 

Irish National Opera will return to Galway next Thursday, December 1, to present Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in the Town Hall Theatre at  8pm.

Donizetti’s sparkling operatic comedy is an intergenerational tug-of-war about love and money. It  features Don Pasquale, a grumpy old bachelor; Ernesto, his good-looking young heir; and Norina, an attractive young widow.

This unorthodox love triangle is the basis for a hilarious and touching show that offers an entertaining slant on the threat of being disinherited, a mock marriage and a spendthrift wife.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles, it’s conducted by Teresa Riveiro Böhm and directed by Orpha Phelan, with Graeme Danby as Don Pasquale and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Norina.

Tickets for Don Pasquale are €30/€27, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Box Office.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Music festival set to return after a successful debut

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Billy Owens of Galway Simon Music Project accompanied by Aboriginal singer Jesse Lloyd as they sing The Galway Shawl during a visit by Jessie to An Taibhdhearc to meet with members of the project during the Songs from an Open Road Festival. Jessie, who is an artist, musician, singer and activist, collaborated with well-known musician Steve Cooney for her concert as part of the festival. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Musicians, artists and DJs from more than 15 countries congregated in Galway City at the weekend to take part in the inaugural Songs From An Open Road (SFAOR).

Organisers Pádraic Boran and Pat Neary say the overwhelmingly positive reaction from audiences and participants alike augurs well for its future. They are hopeful it marks the beginning of a new international winter World Music festival in Galway.

There were a couple ‘firsts’ over the weekend. For many who attended the beautiful Loft @Seven in Bridge Street, it may well be a case of an ‘I was there’ moment, as an intimate but appreciative crowd saw a stupendous set from Indian futurist jazz percussionist Sarathy Koewar and his band. This was their Irish debut and also marked the beginning of a pioneering world tour from the burgeoning group. Pat and Pádraic are hopeful that this exciting talent will return to Ireland and Galway soon.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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