Dance artists Philippa Donnellan and Ailish Claffey

The documentation bursary aims to encourage high quality, creative documentation of an arts and health project. We are delighted to announce that the 2022 bursary has been awarded to dance artists Philippa Donnellan and Ailish Claffey and filmmaker Simon Fitzpatrick (Kilig Productions) to produce a short film about DANCE BUALADH BOS, a dance and performance project taking place this autumn at Naas Day Centre and McAuley Place, Naas.

DANCE BUALADH BOS will involve dynamic collaboration with two older-age groups, members of their families and professional carers in the co-creation of an original high-quality dance performance piece. The project aims to foster a greater sense of place by presenting these performances to audiences within their lived environment as part of a final community celebratory event.

Filmmaker Simon Fitzpatrick will capture the rich complexity of DANCE BUALADH BOS, documenting the process from initial steps to the final performances. The film will interweave the participatory dance workshops, artistic creation and performances with responses from artists, participants and carers. This form of documentation is intended to aid on-going reflection and in-depth project evaluation, as well as to publicly celebrate a community dance initiative within healthcare settings and to disseminate the work further afield beyond the life of the project.

DANCE BUALADH BOS is funded by Kildare County Council Arts Service via the Creative Ireland Programme and is supported by Dance Ireland.

Philippa Donnellan, Pat & Patricia, arts & health project. Photo credit: Sarah Latty.

Philippa Donnellan is an independent dance artist based in Dublin. Originally from the UK, Philippa creates dance with different communities of age, experience and location in varied health, arts and social settings. In 2022 she was awarded an Arts Council Dance Bursary and Uillinn/West Cork Arts Centre residency Taking Flight, to collaborate with artists Justin Grounds and Justine Cooper and people in local healthcare centres, in the creation of new work. Philippa is currently the Curator of DL.BRIDGE, Dance Limerick’s public engagement programme with whom she recently directed an intergenerational performance project The Road We Live On, developed in partnership with Dance Limerick and St John’s Brass & Reed Band.

Ailish Claffey is a Kildare-based independent dance artist. Through her work with diverse groups within the community for the last two decades, Ailish has developed her practice primarily focusing on Dance for Health. Her dance film The Dance Back Home received a Certificate of Excellence at the HSE Awards 2018. Specialising in choreological studies (Trinity Laban, UK), co-curation and exploring the lived experience of those she works with lie at the heart of Ailish’s practice. In 2021 she was awarded an Arts Council Dance Bursary which has been instrumental to the development of her current sustainable practice.

Ailish led the 2022 Tipperary Dance ‘Connecting Communities Programme’ which culminated in a performative community event at Nenagh Arts Centre. With artistic direction and curation by Claffey, Own Grown Moves showcased new dance works created with 3rd and 4th class pupils of St Mary’s Primary School, Nenagh and Tipperary Dance, Age in Movement group. Proudly funded and supported by The Arts Council, Tipperary County Council, Excel Arts Centre and Nenagh Arts Centre. Ailish is delighted to represent Kildare Arts Office, Kildare County Council as a participating artist in Platform31 for 2022.

Simon Fitzpatrick is a Louth-based independent documentary style filmmaker. Through KILIG Productions, Simon has built up extensive experience in film production and has worked for different local authorities, commercial companies and charities to document varied arts, health, and community projects as well as exhibitions and theatre shows. Simon’s work focuses on the people behind the stories, with a fly-on-the-wall approach that respects those involved, whilst producing quality film for audiences that is candid, imaginative and visually appealing.

The documentation bursary is funded by the HSE and the Arts Council.


Sign up to our e-bulletin to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities.