Goldsmiths and IRIE! dance theatre join forces on Diverse Dance Styles degree

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From September 2023, Goldsmiths, University of London will validate IRIE! dance theatre’s Diverse Dance Styles degree.

Six IRIE! performers wearing black

Performers at IRIE!

IRIE! dance theatre (IRIE!) is Britain’s leading dance theatre company working in the field of African and Caribbean dance fusion, based in the Moonshot Centre, just minutes from Goldsmiths’ campus.

The BA (Hons) Diverse Dance Styles course was established in 2018 as the first of its kind to present African, Caribbean, Contemporary and Hip-Hop Styles equally. Goldsmiths and IRIE! are also developing a new MA in Diasporic Dance Styles, which will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2024. 

IRIE! was founded in 1985 by Beverley Glean MBE to raise the profile of Black dance in Britain. Since then, it has worked on creating a repertory of works reflective of the African Caribbean influence on the Black British cultural experience.

Goldsmiths and IRIE! share a deep connection to the Lewisham community, and a commitment to using the creative arts to build social and cultural understanding. They also collaborated on a project as part of Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture (2022), with Goldsmiths supporting IRIE! with a community-based project as part of people’s history project In Living Memory.

Professor Frances Corner OBE, Warden of Goldsmiths, said:

“Goldsmiths has a strong history of challenging geopolitical and cultural norms in the subjects we teach and study, as does IRIE! dance theatre. Its work is vital in encouraging greater diversity in dance, and through that, into creative disciplines and the creative industries more widely. We’re proud to support them in this mission, and delighted to deepen civic links with partners here in our Lewisham home.”

Beverley Glean MBE, Founder and Artistic Director of IRIE! dance theatre said:

“This partnership will provide a solid platform for the practice of African and Caribbean dance and culture, including discourse, engagement and greater understanding. We are committed to nurturing and developing the next generation of creatives in dance by providing a range of options to enhance their understanding of culture and diversity in Dance of the African Diaspora, making the forms important to their future career pathways, communities and society.” 

Goldsmiths works with a number of other academic partners in the UK and abroad.

Information about applying, and an application portal, is available on the IRIE! Dance Theatre website.