expandance the company was founded in 2006 by Rachel Wynne, Laurie Schnieder and Alicia Christofi-Walshe.
Over the years expandance has been honored to work, create and perform with many remarkably talented people in Ireland and the US, and we are so grateful for how each of them have contributed to our growth as a company, and individually as artists and humans.
We are grateful to the Arts Council of Ireland, who granted us Research and Development funding at the beginning of our journey, and to Genesis Project Dublin; these funds and space grants allowed us to build a solid foundation from which we were able to develop the technique and the work.
Sephiroth / The Forest PieceCreated and performed at Shawbrook, Longford, Ireland. Debut performance on their outdoor forest stage.
Trio with Invisible ThirdJuly 2008 ‘Trio with Invisible Third’ was performed simultaneously at Project Brand New at The Project Theatre Dublin and at Topaz Arts, NYC Photo by Viktor Cibulka
Rachel holds a Joint BA Hons in Contemporary Dance and Theatre from De Montfort University, UK, and post-graduate training at Dance Space Center, NYC. Her background in classical ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, along with training over the years in capoeira, yoga, Pilates, clowning, and over a decade training as a trauma and transformational healing facilitator guides her work in expandance. She continues to be coached and trained as she believes it's important for the teacher to always continue to learn.
Outside of expandance, Rachel has worked with organizations and theatres in Ireland, the UK, Austria and in the US, including:
6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa, CA
Shakespeare in the Cannery, Santa Rosa, CA
Truant Arts, NYC
Petting Zoo Musical Improv, NYC
Tanz Atelier Wein, Austria
Galway Arts Festival, Ireland
Ghent Straattheaterfest, Belgium
Prior to 2003: The Gaeity Theatre, The Player’s Theatre, The Pavilion Theatre (Dublin), Backstage Theatre (Longford, Ireland), The Mill (Oxford, UK), Spiral Arts (London, UK)
She is the recipient of two Irish National Dance Awards, for Senior Contemporary Solo and Group Choreography.
Laurie, having completed her BA Hons Dance in the UK returned to Ireland where she danced professionally. Through her dance career Laurie benefited from Pilates and continued to enhance her movement training through certification with Polestar Pilates, Xtend Barre and Stott Pilates. A Reformer Pilates and Ballet Barre Instructor with Platinum pilates, Laurie now gets to indulge her passion for teaching strong, conscious fluid movement in her classes. Lauries classes are challenging with a focus on alignment, precision, timing and increasing length and flexibility for her clients. Due to her early competitive dance training Laurie has (some would say) an unhealthy obsession with sequins, gold lamé, sparkle and perfectly choreographed group dance sequences... so do not be surprised if you find her at the Barre in a full tutu and leotard combo.
Check out her dance and Pilates IG here.
Laurie and Rachel have been collaborating artistically for over 20 years, and continue to work together.
COMING SOON: An archive page, where we'll share some really old and possibly embarrassing work we've made together. Videos will be grainy because we're that old. Stay tuned!
Rachel's Choreography and Direction for the first iteration of "Wicked Frozen" by Zoe Farmingdale and Toby Singer, West Village Musical Theatre Festival, New York City, 2014