Dancer, choreographer and dance academic Breandán de Gallaí’s involvement with dance is multifaceted.
In his capacity as artist director and choreographer of dance company Ériu, de Gallaí explores the poetic potential of the Irish dance form and presents work that is explorative and innovative in a contemporary context. He has created several works, most notably Salómae, Aon, Lïnger, Rite of Spring and Noċtú.
De Gallaí is currently developing 2 new works for 2020:
- Balor with regional youth company Na Mic Ua gCorra
- Walls Talk – a dance-theatre-music work for solo dancer and singer.He completed a residency in Trinity Laban, London in February 2019 developing the duet Walls Talk with singer Gina Boreham.
In 2011, Noċtú completed a 5-week residency at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York. On the back of this run the show was nominated for 2 Drama Desk awards, “Outstanding Choreography” and “Unique Theatrical Event”.
His second work, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring premiered at the opening of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in August 2012 attracting 14,000 spectators. The work received a nomination for the coveted Allianz Business to Arts Awards (Dublin 2012). De Gallaí has recently re-worked the Rite which the company performed at the Cork Midsummer and the Earagail Arts Festivals (June & July 2018).
Lïnger, which saw de Gallaí return to the stage after a 12-year hiatus, premiered in Project Arts, Dublin, January 2016, followed by performances in Firkin Crane Cork and Dance Limerick. In August 2016 Lïnger took part in the Edinburgh Fringe and was shortlisted for a Total Theatre and The Place Award for Dance. Since then Lïnger completed an 8-venue All-Ireland tour, with international performances in the Jack Crystal Theater New York, Sofia Bulgaria, and Aix-en-Provence France.
Aon is de Gallaí’s most recent new work and had its World Première in Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal as part of the 2017 Earagail Arts Festival. These performances were followed by a 2-week run in Firkin Crane Cork. Aon toured Ireland, north and south, in November 2018.
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 earned an MA in Ethnochoreology in 2009, and was external examiner for the MA in Traditional Irish Dance Performance at the University of Limerick from 2004 – 2008. de Gallaí was acting Course Director of the Arts Practice PhD programme at the University of Limerick for 2012. He also holds a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics.
As a dancer, de Gallaí toured with Riverdance from 1994 – 2003, 7 of which in the position of 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.
De Gallaí’s 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 held the position of artist in residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in 2008/9, and in County Cavan 2011/12. He regularly presents TV programmes for RTÉ and TG4 and acts in TG4’s popular soap opera Ros na Rún.