Cathy O’Kennedy

Dancer in Residence

CathyCathy O’ Kennedy is a contemporary choreographer, dance artist, movement specialist and dance teacher based in County Kildare. Her creative and insightful approaches to dance, dance participatory practices and dance and movement training has contributed to her distinctive and personal dance and movement language, and to the discourse which has developed around her commitment to bringing the art of dance and the “normal” into close association with one another. Collaboration is a feature of Cathy’s work and she works regularly with artists from other disciplines including – music, film, sculpture, puppetry, theatre and digital technologies.

In the field of Inclusive Dance and Disability Arts Practices, Cathy is the founder of Counterbalance- Irelands first integrated dance ensemble. She has established and currently directs the Echoes Youth Dance Ensemble – based in Kildare- creating new dance works and developing her practice and providing opportunities for young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to access creative and performance practices. Her work in this field has been presented locally, nationally and internationally. Working with SMARTlab she has introduced assistive and new technologies into her work in disability contexts.

Her early engagement with Dance in Education led her to the work of Rudolph Laban and his movement based and movement analysis techniques. This work has influenced and supports her work in a comprehensive variety of dance contexts including, her work in disability arts, community arts and arts in education settings.

As a choreographer Cathy is inspired by people and the myriad ways in which individual and collective life stories can be enhanced, described, and validated through, engagement with the movement arts.

Cathy’s career has brought her a number of awards including The Sunday Tribune Arts Award for her pioneering work with Barefoot Dance Company in County Wexford and an award for E-Creativity from the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in 2003, for her work with Counterbalance, Media Lab Europe and Smartlab Dublin.

In 1998 Cathy established Fluxusdance based in County Kildare to create a forum for performance and development practices around her own work and the work of the national and international dance artists who work with the company. This work has been made possible through the support of The Arts Council of Ireland.

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