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IRIE Dance Theatre announces landmark Diverse Dance Styles degree

IRIE! DANCE theatre will launch a BA (Hons) Degree in Diverse Dance Styles to begin in September 2018 validated by the University of Roehampton.

This degree includes the study of African, Caribbean, Contemporary and Urban dance forms and is the first degree of its kind in the UK to present these dance forms equally.

Working towards this milestone has been the vision of Beverley Glean, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of IRIE! Dance theatre and Rosie Lehan, Director of Accredited Training of IRIE! dance theatre.

Glean & Lehan have worked in partnership on many creative and accredited projects in diverse dance for over 20 years, having previously established a Diploma in African & Caribbean dance, accredited by Birkbeck College, University of London; a 3- year action research Dance & Diversity programme funded by NESTA and the Arts Council; and, most recently,a Foundation Degree Dance in partnership with City & Islington College and London Metropolitan University.

In a joint statement Glean & Lehan said: “We are overjoyed with this fantastic result for IRIE! dance theatre, Higher Education and the dance sector as a whole.

"We have strived to achieve this to address the lack of access to formal training in African and Caribbean dance and to provide the opportunity for the forms to be seriously reflected within
formal dance training.

"We thank University of Roehampton for working with us to this end. Our aim is to create dancers with an understanding and appreciation of different cultural dance practices, enabling them to participate fully as dancers, dance makers and artists within a global community.”

The BA (Hons) will be delivered at IRIE!’s base at Moonshot Centre in New Cross, South East London. The dance training will be underpinned by the historical and cultural context of each form with many creative projects, including a site-specific performance piece to be created in a London landmark.

The course will focus on employment particularly in year 3, through the creation of a performance company, offering pathways in performance, arts management or education.The course will ensure that graduates are fit for purpose and able to work professionally in a range of contexts, including performance, education and community arts.

There are a few remaining places on this new and exciting course, students should contact IRIE! for details of the application procedure.

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