choreography / videos
Kieran Jordan Dance is a professional Irish dance company dedicated to the creation of new choreography inspired by “old-style” dance traditions. Drawing from her training in contemporary dance and many forms of traditional percussive dance, Director/Choreographer Kieran Jordan creates a world on stage that is both spirited and evocative, with original dances that convey characters, tell stories, or the highlight the intrinsic relationships that occur between Irish dance and music. Whether performing in concerts, festivals, or theater settings, the company’s work is celebrated for its lyricism, detailed footwork, inventive partnering, and natural embodied movement. Kieran Jordan Dance also encompasses Kieran’s student performing groups, who bring fresh interpretations to the old favorites — traditional Irish steps, sets, céilís, and sean-nós dances — with a contemporary, artistic approach.
Atlantic Steps traces the story of sean-nós dance back to its source in the West of Ireland, and across the Atlantic into the present day. In 2012, Connemara sean-nós dancer Brian Cunningham and Irish musician and producer Oisín Mac Diarmada invited Kieran Jordan to collaborate on a US touring version of Atlantic Steps. Working as Co-director/Choreographer, and a performer in the show, Kieran, and the creative team, blended spoken word and visual images with live Irish music, song and dance to produce a beautifully-crafted, high-energy theater show. The 2012-2014 production included an exceptional cast of dancers and musicians from Ireland and the US, along with specially commissioned set designs from Irish artist Vincent Crotty, and lighting design from Stephen Petrilli. Unique within the genre of post-Riverdance Irish dance shows, Atlantic Steps has played an important role in the renaissance of sean-nós dance.
A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, produced by WGBH and Brian O’Donovan, is a live theatre production and a seasonal favorite throughout New England — an elegant holiday sharing of music, songs, poetry, and dances from Celtic traditions. Kieran was Dance Director/Choreographer and a performer in the show from 2004 – 2010, collaborating with Artistic Director Paula Plum, Music Director Seamus Egan, and musicians and bands including Solas, Sharon Shannon, Danú, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Liz Carroll and John Doyle and many more. Her choreography and dancing are featured in the 2007 DVD, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Live.
Childsplay is a performance ensemble with nearly 30 musicians, including some of America’s leading virtuosos in traditional and contemporary fiddle music. For over 20 years, Childsplay has performed in the United States and Europe, showcasing different styles of fiddle music on instruments made by Bob Childs. Kieran was the original step dancer with this group, performing on many of the early New England tours and on a summer trip to Sweden in 2001. In later years, Kieran performed in partnership with Appalachian flat-footer Amy Fenton-Shine and French-Canadian step dancer Pierre Chartrand, and created duet choreography for dancers Nic Gareiss and Shannon Dunne. Kieran continues to work with Childsplay as an assistant director and choreographer. Most recently, she stage-directed the 2013 performance for the film, Childsplay Live at the Zeiterion Theatre.
Music and Dance Collaborations
Laurel Martin, Mark Roberts and Kieran Jordan are long-time friends through music, who have performed together in various other groups, including the fiddle ensemble, Childsplay. As a Massachusetts-based trio formed in 2013, they perform traditional Irish music and dance with the sweetest of melodies and heartiest of grooves, with Laurel on fiddle, Mark on flute, banjo, and bouzouki, and Kieran on the feet. Known for their subtlety and consummate skill, this group also sprinkles their concerts with entertaining and heart-felt anecdotes, promising an uplifting show of good tunes, good steps, and good spirits.
The Sole Mates was initiated by Kieran Jordan in 2010. Performing in the Boston area and on a three-week tour of Germany in 2011, the Sole Mates create free-spirited choreography, celebrating the many moods and flavors of Irish dance. “We honor our traditions and continue to probe them,” says Kieran, drawing inspiration from abstract full-body movement to precision sean-nós dance steps — from the soul of the music to the sole of the foot. Featuring Josh Dukes, Danielle Enblom, Kieran Jordan, Sean McComiskey, and Nicholas Yenson, The Sole Mates convey the emotional playfulness and power of Irish music and dance.
Triptych featuring Laura Risk (fiddle), Paddy League (bodhrán, guitar, vocals), and Kieran Jordan (percussive dance), performs traditional Irish, Scottish, and French-Canadian music as well as original pieces by members of the group. Using a variety of dance shoe soles and floor surfaces, and step dance grooves from many traditions, Kieran’s dancing is the percussive component in the overall sound. Their 2011 self-titled CD showcases the fluid, improvisational energy of the group.
“… the best bit of dancing I ever heard on a recording…”
— Seamus Connolly
“… a solid groove, subtle and sweet, with guts underneath!”
— Jean Denney Grotewohl
The Kitchen Quartet unites four top performers from America’s Irish music and dance scene. Shannon Dunne (dance and vocals), Kieran Jordan (dance), Sean McComiskey (button accordion), and Cleek Schrey (fiddle) combine the down-to-earth ease of a kitchen session with the sophisticated interplay of a string quartet. Sean and Cleek’s meaty Irish jigs and reels meander to delicate old-world waltzes, and spiral around through contemporary improvisation and layers of harmonic invention. Spunky and imaginative, Shannon and Kieran’s sean-nós dancing creates the rhythmic “footing” for the band and prompts a highly interactive concert performance. Spoken word, singing, and theatricality complete their warm and whimsical show.
Turnstyles Dance Project revolves within the worlds of traditional and contemporary dance. Drawing from modern dance, Irish and Scottish dance techniques, Turnstyles seeks to expand step dancing and to unravel traditional forms into new expressions of full-bodied contemporary dance. This collaborative group, founded and directed by Kieran Jordan and Scottish Highland dancer Jen Schoonover, explores improvisation and artistic innovation to create choreography reflecting the heart and soul of Celtic music.
Nua-nós features Kieran Jordan, Maldon Meehan, Mats Melin, and Ronan Regan. Their shared interests in Irish and Scottish “old style” step dancing brought them together as friends and collaborators at the University of Limerick, Ireland in 2004. As active dance teachers, researchers and touring artists, they perform thoughtfully-crafted choreography while maintaining the informality and ease of sean-nós dance.