Laura Sarah Dowdall

Laura Sarah Dowdall


Laura Sarah Dowdall is an innovative dance artist creating engaging performance that is experiential, immersive and permeable to audience interaction, incorporating site-specific performance, spoken word and film. 

Laura is a socially-engaged artist working collaboratively with communities and collectives to support positive action and awareness of access, inclusion, environmental, creative and wellness needs of people and our planet. She integrates her skills as a collaborative arts practitioner, somatic therapist, nature-based practitioner, and systemic constellation-work facilitator to support personal and collective growth.

Laura enjoys collaborative interdisciplinary practice, she has worked with community organisations, visual artists, accessible rights activists, health workers, the deafblind and blind community, performance artists, sound composers, scientists and dramaturges.

Her project Running Blind focuses on heightening personal awareness an perspective through the stimulus and hindering of our sensory and kinaesthetic environments. She was awarded the Artist in the Community Award managed by CREATE (Ireland) to work with the Anne Sullivan centre for DeafBlind in 2015, since then she continues her relationship and weekly class with the residents of this centre.

This enduring relationship is a testament to the value and benefit dance has for people who are deafblind who rarely have the opportunity to move and express freely from their body and be in a non-hierarchical mutual learning context with their sighted partners and support workers. The continuity of classes has enabled observation of the progression of all participants and the benefits this work has brought to their everyday experience.

Since 2016, Laura has extended this project to investigate new forms of experiencing dance through haptic communication, audio description and sensory technologies. She was awarded the Dance Ireland 2016 Tyrone Guthrie centre residency award to facilitate this research and developed a new work with a Blind artist and accessibility activist, Walei Sabre (New York) and dancer Janie Doherty, that explored means of creating accessible performance.

From 2016-2019, Laura developed the Running Blind collaborative project in collaboration with the blind community partnering with National Council for the Blind. Hosting labs, workshops, focus-groups and performances presented in Smock Alley, Rua Red while Dancer in Residence, Echo Echo Dance Festival, National Choreographic Showcase Boston & Dance Theatre of Ireland.

Mentored by Riitta Lahtinen (deafblind researcher) & Russ Palmer(deafblind musician), blind activist Walei Sabry(NYC) through Dance Ireland Tyrone Guthrie Residency Award, Dance Ireland Mentorship award working with Tom Pritchard (Danced in Candoco).

Over the years she has developed an inclusive integrated dance model accessible to people with vision-loss enabling mutual learning & collaboration. Her work and research in inclusive dance has been presented at Global Vision Conference 2020 & MOVEME! Dance Festival (NL) 2023.

Laura was a facilitator and curriculum contributor on the first inclusive dance training in Ireland at Firkin Crane Dance in 2023 in partnership with UCC.

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The artistic intention of her Residency research is to extend the notion of dance beyond the central stimulus of the eyes and to make dance and its performance accessible and meaningful to mixed ability audiences in particular those without vision. She intends to do this through heightened sensory experience, haptic touch, immersive sound and creative use of audio description in performance environments.

Through her collaborative practice and artistic research she has developed inclusive dance training programs and workshops which she has facilitated across Ireland and the USA.

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Laura works with choreographers, dance theatre companies, film makers and collaborators in Germany, Ireland, France and the USA. She works with a collective of international artists researching the performative body in its expanded, transformative, political and imaginative states.

Laura has had the opportunity to work and train with innovative creators in the field of experimental physical performance, contemporary dance, voice, CI and improvisation some of which include: Rosalind Crisp, Andrew Morrish, Julyen Hamilton, Andrew Harwood, Nancy Stark Smyth, Maya Carroll, Bettina Neuhaus, Eva Karczeg, Stephanie Skura, Karen Nelson, Kirstie Simons, Stephanie Maher, Noa Zuk, German Jauregui and Tom Pritchard.

More on her artistic practice and recent works can be see at:

Recent collaborations, awards, and performances include:

  • DLR Baths Inaugral Artist in Residence, Commmuity Project + Performances, 2023
  • Move Me! Festival of Inclusive Dance, Netherlands 2023
  • Vision Conference, 2022
  • New Music Festival, Irish Composers Collective, 2022 – Creation of 6 new dance works in collaboration with 6 composers
  • LUISNE, a dance film in a 17th century Victorian House, 2021
  • embodied nature, durational performance at Biosphere Festival, 2020
  • PROX-IMIT, Temple Bar Gallery, 2019
  • Pavillion Theatre Residency, 2019
  • Model Gallery, Sligo, presented solo work & performer in Jennifer Walshe’s installation 2018
  • Next Generation Artist Award, Arts Council Bursary, 2017
  • Rua Red Dancer in Residence 2017
  • Residency Collaboration, Venasque, France, June 2017
  • South Dublin County Council Artist Bursary Award 2017
  • ScreenDance screening ELAN, Wicklow ScreenDance Festival, Apr 2017
  • Dance Ireland Mentored Residency Award with Tom Pritchard, Nov 2016
  • Tyrone Guthrie Dance Ireland Residency Award 2016
  • Duet performance- KEEP, Submerge Dance Festival, Germany, 2016
  • Dancer in Residence & Performance, Improv Xchange Festival, Berlin, 2016
  • Running Blind at Smock Alley Theatre, Scene + Heard Festival, 2016
  • Opening Solo Performance for NACHMO (National Choreography Month Boston), 2016
  • EarthDance, Massachusetts USA, 2016
  • Amanda Coogan Retrospective- The Passing, RHA Gallery, 2015
  • Urban Reflects, Dance Theatre Company in Frankfurt, Jan 2015
  • Ricean School of Dance in Greece, Sept 2015
  • Performance, Improv Xchange Festival Berlin, Aug 2015
  • Dance Theatre of Ireland’s Creating Space Dance Residency, 2015
  • Echo Echo Dance Festival, Nov 2015
  • Massive Owl Physical Theatre Company, Bristol, 2015
  • Emerging artist for Stand With Us professional development, Live Collision Festival 2015
  • Performance and Collaborations, Berlin, 2012-2014

Contact: /

Click here for Laura’s Dance Website