There will be a free public screening of my TG4 Splanc film Dance Emergency, followed by a public talk “Introducing Erin O’Brady”, in Room B1005 in UL’s Main Building on Thursday April 19th at 3pm.


My talk afterwards should be about half an hour with plenty of time for questions and answers and I’d be very keen to hear people’s responses to the film, the story, the dance style, and the talk.   Interaction and feedback very welcome! The room is booked until 5pm.

Here is some background reading for those interested in the topic:


  • Chapter 3 of Irish Moves, an Illustrated History of Dance and Physical Theatre in Ireland (Dublin: The Liffey Press, 2006)

This was the starting point for this topic – I’ll bring a few books with me in case anyone wants to buy a copy, with digital bonus covering Yeats & the Abbey Theatre Ballets as well as Modern Dance in 1940s Dublin.

  • Erina Brady: A forgotten pioneer of Modern Dance in 1940s Ireland

This is an abbreviated version of my [bilingual German/ English] script for Dance Emergency, as was published in TANZ Magazine, May 2015.


  • ‘Erina Brady: Irish-German Harbinger of Modern Dance to 1940s Ireland’. Biographical essay in “Cultural Translators – Selected Irish German Biographies II’, (Trier: WVT, 2015) ed. by Sabine Egger.


(There is a PDF of this biographical essay included in the digital bonus with Irish Moves).


Against the backdrop of seldom-seen 1940’s bohemian Dublin, and suspicions of Nazi espionage, we recount an Irish-German artist’s forgotten struggle to bring Modern Dance/ German Ausdruckstanz to a conservative, inchoate Ireland that was not yet ready for it.

TG4 Splanc! Feature Documentary Dance Emergency/ Damsha na hEigeandala, starring Olwen Fouere as  Irish-German 1940s Modern Dance pioneer Erina Brady, and choreographed by Jessica Kennedy.  Dancers Lucia Kickham, and Karen Gleeson star as Brady’s star pupils Jacqueline Robinson and June Fryer, alongside pupils from The College of Dance, Liadain Herriott, Ingrid Nachstern, Megan Kennedy, young star Zena Donnelly, and many more.

Damhsa na hEigeandala/ Dance Emergency premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh 2014, and featured at the Belgrade-Irish Festival 2015 (supported by Culture Ireland); Lincoln Center NYC Dance on Camera Festival 2016 (supported by Culture Ireland); Irish Film Festival Ottawa 2016; UL’s Connections in Motion Conference 2016; and Culture Night at the Military Archive in Dublin’s Cathal Brugha Barracks 2017. The TG4 television premiere was on January 3rd, 2015.

Last week I made a return trip to Cologne after more than two decades.  Last time I was there I was registered at Cologne University, to read for my PhD on Pina Bausch!  That was a long time ago!  Well, not much has changed, and it felt good to be back! It was great to consult the Mary Wigman Family collection at Deutsches Tanzarchiv Koeln, & to visit my German PhD supervisor, the esteemed dance historian Hedwig

Schloss Wahn :Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung der Uni Koeln

Mueller at Schloss Wahn, the regal home of Theaterwissenschafliche Sammlung der Uni Koeln in preparation for my upcoming public lecture at UL on April 19th “Introducing Erin O’Brady”, alongside a screening of Dance Emergency.

Medienpark 7: Home to Deutsches Tanzarchiv Koeln

Meeting an old friend outside Koelner Dom, just after arriving from Utrecht & Aachen