IRIE! Dance Theatre announces BA (Hons) Diverse Dance Styles – New for September 2018

26 Oct 2017

Image by Jane Hobson & Viesturs Gross

IRIE! dance theatre is thrilled to announce a BA (Hons) Degree in Diverse Dance Styles (subject to validation by University of Roehampton).

This groundbreaking degree includes the study of African, Caribbean, Contemporary and Urban dance forms and is the first degree of its kind in the UK to present these dance forms equally.

Working towards this milestone has been the vision of Beverley Glean, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of IRIE! dance theatre and Rosie Lehan, Director of Accredited Training of IRIE! dance theatre. Glean and Lehan have worked in partnership on many creative and accredited projects in diverse dance for over 20 years, having previously established a Diploma in African & Caribbean dance, accredited by Birkbeck College, University of London; a three-year action research Dance & Diversity programme funded by NESTA and the Arts Council; and, most recently, a Foundation Degree Dance in partnership with City & Islington College and London Metropolitan University.

The BA (Hons) will be delivered at IRIE!’s base at Moonshot Centre in New Cross, South East London.

The Course

The course provides training in African, Caribbean, Contemporary and Urban dance techniques, underpinned by the historical and cultural context of each form. Creatively, students work on a range of projects, including a site-specific performance piece to be created in a London landmark. The third year will focus on employment options through the creation of a performance company, offering pathways in performance, arts management or education. Networking opportunities will be present through IRIE! dance theatre, visiting artists and events such as the Re:generations International conference with One Dance UK. The course will ensure that graduates are fit for purpose and able to work professionally in a range of contexts, including performance, education and community arts.

In a joint statement, Glean and Lehan said:

“We are overjoyed with this fantastic result for IRIE! dance theatre, Higher Education and the dance sector as a whole. We have strived to achieve this to address the lack of access to accredited training in this area and to provide the opportunity for culturally diverse dance forms to be seriously reflected within accredited training.”

“We thank University of Roehampton for working with us to this end. Our aim is to create dancers with an understanding and appreciation of different cultural dance practices, enabling them to participate fully as dancers, dance makers and artists within a global community.”

Erica Stanton, Acting Head of the Department of Dance, University of Roehampton said: “The University of Roehampton is delighted to be working in conjunction with IRIE! dance theatre in validating this BA degree in Diverse Dance Styles. As the UK’s leading dance company in African and Caribbean Dance, IRIE! offers a vibrant new programme which celebrates diversity and places multiculturalism at the heart of our creative and performance practice.”

For more information about IRIE! dance theatre’s BA (Hons) Diverse Dance Styles please visit the IRIE! website.