IRIE! dance theatre has a very comprehensive education programme. The company provides African and Caribbean dance and drumming workshops and classes for children as young as 5 years old through to adults.
The company works in schools, colleges and in community settings such as community centres and outdoors events. For example, IRIE! dance theatre has facilitated African and Caribbean dance and drumming workshops at The Albany in Deptford (where IRIE! was originally based), The Blackie in Liverpool and the New Cross Festival. In addition, the company runs several in-house programs at the community centre where it is currently based – Moonshot Centre.
IRIE! also offers African and Caribbean dance and drumming workshops and classes to other organizations, e.g. The British Museum.
As well as working with a wide range of age groups in a variety of settings, IRIE! dance theatre’s education program can be viewed as both informal and formal.
IRIE! dance theatre currently offers a BA (Hons) Degree in Diverse Dance Styles (validated by Roehampton University).
This degree programme is a development of the Foundation Degree programme where African and Caribbean dance had equal standing alongside Ballet and Contemporary Dance. IRIE! dance theatre delivered this programme in partnership with City & Islington College and London Metrolpolitan University.
And prior to this, IRIE! dance theatre pioneered the UK’s first Diploma in African and Caribbean Dance. This programme was accredited by the University of Birbeck and was also delivered in partnership with City & Islington College.
The company is also committed to providing on-going professional training to undergraduates, mid-career and professional dancers. One of the main vehicles for providing this professional training is the company’s Making Tracks program. Featured artists for Making Tracks include Jackie Guy, Thomas “Talawa” Prestø and Dr L’Antoinette Stines.
Another way in which IRIE! delivers on its commitment to provide professional development training is through partnering with other arts organisation such as ADAD, State of Emergency Productions and the London Metropolitan University to produce the 2010 international dance conference which examined perspectives on dance of the African Diaspora - Re:Generations.
This conference was compared to the dance festival that IRIE! dance theatre hosted in collaboration with The Albany back in 1996 called Ancient Futures which, in addition to IRIE! dance theatre, featured the L’Acadco (Jamaica) and Force of Nature (USA). Ancient Futures comprised of performances, workshops, master classes and a conference.
If you'd like further information about IRIE!'s education program or have a special project that you'd like to discuss with the company please either call us on +44 (0)20 8691 6099 or email us at .