Joan Denise Moriarty
It was due to Joan Denise Moriarty that The Firkin Crane became a centre for dance in Cork when she, as director of the Irish National Ballet applied successfully to the Arts Council to purchase the building when it went on sale, and while Moriarty and the Irish National Ballet didn’t move into The Firkin Crane, the dedication to dance continues to this day.
Joan Denise Moriarty is a name synonymous with dance in Cork and Ireland for many years, having established dance companies, a dance school and choreographing over 100 ballets, including The Playboy of the Western World. Moriarty, who grew up in England, trained as a ballet dancer with Marie Rambert in her teens, before her family returned to Ireland, where she began teaching in Mallow and later moved to Cork City where she continued to teach and through her companies provide both training and opportunities for her students to perform. She commissioned new work from Aloys Fleischmann, with whom she continued to collaborate with him for 45 years.
Joan Denise Moriarty has influenced many students throughout her lifetime, many of whom have continued to be involved in ballet, and in turn have taught many students and given them the opportunity to perform and bring ballet and dance to diverse audiences.
Author: Andrea Stapleton