Bernadette Divilly ( a Dunlo Street native ) launched her new tome at a recent showcase in Galway Arts Centre's Nun’s Island Theatre in December.
The new book ‘Be Dance’ entails stories on Bernadette’s residency, capturing her ‘BeDance’ practice and incorporating the professional BeDance Development Quartet. Published by Letterfrack based company, Artisan House, the launch night on December 21, coincided with the Winter Solstice and attendees took part in shoreline walk to Galway Bay afterwards to celebrate the solstice.
Divilly’s Dance Artist Residency with Galway County Library Service began during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Bernadette had to turn to social media as a platform to showcase her dancing. “I created tutorial videos; made podcasts; conducted workshops and events using zoom. Be Dance is my own dance practice which evolved and took shape during 2020/2021,” she explains.
BeDance is seen as a way to meditate, to move the body and mind, and to relate through playful dance exchange. It’s used as a method to regulate the nervous systems and it allows for a diversity of dance movement skills and abilities, suitable for all adults regardless of dance experience.
In the book, Bernadette pays tribute to the participants, funders, and community members who got involved throughout the year. “‘I was keen to have a record of an extraordinary period which influenced the shape and structure of my residency. I took on the challenge in a playful, creative, and hopefully impactful way. The book pays homage, I hope, to all the participants, funders, and community who participated, and I wish to acknowledge the work of Artisan House in creating a publication that showcases this beautifully.”
Manager of Ballinasloe Library Una Kelly commented on the benefits of Ms. Divilly’s dance lessons: “Bernie's dance lessons were inspiring, bringing people from all parts of our community together in a safe and creative space either virtually or physically. It united people, created a community feeling of well-being, togetherness and support in difficult times. Everyone who took part felt united, had fun, and improved their physical and emotional health in a relaxed and very enjoyable environment.”
Una Kelly hopes the library can host more lessons in the future: “Before lockdown Ballinasloe Library was delighted to host a number of dance classes as well as lots of other community events. We are hoping that when restrictions lift, we will be able to resume all our community activities in the Church Gallery. We can't wait!”
Copies of the book are now available for loan in Ballinasloe Library. Further details on Bernadette’s work can be found at www.bernadettedivilly.com
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