Dance magazine Dance Informa recently ran a featured article profile of ballet project [d] and founder Lauren Speirs. This article appeared in Dance Informa on June 1, 2017.
Sometimes, when an opportunity is missing, you just have to create it. That’s precisely what 27-year-old Lauren Speirs did when her fiancé’s job brought them to Dublin, Ireland, in 2014, and Speirs found the dance scene to be somewhat lacking. Having had a busy dance life back home in New Jersey – studying with former American Ballet Theatre star Susan Jaffe and Risa Kaplowitz at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, and freelancing with companies throughout New York – Speirs felt eager to contribute to the arts landscape in Ireland.
“At the moment, there is no full-term employment for any ballet dancer, and the public is restricted to seeing only a few productions a year,” Speirs says. “There is so much potential, talent and passion among the dance scene, but the country needs a platform that consistently creates and presents new works.”
Her Dance Ireland residency was actually Speirs’s first choreographic opportunity and her first experience being in a director position in a studio setting. She received studio space and a bursary with the award, and Katherine Lewis, director of the Irish National Youth Ballet, served as her mentor for the project and continues to advise her today. Speirs’s work, Studies in Red, was performed and received positive feedback. “I realized then that I could also bring something special to the dance scene in Ireland and enrich the community with more dance,” she reflects.
And things happened quickly from there.