IYBO Dance Course 2024

Dance with the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra in 2024!

Join with other dancers and the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra for performances of Handel’s Water Music with concerts in Waterford City Hall and Dublin Castle! 

In 2024, the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra will introduce baroque dancers as part of their performance course. In 2024, the IYBO will be performing to Handel’s Water Music. IYBO 2024 will take place from Monday, 15 until Saturday, 20 July 2024.

The course is aimed at dancers, aged 16 – 24 from any dance background who have an interest in learning more about Baroque dance. 

The course will be led by Mary Collins, an Early Dance specialist whose research and teaching approach has inspired musicians to look afresh at the dance music that is at the heart of the Baroque repertoire bringing, in turn, a fresh perspective on the great composers of the Baroque era. A practitioner and researcher, she has worked with dance, theatre, and TV companies as an adviser, choreographer, dancer, and actress and tours regularly giving master classes, lecture-recitals, and workshops. 

Mary explains:

“This is an exciting opportunity for dancers to expand their skills and future career opportunities. The course will not only provide a grounding in the sophistication and subtlety of Baroque dance but will offer the opportunity for all participants to take part in a unique production at St Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle as part of Dublin HandelFest. This is a rare chance to experience the dance style that led directly into classical ballet, a style which is, in many ways, more akin to contemporary dance technique. The historic performance in St Patrick’s Hall will take this genre right back to its original setting; the exquisite ballroom served as the 18th century ‘red carpet’ venue for all baroque ‘A-listers’ who would assemble to be seen and to show off their dancing skills – social media at its 18th century best!

Both baroque dance and music repertoires have often been underestimated, judged as being ‘dull’ and ‘stuffy’ but current research has uncovered the truth – this was the club setting for young people at a time when Handel was ’cool’ and dancing played a huge part in your social life – whether it was launching yourself into society, flirting at a fashionable ball or watching celebs dancing on the stage which you could copy later to look cool.”

Further Details:

Dance rehearsals and lessons will take place in St Finian’s Church, Adelaide Road and in Wesley House, Leeson Park.

Along with dance classes with Mary Collins, participants will join the performance ensemble of the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra for rehearsals and will also take part in Feldenkrais classes with Sabine Volkmann during the course.

There will be two performances:

  • Friday, 19 July 2024 in the Large Room of Waterford City Hall in association with Waterford Symphony Club.
  • Saturday, 20 July 2024 in St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle as part of the Irish Baroque Orchestra’s Dublin HandelFest.

During these performances, the IYBO dancers will dance to music performed live by the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra. The course is aimed at dancers, aged 16 – 24 from any dance background who have an interest in learning more about Baroque dance. 

The course will cost €250 for participation.

Lunch will be provided from Monday – Thursday during rehearsals and on Friday in Waterford before the performance.

The course is non-residential. However, limited accommodation is available in the Dublin area for which there will be a charge of €150 to subsidise the overall cost of staying.

You can apply online via the application form.

Applications will close on Friday, 5 April 2024.

About Mary Collins:

Mary Collins is an Early Dance specialist whose research and teaching approach has inspired musicians to look afresh at the dance music that is at the heart of the Baroque repertoire bringing, in turn, a fresh perspective on the great composers of the Baroque era. A practitioner and researcher, she has worked with dance, theatre, and TV companies as an adviser, choreographer, dancer, and actress and tours regularly giving master classes, lecture-recitals, and workshops. A faculty member of Aestas Musica in Croatia, the Austria Barokakademie and, for 26 years, the Ringve International Summer Course in Norway, she regularly collaborates with many of the world’s leading exponents of early music.

Reviving original choreography and gesture for historical performance, Mary promotes a vibrant, multi-disciplinary approach to music making, valued by artists and audiences alike. A practitioner and researcher, she performs regularly with the London Handel Players and Florilegium, giving master classes, lecture recitals, and workshops to dancers and musicians throughout the world. Mary teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London, and also as a guest at the University of Birmingham. She is often invited to work with orchestras, most recently the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Southbank Sinfonia.

Learn more about Mary and her extensive career on her website.

The Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra is a collaboration between the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras. Funded by the Arts Council.