About Luail

Mission

To make and share exceptional dance while empowering new possibilities and pathways for dance artists, audiences and communities to thrive.

Vision

Our Vision is for dance to be known and celebrated by everybody across the island of Ireland.

Values

Fearless

Sure of our purpose, we will be adventurous in attitude, courageous in decision-making and a staunch advocate for dance and for artistic freedom.

Inventive

We will be tirelessly ambitious, imaginative and resourceful in our work, looking ahead and originating new horizons for dance, with intelligence and integrity.

Joyful

While taking dance seriously, we also take great pleasure in what we do. We will encourage and support artists, audiences and each other to find joy and fulfillment in dance.

Attuned

We will be open and responsive to others as we work within Ireland and in the international context of dance. We will always seek to understand and act on what matters most to artists and audiences from all backgrounds and what best enables dance to thrive.

Team to Date

Liz Roche

Artistic Director & Choreographer

Over the last 25 years, Liz’s work has been presented throughout Ireland and internationally at prestigious venues and festivals, including the Baryshnikov Arts Centre New York, South Bank Centre London and Powerhouse Brisbane. She has been commissioned by The Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival, Cork Opera House, The National Ballet of China, Solas Nua, Goethe Institut, The National Gallery of Ireland, Scottish Dance Theatre and CoisCéim and has choreographed extensively in opera and theatre for companies including Irish National Opera, Rossini Opera Festival, Liceu Barcelona, The Abbey Theatre, Landmark Productions and The Gate. In 2020 Liz was elected to Aosdána.

Moyra D’Arcy

Executive Director

Moyra  has over 30 years’ experience working in dance, theatre, film and events. In that time, she worked as a lighting designer, a production manager, an administrator and a producer. This included five years working on feature films in the production office and 15 years touring theatre nationally and internationally as production manager and lighting designer. Moyra took over Liz Roche Company as Executive Director in January 2016 and oversaw eight years of rapid growth.

Miranda Driscoll

Creative & Executive Producer

Miranda is a senior arts manager and multidisciplinary producer with 17 years’ experience across art forms. Most recently she was the Executive Director of Solas Nua, Washington, D.C. and Visual Arts Curator-in-Residence at the Irish Arts Center, New York. Between 2014 and 2019 she was Artistic Director of Sirius Arts Centre, Cork and Co-Founder/Director of the Joinery, Dublin (2007-2014). Her commissions, projects and collaborations have spanned across a diversity of disciplines including visual art, music, dance, literature, theatre and a film festival.

Emer McMahon

Administration & Finance Manager

Emer has been working in the arts in Ireland for over a decade, with wide experience across dance and theatre sectors. Most recently, Emer worked for Liz Roche Company as Administration and Finance Manager, and has previously enjoyed roles with a range of arts organisations including Riverdance, Upstate Theatre Project, The Town Hall Theatre, and in a freelance capacity with the Abbey Theatre. Emer holds an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies from NUI Galway.

Luail Artists

Mufutau Yusuf

Choreographer-in-Residence

Mufutau Yusuf is currently based between Ireland and Brussels, where he works with Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez. Since 2020 Mufutau has performed with Liz Roche Company in Ireland and the US. Mufutau made his full-length NYC choreographic debut with Òwe at the Irish Arts Centre, New York in 2022. As Associate Dance Artist at Liz Roche Company 2022 – 24, Mufutau presented his brand-new commission ‘Impasse’ as a work-in-progress piece at Dublin Dance Festival 2023.

Ryan O’Neill

Dance Artist-in-Residence 2024

Ryan O’Neill is from Belfast and has made a career at home and abroad working with Maiden Voyage Dance, Off the Rails, ponydance, Oona Doherty works, IMDT, CoisCéim, Liz Roche Company, Emma Martin/United Fall, Luke Murphy Attic Projects and Thisispopbaby. He worked full-time for 3 years with Punchdrunk on immersive shows Sleep No More in Shanghai and The Burnt City, London. Ryan is a qualified Ashtanga Yoga teacher and Garuda certified.

Katie Davenport

Artist-in-Residence 2024

Katie Davenport is an award-winning set and costume designer. Winner of Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for Costume Design 2021 and 2022, she has created scenography for many major theatre, opera and dance companies in Ireland, including the Abbey, Gate, INO, Landmark, Liz Roche Company and United Fall. Katie was previously vice-chair of Irish Society of Stage & Screen Designers, Designer in Residence at the Gate Theatre, and represented Ireland in Beijing NCPA 2016 and at the Prague Quadrennial 2019 & 2023.

Foundational Partners

Liz Roche Company

Liz Roche Company has been presenting evocative and compelling contemporary dance for 25 years. Known for its finely wrought and crafted choreographic style, the company presented the works of choreographer Liz Roche in collaboration with artists, dancers and designers of the highest calibre from 1999 – 2024. The company has performed throughout Ireland and internationally in the US, Europe, Australia and China, and has been in residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL and Dublin Dance Festival.

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Maiden Voyage Dance

Maiden Voyage Dance is a Belfast-based contemporary dance commissioning company offering discoveries in dance with, by and for artists, audiences, and participants through new work commissions with national and international choreographers and collaborators, bespoke artist development opportunities and wide-ranging participation and engagement programmes for schools and communities. Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Nicola Curry, Maiden Voyage Dance has performed in festivals and venues across Ireland, the UK, and Europe and is principally funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University Limerick

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance is a centre of academic and performance excellence housed at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Founded in 1994 by Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, the Academy has a strong international presence, with over 50 countries represented by its current student body and alumni, alongside a faculty of excellent performers, academics and industry professionals. Taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music, dance, and related subject areas are on offer and its research is at the forefront of these fields of inquiry worldwide.

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Governance

Helen Meany

Board Chair

Helen Meany is an arts consultant, writer and curator; founder of Classics Now festival in 2020. She works extensively as a facilitator and coach in the arts. Previously she was Literature Advisor with the Arts Council of Ireland; Curator of Critical Voices; Editor of Irish Theatre Magazine; arts journalist with the Irish Times. Helen was Chair of the Board of Dublin Dance Festival for seven years.

Caroline Armstrong

Caroline is CEO of Ulster Garden Villages, a grant-giving organisation supporting charities across NI. A professional fundraiser by trade, she has worked for organisations such as Unicef, the Bristol Old Vic, the Lyric Theatre Belfast and Ulster University. Caroline also worked as a consultant helping to access funding for small arts organisations. She is the former Chair of Maiden Voyage Dance and is passionate about dance as an art form.

Finola Cronin

Dr. Finola Cronin studied dance in Dublin and London. She worked with Vivienne Newport (Frankfurt), Pina Bausch (Wuppertal), and Raimund Hoghe (Düsseldorf). In Ireland she has performed with Liz Roche Company and Junk Ensemble. She is Emeritus Assistant Professor in the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College Dublin.

Matthew Higgins

Matt is widely regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s leading Criminal Solicitors. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the Criminal Law and related Civil Litigation. Over the past thirty years Matt has been involved in some of the most high profile criminal/civil cases throughout the island of Ireland.

Helen Phelan

Helen Phelan is Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. As Professor of Arts Practice, she is an internationally recognised advocate for the integration of artistic methods into research cultures. She is a multi-award winning Irish Research Council recipient for her work on music and migration. She is Co-Director of the UL Participatory Health Research Unit, a WHO Collaborating Centre.