Climate change the inspiration for Cork dance performance   

The choreography was the brainchild of Karena Walsh, whose mother Sharon Manning owns and runs the dance school.
Climate change the inspiration for Cork dance performance   

Dancers from the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance gathered at Emmet Place in Cork city to perform a specially choreographed number for the night highlighting the devastating impact of climate change. Pictures: Alison Miles /OSM PHOTO 

CORK dancers addressed Climate Change yesterday evening in one of the most unique street performances Culture Night has ever seen.

Dancers from the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance gathered at Emmet Place in Cork city to perform a specially choreographed number for the night highlighting the devastating impact of climate change.

The choreography was the brainchild of Karena Walsh, whose mother Sharon Manning owns and runs the dance school.

Juliette Creedon, Water; Lucy O'Callaghan, Fire; Katie Cunningham, Mother Nature, Emma Gibbons, Air and Emily O'Flynn, Earth, performers from Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, pictured at Emmet Place for a climate change- inspired dance created for Culture Night. 
Juliette Creedon, Water; Lucy O'Callaghan, Fire; Katie Cunningham, Mother Nature, Emma Gibbons, Air and Emily O'Flynn, Earth, performers from Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, pictured at Emmet Place for a climate change- inspired dance created for Culture Night. 

The dance was accompanied by soundbites from climate change activists such as David Attenborough which were carefully blended with the selected soundtrack.

22-year-old Karena’s choreography was inspired by conversations she had with her mother at home about climate change and videos on YouTube.

Costumes were created from fabrics the ballet dancers recycle and reimagine for performances throughout the year.

Katie May Cunningham led the performance in her role as “mother nature”. The dancers were split into four groups to represent different elements-namely fire, water, air and fire. Dancers representing each element later came together for an emotional finale.

Director of the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, Sharon Manning ,said that some passers-by had broken down in tears due to the emotional nature of the performance.
Director of the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, Sharon Manning ,said that some passers-by had broken down in tears due to the emotional nature of the performance.

Jean Crowley-a mother of one of the dancers-created striking headpieces to complement each dancer’s costume.

Director of the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, Sharon Manning, said that some passers-by had broken down in tears due to the emotional nature of the performance.

“Climate change is something that is so important to our students,” she said. 

“There were people on the streets breaking down in tears because the topic is so emotional. I think it really hit home for them.” 

Sharon and her team always strive to be sustainable in every area of their work.

“Everything we have is reimagined. The costumes the girls wore for the performance were recycled from a performance we did last Halloween.” 

She described how dancers and their families all pulled together to make the event possible.

“We are very much a family,” she said. “Everyone pulled together to clean up the studio to make sure everything was ready again for dance classes the next day. It's always a team effort.”

 The performance was just one of hundreds of offerings taking place for Culture Night last night which saw doors open late for free events at cultural venues across the country.

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