WILD ∞ West Cork Contemporary Dance Festival


Produced by Croi Glan + ALTERNATIVA

2018 Programming:

Saturday, August 11 - Saturday, August 18, 2018

A week of dance, technique, improvisation, contact improv, Croí Glan LAB research, performances and community events at An Sanctoir, a 30-acre nature reserve with a beautiful hexagonal dance studio in West Cork, Ireland. Organized by Kathleen Hermesdorf of ALTERNATIVA and Tara Brandel of Croí Glan, WILD offers a high level of creativity, physical challenge, immersivity and interactivity. Experience your body moving in natural surroundings, the expansion of the surrounding environment, and practices and performances from a collection of local and global dance artists stretching the boundaries of embodied research, bringing together aesthetics from San Francisco to Berlin, West Cork to Nigeria and beyond….. 

Come dance surrounded by nature, the Atlantic Ocean, Roaring Water Bay and its islands, plus the nearby unique mix of local and international cultural and artistic inclinations in the renowned village of Ballydehob along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Tara Brandel [Ballydehob] | Kathleen Hermesdorf [San Francisco] | Luke Murphy [Sheepshead] | Seán Ó'Dálaigh [Kerry] | Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin [Cape Clear] | Mairead Vaughan [Ballydehob] | Cathy Walsh [Cork] | Nicholas Nwosu [Waterford] 


WILD [West Cork Contemporary Dance Festival] includes - 

5 Workshops:

Saturday OPEN Workshops [no dance experience necessary]
- August 11 from 3-6pm 
Deep Listening > Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin & Seán Ó'Dálaigh
- August 18 from 10am-1pm
Creative Street Dance > Nicholas Nwosu: 

Sunday Workshop [some dance experience necessary]
- August 12 from 10am-1pm + 3-6pm 
Physical Storytelling > Luke Murphy

Monday-Friday Workshops [some dance experience necessary]
- August 13-17 from 10am-1pm 
Wild/Wise [Dance + Somatic Techniques/Improvisations] > Kathleen Hermesdorf
- August 13-17 from 3-6pm, except Thursday from 2:30-5:50pm] 
Improv/Contact Improv/Land Dance > Tara Brandel

Performances at 8pm:
Saturday, August 11 -
Tara Brandel | Luke Murphy | Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin & Seán Ó'Dálaigh  
Friday, August 17 -
Kathleen Hermesdorf | Nicholas Nwosu | Mairead Vaughanl | Cathy Walsh

Community Events:
Monday, August 13 at 8pm -
Comfy Concert > Lea Miklody (Looped cello)
Tuesday, August 14 from 8-11pm -
Contact Jam w/warm up by Tara Brandel + Kathleen Hermesdorf
Thursday, August 16 from 2.30-5.30 + 7-9pm -
Croí Glan Lab (Integrated Dance research] > Tara Brandel


€350 -Full festival  (includes camping w/kitchen + bathroom/shower)

€120-weekend (August 11th-12th) (includes camping w/kitchen + bathroom/shower)

€150 - Kathleen Hermesdorf or Tara Brandel workshops (includes camping w/kitchen + bathroom/shower)
€60 - Luke Murphy Workshop
€15 /€10 - Performances (August 11th and 17th)
€15 - Saturday Open Community Workshops (August 11th + 18th)
€5 Contact Improvisation - open community class + jam
€5-10 Lea Miklody's Comfy Concert


On site accommodation (includes vegetarian self-service breakfast).
Please book through Dan [danielgray3@gmail.com] or check at http://ansanctoir.ie/accomodation/ 
Loft - €20 per person per night [maximum 6 people]
Single room - €30 
Double - €50


More details at www.la-alternativa.us + www.croiglan.com


An Sanctoir is a wheelchair accessible space. www.ansanctoir.ie 

For more information, email wild.alternativa@gmail.com

​Register Here


WILD Workshops + Artists


PERFORMANCE [Saturday, August 11 | 8pm]

WORKSHOP [Monday-Friday, August 13-17 from 3-6pm, except Thursday from 2:30-5:30pm]

Land Dance: Contact Improv and Improv 
Using Contact skills and principles and improv scores to dance in the studio and outside in the surrounding nature reserve, we will bring our soft animal selves into physical contact with our surroundings, using rolling, sliding, weight sharing, and draping to create partner dances, building up our kinaesthetic connection to nature.

Croí Glan Lab | Thursday, August 16 | 2:30-5:30pm + 7-9pm]
Integrated Dance research, improv and play. Working with people with and without disabilities we will celebrate our equality and shared humanity through the immediate and visceral experience of Integrated Dance.


Tara Brandel
is a contact improviser, choreographer and contemporary dance artist from West Cork, Ireland. She trained in Contact Improvisation as a teenager with Steve Paxton, Kirstie Simson and Julyen Hamilton and has been practicing CI for 35 years. She has taught internationally extensively including West Coast Contact Improvisation Festival, Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance + Improvisation and GLACIER, in the US; Chisenhale, London; TanzFabrik and Ponderosa, Germany; and in Melbourne, Sydney and Cairo, and was the featured teacher at the ORCIJ in Toronto '16.

Tara Brandel has been Artistic Director of Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company based in Cork, since 2006. She recently completed a two-year dance residency at the West Cork Arts Centre, which included a retrospective exhibition of 25 years of her choreography. Tara performed in Leonie McDonagh’s Elk and Sainty, nominated for Best Performance Ensemble at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2015, and in Gawky and Awkward at the San Francisco International Arts Festival 2015. As well as touring Cappaghglass, most recently she was commissioned to choreograph a site-specific integrated dance quartet at the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival 2017 in Cairo, Egypt; her short dance film CAR was Director's Choice at the Contact Dance International Film Festival in Toronto; and she performed with Croí Glan as part of Jess Curtis/Gravity's Intercontinental Collaborations #7, in San Francisco. Tara is currently doing an MFA in Dramatic Arts at UC Davis, for which she was awarded a Provost Fellowship.

Having studied with Anna Halprin and the Tamalpa Institute, Tara has an ongoing obsession with using CI principles to dance with nature. Tara delights in bringing her soft animal self to many outdoor environments and can often be found rolling with sand dunes, partnering with trees and dancing with rocks.



​PERFORMANCE [Friday, August 17 | 8pm]


TONIC mines and combines physical and sonic alchemy, synergy, and struggle with imagery, magic and humor as ways to tend, mend, heal and transform, internally and externally. From sharp tongue to soft gut to hard edge of thin skin. From bitter to sweet, pathos to phoenix, junk to gold. To the edge of the cliff. To the heart of the matter. With blunt edges and blissful ignorance. With cynical abilities and overt vulnerabilities. With plastic and tinfoil, ginger and glitter, stones and lemons, extension cords and a sharp knife. With an internal landscape disco. An altar/TV show set. A floating island. TONIC is a serious, luscious, ballistic and ridiculous examination of hope and hopelessness, offering simple and sublime recipes for what to do when you don't know what to do. 

WORKSHOP [Monday-Friday, August 13-17 from 10am-1pm]

A workshop investigating corporeality from internal impulse to external expression through explorations into embodied intelligence, human nature, physical states and acts of motion. Utilizing a hybrid of traditional, contemporary and alternative forms in order to access the body in motion as a means of perception, intuition and action. Deepening awareness and understanding of the body by working with energy, touch, somatic improvisation, group scores, technical modalities and three-dimensional choreography. An intimate, animated arena for physical and creative exploration, cultivating sensate virtuosity, kinetic efficiency, interactive intelligence, serious fun and dimensional dancing.


Kathleen Hermesdorf is dance artist, educator and producer based in San Francisco. She directs ALTERNATIVA, an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via collaboration, creation, improvisation, performance, production, curation and education, with musician Albert Mathias. Their art and action, including an annual FRESH Festival, workshops in the Bay Area, and residencies at universities, festivals and studios worldwide, engage an extensive population of artists, audiences and participants. Hermesdorf has been dancing in the Bay Area since 1991 and teaches, performs, improvises, creates and curates around the world. Her work has been presented in the Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Boston, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dakar, amongst other locations; in commission for universities, companies and independent artists; and by invitation and in collaboration with an array of art partners.

Kathleen was a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and co-director of Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells. She is the co-director of PORCH summer school at Ponderosa with Stephanie Maher in Stolzenhagen, Germany and WILD [West Cork Contemporary Dance Festival] with Tara Brandel in Ballydehob, Ireland. Hermesdorf brings over 20 years of experience from the field, studio and stage to her work and holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance Performance + Pedagogy.

ALTERNATIVA is fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group and has received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, William + Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, CA$H Grant, CHIME/MJDC, the San Francisco Arts Commission and The Suitcase Fund.

www.la-alternativa.us | www.freshfestival.org



​PERFORMANCE [Saturday, August 11 |  8pm]

Awful Animal
Creating myths- creating ourselves- trying to be, trying to be seen, trying to be seen as just being without trying. Awful Animal creates a world of effort, determination and possibly exasperation examining the void between the controlled space of a performance and the unbridled chaos of human nature.

WORKSHOP [Sunday, August 12 from 10am-1pm + 3-6pm]
Building on Luke’s extensive experience as a performer with physical theatre companies Punchdrunk, Ultima Vez and Martha Clarke, the workshop will explore various techniques in physical storytelling, expressing intent and moving seamlessly from natural to abstract forms. All movers with experience in dance, theatre, circus, mime or visual art are encouraged. The workshop will begin with a set of exercises to slowly access each individual to move freely within their full range of motion and find a sensory relationship between intent and texture of movement. Through a series of skill building tasks, the workshop will examine the visceral communicative power of the body and build a tool kit for improvisational devising of scenarios and dialogues. Incorporating  aspects of contemporary partnering, performance skills, contemporary dance and physical theatre, this workshop is open to those with an interest in movement and a good sense of curiosity.

Originally from Cork City, Luke Murphy is a performer and choreographer based between Cork, New York and Brussels. Luke has danced with Ultima Vez since 2014 touring internationally in productions of In Spite of Wishing and Wanting, Booty Looting and Spiritual Unity and Punchdrunk since 2009, performing leading roles in the original casts of Sleep No More in Shanghai (‘16-‘17), New York City (’11-‘15) as well as productions of The Drowned Man in London and Sleep No More in Boston. In addition he has danced in the companies of Martha Clarke, Kate Weare, Pavel Zustiak and in projects with John Kelly, John Scott, Jonah Bokaer, Erik Hawkins Dance Company and Bill T Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Luke’s own work has been supported by various commissions, awards and residencies internationally including Arts Council of Ireland, Cork City Council, CultureIreland, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, Kaatsbaan International Dance Centre, Pavilion Theatre, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Irish Arts Centre, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, DanceLimerick, Cork County Council, Tipperary Dance Platform, Tribeca Performing Arts Centre, Duo Multicultural Arts Centre and others. He has created and performed four evening length works throughout Ireland, UK and USA (Drenched 2012, Icarus 2013, Your Own Man/Mad Notions 2015, On Triumph and Trauma 2016).

Luke founded Attic Projects in 2014 as an umbrella for his various independent projects in dance, film and theatre. Luke is the producer and director of The Catch8 Workshop Series in Cork City. Attic Projects is Company-In-Residence at Firkin Crane where Luke also serves as Dancer in Residence for Cork. Luke trained at Point Park University where he earned his BFA in Dance and English in 2009 and University of Chichester where he earned an MA in Choreography in 2017.



PERFORMANCE [Saturday, August 11 | 8pm]

Archipelagic Thinking

Talamh an Éisc, An Íoslainn, Oileáin Fharó, Inse Ghall agus Oileán Chléire.
[Newfoundland, Iceland, The Faroe Islands, The Hebrides and Cape Clear]

Concept and Choreography by Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin /// Sound Composition by Seán Ó’Dálaigh /// Textiles by Sarah Foley /// Artistic Mentorship by Jack Halberstam & Aedín Cosgrove

Archipelagic Thinking will examine shared cultural identity across The North Atlantic Arc.

Ag gluaiseacht le capaill agus míolta móra. Aesthetic practices of care; Migratory dances in the living old style. How does a body dance socio-economic issues, confront the devastation of marginalised communities and languages or dance with questions of indigeneity?

In Archipelagic Thinking, Donovan examines his interest in migratory patterns on Oileán Chléire, a Gaeltacht island off Co. Cork, Ireland; of both humans and animals, as well as flows of value and resource distribution; cod, whales, oil and water.

WORKSHOP [Saturday, August 11 from 3-6pm]
Éisteacht with Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin & Seán Ó'Dálaigh

Inspired by the work of the late Pauline Oliveros we will investigate 'deep listening' and site responsivity as embodied practice. Opening scores from the performance installation 'archipelagic thinking' we will expand our understandings of the subtle differences between listening and hearing, translation, mistranslation and (with)nessing as aesthetic practices of care. "What if the settlers just came to listen?".


Ruairí Ó’Donnabháin
is re-imagining himself and the world around him. He has been making dances in Ireland since 2008, he recently completed the Masters in Choreography at DAS Graduate School Amsterdam and holds a joint honors B.A. in Drama & Theatre Studies and English from University College Cork. Ó'Donnabháin is from County Cork, Ireland and his choreographic practice is concerned with the need for roots and queering representations of the dancing body. He is currently living and working on Oileán Chléire, a remote island and Gaeltacht off the south west coast of Co. Cork investigating Gaeilge as a site of queer resistance and new materialist collaboration ‘in the wild’. His work has been supported by the CCC Arts Office, Arts Council Ireland, Culture Ireland and Youth In Action. Ó'Donnabháin has performed for Keith Hennessy, Mårten Spångberg and THEATREclub among others. His own work has toured internationally across Europe, Asia and North America. He is a core artist with Keith Hennessy and TURBULENCE (a dance about the economy). He recently performed a solo dance for 30,000 people with Arcade Fire.  

Ó'Donnabháin has curated a week long, multi disciplinary, residential event and professional symposium, called Solstice over three years which was awarded the Charlemagne Youth Price by the European Commission. He has presented a micro festival called HOME, investigating performance and intimacy with artists presenting work in their own homes. He co - curates and produces a micro festival with a live art & music focus annually in Cork; Quarter Block Party.

Ó'Donnabháin was a Next Stage artist at Dublin Theatre Festival in 2010 and has completed a year long residency with Daghdha Dance Company. He was awarded a place on the prestigious DanceWeb scholarship at Impulstanz, Wien and completed the first Node Residency with Queer Performance incubator THEOFFCENTER, San Francisco, USA. In 2016 he participated on Pan Pan Theatre Company’s International Mentorship and Bursary programme where he worked under the mentorship of Stewart Laing towards realising a large scale public art commission in the context of the Irish 1916 Centenary Celebrations entitled SOLDIERS.
Seán ó Dálaigh is a composer from Killarney, Co. Kerry in Ireland. He has worked/workshopped with, among others, DissonArt Ensemble (Greece), the Asko|Schönberg ensemble (Amsterdam), Musicatreize (Marseilles), the Kirkos Ensemble (Dublin), the Niuew Ensemble (Amsterdam), the Kelvin-Helmholtz ensemble, (The Hague/Amsterdam) and Yoonhee Lee, violinist. He is an Active member of the Irish Composers collective. He studied composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Richard Ayres and Wim Henderickx and graduated with a masters in composition in June 2015. He attended the one-year course at the institute for Sonology in Den Haag in 2015/16. During his time at the CvA and at various international workshops (TENSO composers workshop, 2015, Composition and Sound Experimentationworkshop at the Mixtur Festival in Barcelona, 2016) he has had individual/masterclasses with Peter Ablinger, Dmitri Kourliandski, Carola Baukholt, Chaya Czernowin and Marco Stroppa.  



PERFORMANCE [Friday, August 17 | 8pm]

WORKSHOP [Saturday, August 18 | 10am-1pm]

Creative Street Dance
Starting with participants’ own movement, Nicholas will help participants to expand and develop their own inner street dance, dancing from a place of joy and openness to create professional-looking   and innovative moves.


Nicholas Nwosu is a Street Dancer from Nigeria, living and working in Ireland. His dance styles mix Hip Hop, Twerking and Hip-let in a unique blend, focusing on improvised and innovative movement. He has created dances for the Calabar Carnaval, worked as a dancer at Casablanca Club in Largos, and has been involved in numerous street dance competitions throughout Nigeria, including the international Calabar street dance competition. Since moving to Ireland, Nicholas has been wowing audiences with his unique and innovative dance style.



PERFORMANCE [Friday, August 17 | 8pm]

Creating Space

Creating Space is an inner bodily response to the outer ever-increasing momentum of our modern day environment. Through a psychosomatic arts practice called ‘Attuning’, this work reflects on how our environment moves through us, as we move through our environment. It explores an ever-deepening stillness in movement and movement in stillness.

Thanks to visual artist Aoife Desmond, Patricia O’Sullivan and Clair Lalor who contributed directly and indirectly to the creation of this work.


Mairead Vaughan
is a dance artist, choreographer and facilitator/lecturer. She graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) with a BA in Performing Arts (Dance) and from The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD), UL, with an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance. More recently she completed an Arts Practice PhD in IWAMD. Her research reflected on the symbiotic relationship between the moving body-mind and environment through kinaesthetic and energetic awareness. It resulted in a psychosomatic movement practice called ‘Attuning’, designed to heighten awareness of body-mind-environment as one functioning organism. Mairéad is passionate about sharing ‘Attuning’ within multi-disciplinary arts fields, educational and healthcare environments.
As artistic director of Shakram Dance Company (1999-2014, www.shakramdance.com), Mairead received Arts Council funding to choreograph a body of fifteen original choreographic works which toured nationally and internationally. Her earlier work was highly influenced by the energetic, rhythmic and gestural nature of Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical dance form) and Iyengar Yoga, which she studied in India. Extended periods of travel to remote environments such as the Arctic Circle, Amazon rainforest, Mattu Picchu (Peru) and Borneo, inspired and evolved her approach to creating work. Her work spans live theatre performance, music and dance collaboration, site-specific dance, screendance and more recently performance installation. She is passionate about creating spaces that deepen sensory, kinaesthetic and energetic awareness, as a means to reclaim our body-mind-environment.



​PERFORMANCE [Friday, August 17 | 8pm]

Time Piece

Concept and Choreography by Cathy Walsh /// Music by Kate Bush
Time Piece is a dance exploring Time, our concept and experience of it, how it shifts and disappears. Time is the most frequently used word in English, we measure our lives by it, are immersed in it, yet don’t really understand it. Time passes differently depending on the conditions around & within us, whether you’re seated comfortably or standing on stage. We share the space of not knowing, but as time passes perhaps we get closer to understanding something, or just closer to each other. Channeling the powerful Kate Bush as the gatekeeper of a game of musical chairs, we will slow time through the anticipation of what is to come…….


Cathy Walsh is a choreographer, performer, and lighting technician from Cork, based between Ireland and Berlin. She holds a BA in Theatre Studies from University College Cork, an MA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Limerick, and a post-graduate in Ensemble Performance from Queen’s University Belfast. She has taken part in a year long residency with Daghdha Dance Company, and was one of the recipients of the prestigious DanceWeb scholarship at Impulstanz, Vienna in 2013.

Her work focuses on improvisation, conversation, intimacy, and collaboration with the audience. She is currently interested in Time, Frequencies, and Touch. She is also part of comedy improvisation group, Comedy Shorts. Cathy makes her own work, as well as collaborates with others such as Ruairí Donovan, Laura Murphy, Inma Moya, Mary Nunan, Julie Kelliher, Kareth Schaffer, Mary Pearson, ANU Productions, and frequenetly works for Tino Sehgal, all over the gaf.  She most recently performed The Power of Frau with dance artist Maria Svensson at Cork Midsummer Festival.