Mairead Vaughan recently graduated with an Arts Practice PhD at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD), University of Limerick. This research was funded by The Arts Council of Ireland through four consecutive years of research bursaries. Her research explored the kinaesthetic and energetic relationship between the moving body-mind and environment, through the lens of a dancer, choreographer and performer. Articles published in this area are:

Vaughan, M. (2014), ‘Emanating awareness: Tracing the impact of Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga on my contemporary dance and choreographic practice’, Journal of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities 1: 1, pp. 87–103, doi: 10.1386/dmas.1.1.87_1

Vaughan, M. (2013), A Corporeal Dialogue: The influence of Bharatanatyam and yoga in choreographic practice. Proceedings for Dance Research Forum Ireland’s 4th International Conference: Connecting Communities through Dance. Foyle Arts Building, Magee Campus, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, 27 June -1 July, 2012.

As part of her practice-based research she created and performed the following two choreographic works:


TerrainSkin:4Dimesional Flow

Choreographer: Mairead Vaughan
Video/Sound Artist: Dara O’Brien
Dance Artist: Mairead Vaughan
Visual Artists: Aofie Desmond, Carolyn Collier

Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland and supported by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD) University of Limerick, Dance Limerick and The Firkin Crane.

This three-hour live collaborative dance, video and visual arts performance installation allows insight into the simultaneous, non-linear nature of creative process – a process of becoming, a process of construction and deconstruction, a process of refinement and re-configuration, a process of transition from site to installation and from practice to performance. Our live response attempts to transmit a direct sensory and energetic engagement.



Choreographer/Editor: Mairead Vaughan
Video/Sound Artist/Editor: Dara O’Brien
Dancer: Mairead Vaughan

Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland and supported by IWAMD, Firkin Crane and screened in IWAMD, Light Moves Screendance Festival, Firkin Crane and at various symposiums.

This three-screen video dance installation considers the deep symbiotic relationship between the body-mind and environment. The porous boundaries between body-mind and site are mediated in an attempt to reflect the immersive intimate moving experience in site-specific environments




Shakram Dance Company in association with Cork Film Festival and the Firkin Crane presents:

MotionCapture: An Evening of Short Contemporary Dance Films

Firkin Crane, Shandon, Cork
Thursday 15th November

Tickets available from Cork Film Festival box office and Firkin Crane


Following the success of MotionCapture 2011, Shakram Dance Company curate a diverse selection of Irish and International short contemporary dance films alongside the Cork premiere of their work ‘Frozen’. Movement and camera inter-relate in a dialogical exchange redefining and challenging our perception of both dance and film. Each film takes us on a unique visual and visceral journey through varying landscapes.

  • Frozen – Shakram Dance Company (Ireland)
  • There is a Place – Katrina McPherson, Simon Fildes, Sang JiJia (UK/Tibet)
  • A Step In My Mind – Laura Murphy (Ireland)
  • Frictions – Steven Briand (France)
  • Deepend Dance – Cois Ceim (Ireland)
  • Driftlines: Flooded Memories – Rachel Sweeney (Ireland/UK)
  • Wing – Miranda Tufnell (UK)
  • falling pu(sh)kin – Katrin Neue (Germany/Ireland)

Frozen by Shakram Dance Company 

Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council

Choreography: Mairead Vaughan
Composer: Dara O’Brien
Dancers:  Olwen Grindley, Becky Reily, Eloy Casanova and Mairead Vaughan
Camera: Dara Mc Cluskey
Editor: Ronan O Muirgheasa

Screened at Vibrate Dance Festival, 2007, Dance House, Lighthouse Cinema, Project Arts Centre 2008, World Congress of Dance Research, Athens 2013.

Frozen is a site-specific dance film set in the streets of Dublin and in the Garden of Remembrance. Frozen juxtaposes Ireland’s iconic and historical past with today’s rapidly evolving culture questioning the relationship between myth and modernity and posturing a dilemma in the contemporary Irish psyche struggling to reconcile Ireland old and new. Described as a dance highlight of the year, 2008 in The Irish Times by Michael Seaver.



Shakram Dance Company in association with Cork Film Festival and the Firkin Crane


MotionCapture: An Evening of Short Contemporary Dance Films

Venue: Firkin Crane, Shandon, Cork
Date: Friday 11th November 2011
Time: 8pm
Ticketed Event, available from Cork Film Festival

Shakram Dance Company curates a selection of short Irish contemporary dance films alongside the premiere of their new work ‘Stone and Form’. In recent times, Ireland has seen a rapid growth in the genre of short dance film/choreography for camera. MotionCapture presents a selection of this new wave of work. Movement and camera inter-relate in a dialogical exchange redefining and challenging our perception of both dance and film.

  • Stone and Form – Shakram Dance Company
  • Flicker – Patric Cashman
  • Story of One – Ella Gallotta
  • Eternal – Irish Modern Dance Theatre
  • Warp and Weft – Mary Wycherley
  • Solo Portrait – Liz Roche
  • Evelyn Tabes – 3Angle

Stone and Form by Shakram Dance Company

Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland

Choreography: Mairead Vaughan
Camera/Sound Artist: Dara O’Brien
Performers: Mairead Vaughan, Thomas Butler, Inma Moya Pavon, Patric Cashman, Karen Gleeson

Stone and Form explores the sensory body’s internal architecture and how it relates to its surrounding environment. Hidden narratives are embodied within this sensory engagement, responding to the energetic residue inhabiting ancient spaces.

Firkin Crane Blank Canvas Residency

‘Living layers of surface residue contained in stone and form’

Shakram Dance Company have recently re-located to Cork and were selected to participate in the Blank Canvas residency in the Firkin Crane, Cork. Shakram worked with four dancers in a period of research and development for the creation of a new site-specific video dance. The process involved an exploration of experimental filming techniques that aimed to capture the immediacy of the moving body as it encounters its environment. Shakram received an Arts Council bursary to fund this research period. An informal sharing of the work was presented at Friday 4th Sept. Thanks to the Firkin Crane for this wonderful opportunity to share the work with the Cork dance community.



Shakram created a dance film called ‘Frozen’ which was described as a highlight of 2008 by Michael Seaver in the Irish Times yearly review. It was recently screened at the Lighthouse Cinema as part of Dublin Dance Festival’s Dance on Film series.

Dance Ireland’s Choreographic Initiative

Mairead was successful in her application for a choreographic bursary supported by Dance Ireland Choreographic Initiative. This funded an extensive period of research informed by workshops she attended in Borneo, Malaysia, Peru and Ecuador over the previous two years. This resulted in the creation of a new choreographic work called ‘Being Nowhere Else’ which was selected to be performed at Dublin International Dance Festival.