Lighting Design for Dance Project 2022

Image of Jessie Thompson 2022
Photo by Kristian Mantalvanos

Having just wrapped up our Lighting Design for Dance project for 2022, we are excited to present an insight into the final presentations from the collaborations between choreographers Jessie Thompson and Vivian Brodie Hayes and MFA Lighting Designers Pedro Pacheco and Sophie Cassidy. This is the fifth consecutive run of Lighting Design for Dance, and we are thrilled with the result of all who took part. Presenting two dynamic work-in-progress pieces, the Lighting Design for Dance project is a fantastic representation of the body of talent that is up and coming in Ireland.

Read below Vivian’s experience with the project this year and how working with MFA Lighting Designer Sophie Cassidy helped evolve her work as a choreographer:

Lighting Design for Dance has given me a new consideration and fresh inspiration into work I create for theatre and stage. That magic of bringing people into a totally different world that can happen in a theatre, and I see how lighting really works to create that other world. I also have more confidence to ask for what I envision with work I create or am involved in, also more understanding and patience of what people I work with might be offering. I have gained more understanding of the great impact lighting can make on the audience’s experience of a performance. 

I had 5 weeks of seeing various lights and light states on bodies and in space. I have begun to know what individual lights do and how they work together to create different states. I have also begun to develop a taste as to what kind of lighting I like, and to look more at lighting choices when I go to see performances. This opened up a new world for me.”

Lighting Design for Dance Project offers professional dance-makers a resourced environment  to develop their skills in lighting design for dance, 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
Viv& Sophie
Vivan Brodie Hayes
Image by Kristian Mantalvanos



Vivian Brodie-Hayes - Dancing

Vivian Brodie Hayes

Vivian Brodie Hayes is a choreographer, director, collaborator and creative movement educator with an MA in Contemporary Dance. She is based in County Wexford and is currently Wexford Dance Artist in Residence, in partnership with the National Opera House and Wexford County Council Arts Department, funded by the Arts Council. She is the founder and director of SpringMoves Dance Festival and Dance Hub Wexford and the Yoga and Movement Specialist (YAMS) with the Wexford Mental Health Association. Her recent productions include, Dolmen, (research sharings, 2021), Three Pillars Project (collaborative arts project, 2021), Swifts and Swallows (film, 2021), I Take This Place (film, 2020), 9, Flock Dancers (performance, 2019), Siblings (film, 2017), Incidental Music (performance, 2016) bboy (film, 2016). She is very grateful and excited to be working with Liz Roche Company, the Lir Academy and Dance Ireland on this Lighting Design for Dance Project.

Jessie Thompson - Dance Position

Jessie Thompson

Jessie Thompson is a Professional Dancer and Choreographer, specialising in Hip hop and Experimental Contemporary dance. In 2021 Jessie received both a hatch award and residency from Dance Ireland to develop her own work followed by the Agility Award supported by Arts Council Ireland. Last Year Jessie performed in Night Dances by Emma Martin with Dublin Theatre Festival, at PopUp in Mermaid Arts Centre curated by Shaun Dunne and Nyree Yergainharsian, Belfast Arts Festival with Kundle Cru, All Together now Festival, Performed onetwoonetwo company in the Abbey Theatre and was a guest choreographer for Dance2Connect Festival Leeds with her recent work a Female Trio performance and Lost and Found exhibition by Universal Space. Jessie was a mentor for ISAACS programme in WexfordArts Centre and has undergone her own mentorships with some of the top practitioners in Dance both Nationally and Internationally. Jessie has Choreographed music videos for many Irish artists including Gemma Dunleavy, N.O.A.H, Kynsy, Big Love, Jessica Hammond, Sia Babes, Loah and more. She also performed in The Busk 2021 for Simon Community as well as performing in some feature and short films last year.

MFA Lighting Designers

Pedro Pacheco - The Lir Academy - Headshot

Pedro Pacheco

Pedro Pacheco is a lighting designer and producer from Brazil. He has been working in lighting design since 2017 and graduated from the Scenic Production Technology Programme at the Federal University of Paraná (Brazil) in 2020. Since then, he has worked extensively as a designer across multiple productions in theatre, dance theatre, music and outdoor events across Brazil. This experience in the industry has allowed Pedro to further develop his working knowledge as a theatre technician, programmer and operator for events. Pedro is one of the recipients of the Haddad Fellowship Scholarship. This has created the opportunity for him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional lighting designer by studying for an MFA in Stage Design at The Lir Academy.

Sophie Cassidy - The Lir Academy - Headshot

Sophie Cassidy

Sophie Cassidy is a Lighting Designer and Technician from Drogheda, Co. Louth. They graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies, during which they specialised in lighting design and devising. During their time in Trinity, Sophie designed shows in both the Samuel Beckett Theatreand the Dublin University Players Theatre. They served as the inaugural Festival Technician for the Trinity Arts Festival. Recently Sophie has designed: "Shakers" at Smock Alley Boys School, directed by Claudia Kinahan; "Gaia" at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, directed by Jade Silk Featherstone; and "Nine Weeks" alongside Ciaran O’Melia as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. As well as designing, they have been working as a lighting technician in various venues throughout Dublin, Drogheda and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sophie's other pursuits include production management, youth work, and playwriting, Most recently their play "Tech! The Musical" was selected by Youth Theatre Ireland as one of their new plays for Playshare 2021.

Development Artist

Yumi Lee - Development Artist - Lighting Design for Dance Project 2022 - Liz Roche Company

Yumi Lee

Yumi Lee is an Ireland based professional dancer, improviser and performer. Yumi holds a MA degree in Contemporary Dance Performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland. She started ballet training at 6 years old in South Korea and additionally trained in jazz, traditional dance, aerial dance and contemporary dance. She has worked as yoga, aerial yoga and pilates instructor in Gwangju and Seoul, South Korea. After completing her education in South Korea, she has been training contemporary dance and capoeira in the UK, Germany, Austria, Poland and Ireland. Yumi is continuing her career by using her knowledge and experience from different movement backgrounds such as ballet, traditional Korean dance, contemporary dance, release technique, yoga, Feldenkrais, Pilates, Taekwondo, capoeira, flying low, floor work, somatics, spiral dynamics, dance theatre and contact improvisation. Since her graduation, she has been working as a freelance dancer. She did a Wave project with Winona Lin, who is a contemporary musician based in Berlin. Also, she worked on a screen dance project which was directed by Fei Wu and was nominated at Albania Dance Meeting-Festival. She was invited as a guest lecturer from the University of Limerick to work with MA students. She has performed in Dēmos and the Dēmos Films of Separation and Togetherness with Liz Roche Company for Dublin Dance Festival 2021/The Abbey Theatre and Uillinn Dance Season 2021.


Liz Roche - Liz Roche Company - Headshot

Liz Roche

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.

We are proud of our partners.

Liz Roche Company is strategically funded by The Arts Council