Siamsa Tíre

Funk & Folk Podcast – Series 1

Funk & Folk Podcast – Series 1

A very special podcast series connecting cultures through dance. 

Following the highly successful Funk & Folk online dance programme curated by Catherine Young Dance, we now bring you Funk & Folk the podcast.

Funk & Folk is a multi-cultural dance platform sharing the richness of distinct dance cultures and traditions from around the world. To date, the series has featured workshops and talks from leading world artists in Hip Hop, House dance, West African, Afro-Haitian, Afro Cuban, Indian Kathak, Palestinian Dabke, Irish step dance, Munnix (Irish), Sean Nós, flamenco, tap and funk.

Hosted by Catherine Young herself, this new podcast series dives a little deeper into each tradition by chatting with some of the artists to open a window into each dance's styles, cultures, and politics. As we journey through the different styles over five weeks, we begin to see the connections through them all – how powerful a medium dance is, how it can bring us together, connect us, heal us and ultimately transform society.

You can listen to the podcast series below or on Soundcloud and Spotify. 

Episode 1: House Dance With Sekou Heru

Tony Sekou Heru Williams is from Trenton, New Jersey in the United States. He is one of the legends of house dance and his unique dance style fuses an array of forms from hip-hop, house, martial arts and fitness training. Throughout his career, Sekou has toured with Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince and with Fred Ho's Voice Of The Dragon. He has also performed with Mariah Carey in Michael Jackson's United We Stand concert, has appeared in the films Brown Sugar, Marci X, 25th Hour, and in music videos including Will Smith's 'Ring My Bell', Aretha Franklin's 'Same Ol Song', MC Lyte's 'Ice Cream Dream', and Foxy Brown/JayZ's 'I'll Be.'

Episode 2: Palestinian Dabke With Noora Baker 

Noora Baker started dancing at the age of seven with El-Funoun Dance Troupe, Palestine and is currently a choreographer, director and head of training and production at the company. She is also an international performer and maker that has worked collaboratively with artists such as Helena Waldman, Yoshiko Chuma and Andre Gingras. Noora works locally and internationally on projects that carry both social and political messages related to today’s world and the reality we live in. For her, art has always been a means to reach out and bring people together to express ideas and feelings in a creative way.

Episode 3: Sean Nós with Kieran Jordan 

Boston-based Kieran Jordan is both an innovator and tradition bearer in the field of Irish dance. She is a performer, teacher, and choreographer, and founder of the Kieran Jordan Dance company and studio. Kieran has taught on the Irish Studies faculty at Boston College, and at festivals including Catskills Irish Arts Week, Willie Clancy Summer School, and more. She has produced three DVDs on sean-nós/old style Irish dance, and her percussive footwork has featured on numerous music recordings. Drawing from her training in contemporary dance, somatic work, and more than 40 years of immersion in traditional Irish dance, Kieran is regarded as one of America’s premier dancers and instructors. 

Episode 4: Afro-Haitian With Jean Appolon

Jean Appolon is a choreographer and teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He received his earliest training and performance opportunities in Port-au-Prince with the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company, and the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti. Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Joffrey American Ballet School, graduating with a BA in 2003 from a joint degree program at The New School. Jean teaches regularly at Boston Ballet, The Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA), and the University of Massachusetts Boston, among other locations. Meanwhile, Appolon was recently inducted to the 1804 List of Haitian American Changemakers in the US.


Episode 5: Indian Kathak with Sonia Sabri 

Sonia Sabri is a multi award-winning dance artist and choreographer and one of the world’s leading Kathak dancers working in the 21st century. Creating art that spans from the presentation of classical roots of Kathak to explorations of contemporary approaches, her productions reflect an appreciation of western and eastern cultures. She has created a fresh, unique style of Kathak by reinventing it from within, by pushing boundaries and generating work that is original in concept and exciting and relevant to today’s audiences. She has secured an international reputation for collaboration across dance styles and art forms including work with pioneers Sarvar Sabri, Arlene Phillips CBE, Sir Trevor Nunn and Sir Richard Alston. Sonia’s innovation has also invited several commissions with The BBC, Channel 4, Tanzhaus, ARTE, Birmingham Hippodrome, South Bank Centre, and the 2021 London Olympics.


Host: Catherine Young 

Sound design and editing: Fiona Sheil

Supported by Siamsa Tire, Kerry County Council, & The Arts Council