During February half term RISE Youth Dance invited Dublin Youth Dance Company to Bristol to partake in an intensive week of classes to create a collaborative piece to be shown at REACH. The piece explores boundaries and borders in relation to the immanent process of leaving the European Union. We interviewed Mariam Ribbon, the Artistic Director of Dublin Youth Dance Company to hear about her experience choreographing on this project.

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1.      Is this the first residential you’ve done with another company?

We have done a residential with a youth company in Sweden before however this is more exciting because we are going to perform with RISE Youth Dance in Bristol and then we have the privilege of performing this piece and Helen’s piece in Dublin this summer. This really feels like a fantastic collaboration and also for an extended period of time which is an amazing opportunity to see how other youth companies work.

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2.       Why is the meaning behind the piece so important to you?

Well I thought that I needed to find something that was important and affected both groups, so I thought a lot about what’s going on at the moment with Brexit. I have explored boundaries and borders especially myself being from Spain and moving to Ireland, therefore I realise that it’s a big thing when you move from one country to another. I feel that it’s great that young people want to travel, discover and have new experiences; so the fact that all of a sudden Brexit is happening and there’s a lot of confusion about whether Britain’s leaving with a soft or hard border. Especially because in my company there is so much cultural diversity that it felt right as the starting point for the piece.

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3.       How can the future outcome of Brexit be interpreted through this piece?

I think this piece has a nice ending in the sense that it is hopeful and in the end we get rid of the boundaries between the couple. It shows that although there’s always a chance that boundaries can cause a break up between families and friends, it can also lead to new possibilities. In this sense the piece can be seen as optimistic, although the interpretation really depends on the audience member.