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Fatima Groups United rewarded for their creativity

Fatima Groups United in Rialto have been awarded €10,000 for their Dance till Dán creative arts project as part of the St. Patrick’s Festival Tik Tok Creative Fund 2022.  

                      
F2 centre. Photo courtesy: Fatima Groups United  

“A tight deadline combined with lots of dedication fuelled the application process.”

– RICHIE KEANE, FATIMA GROUPS UNITED

The fund supports and inspire creativity in Irish communities. 

“Dance till Dán is a creative arts project fusing the language of poetry and the language of dance in one exciting project,” says Richie Keane of Fatima Groups United. “It aims to be an intergenerational and multicultural arts project.”  

An already existing dance group and the local ‘Poetry Vigilantes’ have come together in the project, as Keane explains.

“I approached Mia Di Chiaro, who is the resident choreographer at Fatima Groups United, and Catherine Ann Cullen who works with Fatima Poetry Vigilantes and is the Poet in Residence with Poetry Ireland, to get involved. “Catherine Ann came up with our project title Dance till Dán.” (Dán is Irish for poem.)

“A tight deadline combined with lots of dedication fuelled the application process. We were really happy with our idea and application. We pressed send on the deadline day with fingers and toes crossed,” says Keane. 

In addition to an online application, members of the Friday dance classes also took part in creating a two-minute video pitch.  

Dance till Dán pitch video courtesy of Fatima Groups United.  

Success was sweet, Keane says.

“That was such an exhilarating feeling, to be one of ten projects nationally to be successful. Just a delightful feeling to hear the good news and then we were sworn to secrecy until the big national announcement.” 

The local dance programme, which was developed five years ago by Philippa Donnellan, provides a place for the community to get together while dancing and keeping fit.  

“Philippa is an amazing choreographer and worked as director of CoisCéim Broadreach. She instilled in us a love of dance,” Keane says.  

“It’s actually health by stealth – you don’t realise how much physical movement you do in a class and all to gorgeous music.  

“Mia Di Chiaro took over at Fatima Groups United in September 2021. This is where the native New Yorker met Fatima and a gang of daredevil dancers at Fatima Groups United.”  

So, what is the plan for Dance till Dán?  

“We plan on developing a suite of performances for Dance till Dán, incorporating poetry and dance to be showcased in March 2022.” 

“We have a research and recruitment phase, a create phase and a performance phase. We are currently scoping out locations and recruiting amongst the participants of programmes in Fatima Groups United Family Resource Centre,” said Keane. 

Information on Fatima Groups United provide can be found at https://www.fgu.ie/  

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