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Emma O'Kane Bursary

ALUMNI | 2023

Maïa Nunes

"With the Emma O'Kane Bursary I was really aware that I would be working in the spirit and legacy of another artist; Emma O'Kane. This was a tether to her creative spirit that I took seriously. I set intentions at the beginning of my residency period at CoisCéim to work in alignment with Emma; to remain curious, playful, aware and connected.

I chose to work with three mentors who I felt had a particular resonance with my practice and who I knew would take a holistic approach to movement; Lee Rose (Jamaican somatic movement coach and movement director), Alessandra Azevedo (Afro-Brazilian dancer and Capoeira teacher) and Jools Gilson (multidisciplinary artist and educator working across dance theatre, creative writing, visual art & broadcast radio). Working with these guides helped me to achieve my goal of developing the foundation of a unique movement language that I can integrate into my interdisciplinary performances and designing a daily movement practice to support this work. The bursary also facilitated my taking some master classes, connecting me with the Dublin dance community. Mostly, what the Bursary did for me was to afford me the time, space, support and guidance to reconnect with my body in movement and develop the courage, confidence and freedom to integrate movement more fully into my multidiscilpinary performance practice. I am deeply grateful and honoured to have been entrusted with embodying some of the spirit of Emma O'Kane."

-Maïa Nunes, February 2024

Maïa Nunes was announced as the 2023 recipient of the Bursary on 1 March 2023. 

In accepting the award they said  "In honour of Emma O’Kane and her artistic legacy of intuition and embodied wisdom, playfulness and curiosity, expansion and creativity. This bursary will support me as I endeavour to release my latent fears, internal restrictions and constrictions. Commit to a period of focused embodiment practice and movement research that will transform me and my practice so that I emerge with a firmly rooted and authentic movement vocabulary. Thus, empowering and emboldening me to move with more surety and fluency, ease and freedom in my future work.


Maïa is an Irish-Trinidadian performance artist whose inter-disciplinary practice explores legacies of colonialism, the transformative and world-conjuring potential of performance, & song as a liberation and healing practice. Maïa has a background in visual arts with a BFA in textiles at NCAD. This training still informs their practice which weaves together various media and evolving themes into multi-textural and immersive performance environments. In 2021, Maïa’s video performance work Arima was purchased by the Irish Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection. Last year 2022, they performed their work Fire in Our Bellies at Migros Museum Zurich as part of Evan Ifekoya’s Resonant Frequencies exhibition; their work Solas was shown at Project Arts Centre as part of Live Collision Festival and their audio-installation work Crossings was shown in Speech Sounds exhibition at Visual Carlow. Maïa is also a 2021-22 Next Generation Artist, and a 2022 Platform 31 artist. 

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