About Croí Glan
Croí Glan is professional dance company based in Cork, co-founded in December 2006 by Rhona Coughlan and Tara Brandel that creates performance with diverse bodies.
Tara Brandel | Artistic Director & Co-founder
Tara is a contemporary choreographer and performer originally from West Cork, Ireland. She trained at the Laban Centre, London and with Steve Paxton, Nigel Charnock and Lloyd Newsom. She studied Integrated Dance with Axis Dance Company and Alito Alessi, and in 2005 had a year’s residency at Beaumont College, a college for people with disabilities in Lancaster, England,. Her work has been performed at Firkin Crane, Triskel Arts Centre, and Cork Opera House, Cork; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; Stukke Theatre and Ponderosa Festival, Germany; 848 Community Space, Jon Sims Centre, San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival, Sky Dancers, Dance Mission Theatre, and Performance Showcase, San Francisco; and Spring Loaded, The Place Theatre and Chisenhale Dance Space, London. She has danced for Ka Rustler (Berlin), Emilyn Claid, (London) Jo Krieter(SF), and Kim Epifano(SF) and has has won numerous awards from the Irish Arts Council, London Arts Board, Zellerbach Foundation and Theatre Bay Area. She was a Co-Director of 848 Community Space, San Francisco from 2002-2004. Dance Theatre Journal writes, “Brandel’s work has a startling raw honesty…ambitious and oblique”
Linda Fearon | Dancer
Linda Fearon has worked with Croí Glan since 2014. She is also a dancer with Luminous Soul dance project, performing at the Milk Cup Welcoming ceremony, Coleraine, Paralympic Flame Ceremony Belfast, Highlight N.Ireland/Paralympic event London, Bounce! Festival Belfast, The MAC Belfast, Surmount Parliament Building Belfast and many more. She trained with various dancers and choreographers including Marc Brew, Caroline Bowditch, Claire Cunningham, Sheena Kelly, Kimberley Harvey and Janice Parker and danced with companies including Candoco Dance, Blue Eyed Soul dance, Maiden Voyage Dance, Echo Echo dance and Pony dance. In 2012 Linda joined Kids in Control/Blue Chevy physical theatre company Belfast in 2012. and is a Creative Assistant with Kids in Control, working and performing with a number of all ability youth groups throughout Belfast. Linda is a certified Disability Equality Trainer.
Mike Daley | Dancer
Mike has been dancing with Croi Glan since 2011. He has appeared in Tara Brandel’s Islands, at Firkin Crane, Cork and Draiocht, Dublin, Pass Path Groove at Cork City Hall, directed by San Francisco based choreographer Erik Kupers, and in SPUTNIK as part of the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank London (directed by Garry Robson). Most recently he has performed Stop and Stare, a street show to raise the visibilty of dancers with disabilities, performed around Cork and at Temple Bar’s Culture Night in Dublin, Through dancing with Croi Glan, Mike says he has found a new inner freedom, a level of self-confidence he never expected. As a self-taught sculptor, Mike works in free-style blown glass and his work has been displayed at the Crawford Gallery, Cork as part of the Ballyphehane Community Centre exhibition.
James O’Shea | Dancer
James began his dance career with CanDoCo in 2006 with whom he toured 2 award winning pieces internationally (Fin Walkers ‘the journey’ and Athena Vahla’s ‘in praise of folly’). He also performed in the 2006 Place Prize final for Lucy Suggates piece ‘Postcards’ – since leaving CanDoCo James took time out form dancing to study tai chi and chi gong and to work with people with disabilities. He returned to dance with ‘brain game’ for the Anna Rothslisburger company in Switzerland and was the winner of a TV show on BBC3 ‘Dancing on Wheels’.
William O’Donovan | Dancer
William is from Cork, with a love for bocca , drama, swimming and dance. He began his dance career in 2007 attending Croí Glan community classes, and progressed to assist teach community workshops. He first performed with Croí Glan in Fall choreographed by Tara Brandel at Cork Midsummer Festival, 2009, followed by Path Past Groove by Eric Kupers 2011. William developed his practice through an Inquiry research project lead by Mary Nugent in 2012. Most recently he took a lead role in Elk and Saintly, choreographed by Leonie McDonagh, and nominated for best ensemble at Tiger Dublin Fringe 2015.
Gwen Van Spijk | Producer
Gwen is a Producer, Consultant, Trainer and Mentor who has worked across the full breadth of the live performance sector. She was Administrative Director for Motionhouse Dance Theatre 1992 – 1997 after which she embarked on a career as an independent working with artists including: Russell Maliphant, Carol Brown, Rosemary Butcher and Nigel Charnock as their manager and project and/or tour producer. Gwen has also produced a number of one-off projects including: Where The Land Meets the Sea, choreographed By Charlie Morrissey and performed by a cast of a 100 on Brighton beach; Destino, a co-production between Dance United and Sadler’s Wells for a cross generational cast of 130 performers with live music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and a large-scale dance programme for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 including a performance by a cast of 500 for the Opening Ceremony at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Gwen relocated from the UK to West Cork in 2019.