Lighting Design for Dance Project 2021

Choreographers: Melissa Bori and Wu Fei
Lighting Designer: Brian Mitchell
Lighting Design for Dance Project 2020

Liz Roche Company, in partnership with The Lir Academy, Dance Ireland and the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, is delighted to announce that choreographers Niamh O’Loughlin and Nick Nikolaou will take part in the Lighting Design for Dance project 2021, working with The Lir MFA students in lighting design, Michael Rathbun and Kevin Murphy.

The project runs throughout February and March 2021 and is facilitated by Liz Roche and lighting designer Sinéad Wallace (Lighting Design Tutor, MFA Stage Design, The Lir Academy).

This project pairs professional choreographers with MFA students in Lighting Design from The Lir Academy, offering a series of structured supports including:

  • Rehearsal space at Dance House to devise work
  • Guidance and mentoring throughout the process
  • Use of The Lir Academy theatre space
  • Technical support and expertise throughout the process
  • Stipend for participation



Nick Nikolaou

Nick Nikolaou

Nick Nikolaou is an Irish-based artist with experience in contemporary dance, queer and aerial performance. In January 2020 he graduated with First Class Honours from the Masters of Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance in the University of Limerick. Before his postgraduate studies, he danced with the Dublin Youth Dance Company and other companies in Ireland and Greece.

His most recent performance achievement was being part of the Step Up Project for 2020 where he worked with choreographer Luke Murphy and created choreography for a Screen Dance.

Niamh O'Loughlin Headshot

Niamh O'Loughlin

Niamh graduated from the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance 2018. Since then she has taught, performed and created. A keen dance maker Niamh has had work performed at festivals in Ireland, Scotland and Denmark. Her work has been supported by The Work Room, CityMoves, Dance Base, Hospitalfield, Scottish Youth Theatre, Dundee Rep, Stellar Quines and Dance Ireland. Niamh has a special interest in making work for young audiences. She has been developing a dance theatre show, “The Big Giant” about the myths of The Giants Causeway, which was recently been awarded funding from Creative Scotland. Her current projects include live Zoom performances for Young People as a part of Tramway’s Beyond Wall Festival in Glasgow and “What Moves You?” a reflective dance project which will culminate in an outdoor performance in Edinburgh in June.

MFA Lighting Designers

Michael Rathburn

Michael Rathbun

Michael Rathbun is an experienced lighting designer who is excited to be working with the amazing performers and choreographers at Liz Roche Dance Company and Dance Ireland. His design experience includes work in L.A., San Diego, Chicago, Boston, Bangkok, and Paris, with some notable institutions including San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, and others. He currently holds the position of Touring Lighting Director for Benjamin Millepied's LA Dance Project, though they are not actively touring due to the pandemic. Some notable credits of his include Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir (Associate Lighting Designer), Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel (Lighting Designer), Ariel Dorfman's La Muerte y La Doncella (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Benjamin Millepied's I Fall, I Flow, I Melt (Associate Lighting Designer) and Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem (Midwest Premier, Lighting Designer). Examples of his work can be found in his online portfolio at

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy is a lighting designer from Dublin, Ireland. His work has featured on stage in Dublin and Galway as well as toured across Ireland. His credits include Dragon (Fizz & Chips Theatre), Kipps - The New Half A Sixpence Musical (GUMS), The Fregoli Heart Project (Fregoli Theatre), The Monday B.C (Jokerthief), Eternal Youth (Niamh Ryan), Chatroom by Enda Walsh (NUIG Dramsoc), Deirdre+Naoise (Niamh Ní Fhlatharta/NUIG Dramsoc) and Alone It Stands (NUIG Dramsoc) for which he was awarded an ISDA for 'Best Lighting Design' in 2018. Kevin holds an MA Arts Policy & Practice from NUI Galway and has worked with Galway-based arts organisations such as Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and Galway Theatre Festival. He is currently undertaking an MFA Stage Design (Lighting Design Major) at the Lir Academy and is very excited to work with Liz Roche Company on the upcoming Dance Project. More information on Kevin and his work can be found at and on social media at @kevin_murphy_lights.


Liz Roche Photo by Alan Gilsenan

Liz Roche

is co-founder and Artistic Director of Liz Roche Company. Since 1999, the company has produced and toured over 20 of her works, performing throughout Ireland and internationally at prestigious venues and festivals. From 2009 to 2012 Liz was choreographer-in-residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, UL, and is a former recipient of Peter Darrell Choreographic Award, Bonnie Bird U.K. New Choreography Award and the Dublin Fringe Festival's Jane Snow Award. She has made new work for the National Ballet of China, Arcane Collective, Croi Glan Integrated Dance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Maiden Voyage Dance, Cois Ceim and Dance Theatre of Ireland. She has also choreographed extensively in opera and theatre, most notably for The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, Landmark Productions, Wexford Festival Opera, Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro, Liceu Barcelona, Opernhaus Zurich and Irish National Opera. In 2020 Liz was elected to Aosdána

Sinéad Wallace

Sinéad Wallace

Sinéad graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2004 where she studied Drama and Theatre. She received Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for Best Lighting in 2010 for Happy Days (Corn Exchange), in 2009 for Knives in Hens (Landmark) and in 2007 for Saved (Abbey Theatre) and Don Carlos (Rough Magic). Her recent lighting designs include The Country Girls (Abbey Theatre), The Patient Gloria (PanPan), Danse Morob (The Emergency Room) & Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Wide Open Opera). Previous designs include Anna Karenina, Oedipus, By the Bog of Cats, Christ Deliver Us, La Dispute, The Seafarer (Abbey Theatre), Verdi’s Rigoletto (Opera Theatre Company), The Seagull, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Corn Exchange), A Tender Thing (Siren Productions), Wrongheaded [original production], Body and Forgetting, Fast Portraits, 12 Minute Dances (Liz Roche Company) and Miss Julie (Landmark Productions). She also teaches lighting design on the Masters in Stage Design at The Lir Academy, Dublin.

Project partners: Liz Roche Company, The Lir Academy, Dance Ireland, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.

Lighting Design for Dance Project 2020

We are proud of our partners.

Liz Roche Company is strategically funded by the Arts Council