Speckled Egg Dance Company’s practice is currently the focus of Rachel Parry’s practice-as-research doctoral research project at the O’ Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, Ireland.

The research project began as a storytelling project, but has developed into an inquiry into non-narrative choreographic devices, for example, score- and task-based frameworks, durational approaches, interdependent practice, and improvisation. The project is investigating the potential legacy of early postmodern dance (1955 – 1972) in current international dance and choreographic practice with artists with Down syndrome. In particular, it is exploring the early ideas and work of Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, Tricia Brown and Steve Paxton in relation to the Speckled Egg dancers.

The Company is currently investigating repetition, compositional scores and phasing, and task, as devices for making dances that challenge current discourses in relation to disability aesthetics. Rachel is trying to find out, through her collaboration with the eight company members, whether these approaches have the potential to unlock new ways of thinking about choreography, both for disabled and non-disabled dance artists.

This research project is generously funded by
the Irish Research Council