Dancer, choreographer and dance academic Breandán de Gallaí’s involvement with dance is multifaceted.
He is artist director of Ériu, a dance company that explores the poetic potential of the Irish dance form and presents work that is explorative and innovative in a contemporary context. As a choreographer and director of Ériu, he has created several works, most notably Walls Talk, Salómae, Aon, Lïnger, Rite of Spring and Noċtú. Ériu’s nominations for major awards include: The Drama Desk Awards (NY); Allianz Business to Arts Awards (IRE); and The Total Theatre and The Place Award (Edinburgh Fringe, UK).
He held the position of artist in residence in Co. Cavan 2011-12, and at the Irish World Academy in 2008-09.
As a dance scholar, his interest lies in the contemporisation of Irish dance. He completed a performance-based doctorate in 2013, the first of its kind in the world. His PhD in Arts Practice title is – “Imeall-Siúl: A Choreographic Exploration of Expressive Possibilities in Irish dance”. He also holds an MA in Ethnochoreology and a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics.
In his capacity as an educator, he has held the following positions within the University of Limerick: Acting Course Director of the Arts Practice PhD programme at the University of Limerick for 2012; External Examiner for the MA in Traditional Irish Dance Performance from 2004 – 2008; Acting Course Director of the MA Irish Traditional Dance Performance Programme 2020, and Acting Course Director of the BA Irish Dance 2020.
Breandán’s professional dancing career began with Riverdance, and he toured with the company from 1994 – 2003, 7 of which as principal dancer. He performed in Europe, USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and led the company at the opening ceremony of the World Special Olympic Games in 2003. In 2007, he returned to Riverdance as Dance Director.
His training is predominately in Irish step dancing, but is passionate about many dance genres and in 1988 he graduated from the Gus Giordano Dance Academy, Chicago, having been awarded a scholarship to study Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap dance.
He regularly presents TV programs for RTÉ and TG4; acts in TG4’s popular soap opera Ros na Rún.
Breandán’s focus with Ériu in the coming years are 2 new works in development: Balor and The Village.
Neither Here nor There:
de Gallaí, B. (2013b)
unpublished thesis (Ph.D.), University of Limerick: Limerick
de Gallaí, B. (2013c)
York University Toronto: Society of Dance History Scholars