Ríonach Ní Néill
artistic director, producer & creator HOPE IT RAINS | SOINEANN NÓ DOINEANN & Turas Chonamara
Ríonach has over 20 years experience in performance, curation, socially-engaged arts practice and community education. Her work has no fixed borders in its focus on civic dialogue, and has involved collaborations across dance, architecture, film, geography, engineering and health.
As a dance artist, she has won international choreography awards and her works have been presented worldwide. During her tenure as Galway Dance Artist in Residence, Ríonach founded Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days, an annual international platform for multi-disciplinary engagement with dance and social issues. The festival has played an important role in identifying and incubating new talent and new junctures for dance artists, as well as introducing major international dance companies to Ireland. Further curatorial work includes Dance Curator at Firkin Crane Cork, and programming for St Patricks Festival Dublin.
Ríonach was founder faculty on the Geragogic (arts facilitation for older people) professional course at the Bundesakademie für Kulturelle Bildung, Germany. She has developed dance programmes for older people, in Irish, German and English, including for people living with dementia and people living with mental health issues. She founded the Macushla Dance Club for +50s in 2007, which nurtures creative exchange between older people and the professional dance community. The club has collaborated in many dance theatre, film & music works, and won international awards for its 2014 dance film, The Area.
She holds a PhD in Geography from University College Dublin and has lectured in Germany, Sweden, Portugal, UK and numerous Irish institutions.