Irish Dance Theatre
Director: Máire Clerkin ADCRG TCRG BA (Hons) PGDip
What is Choreodrama?
Choreodrama is a service based in Los Angeles providing professional theatre to Irish Dancers.

Who is it for?
Irish Dance schools, performing artists, theater, film & TV companies, community organizations.

'The Crossing' – Dance Drama winners, Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas,
Philadelphia 2009.
Teacher, Patricia Murphy / Choreographer, Máire Clerkin
What are the services?
Máire Clerkin, director of Choreodrama, creates Irish dance drama for stage. She devises theatrical dance works for regional, national and world championships, local competitions, international festivals, school recitals, corporate functions, holiday concerts, and full-length productions.

"She is a true pioneer who dances to the beat of her own drum... I cannot recommend a higher ambassador of the art of Irish Dance" - Jean Butler, original leading lady of Riverdance and principal / choreographer, Dancing on Dangerous Ground.

What kind of dance dramas?
The choice is yours. Ireland is rich in folklore with myths, legends, ghost stories, fairytales, fables, songs and epic adventures. Choreodrama provides comic, traditional, tragic, whimsical, literary, mythical, contemporary and historical works for stage. Using Irish Dance as a staple, combined with physical theatre, acting skills, text, music, and with access to theatre production goods such as set design, costume, masks, puppetry, lighting and props - Choreodrama can transform a group of inexperienced dancers into a full scale professional theatre company!

Heritage Irish Stepdancers - winners Dance Drama Oireachtas with The Fairies of Trickery, Denver 2009
Teacher, Ariel Bennett; Choreographer, Maire Clerkin

Are there examples?
Yes. Maire has choreographed and directed seven winning Irish dance dramas for competition since arriving in the US five years ago. The teams to win their Oireachtas were in the following regions: Western US 2006, 2008, & 2009; New England 2008; Mid Atlantic 2009. Máire's dramas have entered Oireachtas na Cruinne, World Championships twice, placing 5th in Glasgow 2007 and 5th in Philadelphia 2009. Maire's drama pieces won 2nd & 3rd places at North American Nationals, Orlando, 2010.

Previously, Máire has written and directed full-length Irish Dance shows featuring dance students:
  • Granuaile at Lewisham Theatre, London 1996, the story of Grace O'Malley, pirate queen.
  • Countess at Broadway Theatre, London 2002, the story of Countess Constance Markievicz.
  • The Dancing Warrior (for Cadence Irish Dance Theater), Arizona 2005, about Chu Chulainn.
"Maire is one of the top Irish Dance theatre practitioners in the world.... her work is of the highest quality... and always on the edge" - Colin Dunne, principal dancer and choreographer with Riverdance and Dancing on Dangerous Ground.

Lynn Academy - Curse of the Feet Water - winners of New England Oireachtas

Why can't Irish Dancing schools do their own dramas?
They can, but it's a headache for teachers to take on - especially when they are busy preparing their dancers for solo and figure dances. It's a relief to pass on the project to somebody trained in theatre and the performing arts. Máire has 25 years experience in dance theatre - and is a qualified Irish dance teacher (TCRG since 1980) and adjudicator (ADCRG since 1988), registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission).

How much does it cost and how long does it take?
That depends. A full-length show can take weeks to prepare, or months if done episodically. Dance Drama pieces for feiseanna, customarily six minutes in length, take 12 days, from audition to dress rehearsal. This can be split over weekends, school vacations, and summer camps. Prices available through Choreodrama.

Máire Clerkin offers a fabulous new service to complement her highly successful Choreodrama program!

Beyond the realm of Irish dances composed for competition, lies a rich seam of possibility… Irish Dance is practiced mostly at feiseanna nowadays. But let’s not forget the ways in which Irish Dance has been entertaining for years: concert, festival, recital, exhibition, display, gig, parade, show, and performance.

Máire sets dances to Irish songs, be they comic, historical, ballad or sentimental. There is little need for elaborate costuming or props. Dancers of all ages, levels and abilities can attend workshops. Creating steps, formation and structure to accompany the song’s narrative, Máire augments the dance with gesture, simple upper body movement, and basic characterization. Reflecting the mood, meaning and rhythm of the music, Máire choreographs memorable, dramatic and appealing dances that will thrill any audience. Think of favourite Irish songs you love to sing and imagine a troupe of dancers dancing and acting them out. That’s Choreo-Show!

Whether it is for a St Patrick’s Day celebration, or another public event, Máire Clerkin’s Choreo-Show is the perfect system for assembling a professional and fun presentation.

Máire choreographed A Journey Through Time for Lynn Academy in 2010, which placed 2nd at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas, despite a rather glaring wardrobe malfunction!

McBride School - King Of The Fairies - winners of Western US Oireachtas

How can we find out more about Máire Clerkin's work?
Click here to read her resume »

How do we contact Choreodrama?
Phone (310) 801-5520 or email:

©Maire Clerkin 2010
Phone: 310 801 5520 or email:

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