Chrysalis Dance Company


Chrysalis Dance is Ireland’s only modern ballet company. Based in Galway, the company endeavors to create the highest standards of neo-classical dance.

The company have firmly established themselves as a cutting-edge company, revolutionising classical ballet in Ireland and fusing exquisite technical ability with modern, accessible themes.

Choreographer Judith Sibley aims to push the boundaries of classical ballet by working against the ingrained movement structure of the classical dancer, releasing the body from the restraining elements of ballet by working off-balance, extending the circumference of movement, challenging co-ordination, adjusting natural tempi and finding original ways of connecting phrases.

To date the company has presented 8 full-length, original works; StringsWishes and WavesLove and Other DisguisesSouls/SWays you Wander3 Piece Suite,Thought Once Was and Last Shot Redemption.

Chrysalis has gained support from The Arts Council, The Galway City Council, Galway County Council and The Galway Arts Festival.

‘A vital presence in Irish dance’, Image Magazine



Judith Sibley – Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer. ARAD PDTD RTS RBS Dip.

Dublin born Judith Sibley is one of Ireland’s most prestigious ballet artists. She studied at the acclaimed Elmhurst Ballet School and the Ballet Rambert School, London. She has performed with Vienna Festival Ballet, Rubato Ballet, New Balance Dance Company, Ballet Ireland, Spirit of the Dance, Phantom of the Opera in both Belgium and Germany, Cork City Ballet, Irish National Youth Ballet, Youth Ballet West, The Great Waltz, and Coisceim ( for the Ryder Cup). Judith has toured internationally, performing principal and soloist roles in all the major classical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.

She has choreographed for Cork City Ballet, Baboro Festival, Macnas, Cuirt Festival, and Catastrophe Theatre Company. Her work has been invited to The Galway Arts Festival, The Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Absolute Fringe Festival, Flights of Fancy Festival, Feile na Bealtaine, Louisburgh Arts Festival and Instruments of Peace. Having gained the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with Distinction, Judith teaches at Shannon and Corrib Dance Academies. She has tutored internationally for the RAD, and has taught ballet as far afield as Singapore and Italy. She spent six years as Chairperson of the RAD’s Regional Advisory Committee in Ireland and is currently a Director of Irish Ballet Forum.

She has choreographed Strings, Wishes and Waves, Love and Other Disguises, Soul/S, Ways You Wander, Connect For, Four Seasons of Peace, The Space Where Thought Once Was and Scatenato for the company. She is also Artistic Director and lead choreographer of Youth Ballet West and both companies are supported by The Arts Council.

Paul Hayes – Producer

Paul has a BA in Drama from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies from the NUI Galway. Paul is Artistic Director of Catastrophe Theatre Company in Galway for whom he has directed 16 plays including Up the Yard and LOVE and other disguises. He produced The Race of the Ark Tattoo for the Abbey Theatre island tour and he produced Strings, Wishes and Waves, Soul/S, Ways You Wander and 3 Piece Suite for Chrysalis Dance. Paul was Head of Drama at Monaghan Institute for three years before moving on to become Community Arts Officer with Meath County Council. He has been a script reader for Druid and the Abbey. He worked as General Manager for Upstate Theatre Project in Drogheda for three years and was both producer and dramaturg on At Peace and Submarine Man. In 2010 he directed The Ones Who Kill Shooting Stars by Conall Quinn for Upstate. Paul is currently Manager of The Barbican in Drogheda.

Leighton Morrison – Assistant Director

Leighton trained at Arts Educational School, London. After graduation he travelled to Israel to work with Bat-Dor Company where he remained as a soloist for two years. Leighton has performed with English National Opera, Wayne Sleeps Ballet Company, Vienna Festival Ballet and English National Ballet where he performed in all the major classics. He subsequently joined the hit musical Cats as lead dancer Mistoffelees, followed by Anything Goes and the UK and World tour of Saturday Night Fever.

In Ireland he has worked with Ballet Ireland, Cois Ceim, Cork City Ballet, Irish Modern Dance and Chrysalis Dance. Leighton teaches for the Corrib Dance Academy, Shannon Dance Academy and has his own schools, Mayo School of Dance & Tuam Academy of Dance. He is also choreographer and rehearsal director for Youth Ballet West. Leighton joined Chrysalis Dance in 2007 and has performed in Love and Other Disguises, Soul/S, Ways you Wander, Connect Four, 3 Piece Suite and Four Seasons of Peace. He also choreographed The Other Way for the company in 2010.

Amy Lawson

Amy trained at the Central School of Ballet, London where she won the Molly Lake Performance Award. She then completed her training at the Ecole National Superieure de Dance de Marseille. She has danced with Atlanta Ballet, European Ballet, National Ballet de Marseille and English National Ballet performing Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Albert Hall. In Ireland, Amy has worked with Cork City Ballet, Crux Dance Theatre, Coisceim (for The Ryder Cup), and in the musicals The Great Waltz and The Magic of Vienna. She has featured in the films Phantom of the Opera and the fourth Harry Potter, The Goblet of Fire.

She joined Chrysalis in 2005 and has performed in Strings, Wishes and Waves, Soul/s, Ways you Wander, Connect Four, 3 Piece Suite and Four Seasons of Peace. Amy recently gained The Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with the RAD.

Andrea Santato

Italian, Andrea Santato began dancing at the “Progetto Danza” school directed by Greta Garbo before graduating from London Contemporary Dance School. Whilst at LCDS, he had the opportunity to work with Lorena Randi, Jan De Schynkel and Hofesh Shechter. He toured with the graduate company LC3 and his own choreography Strangers, was selected to be part of “Danses de Mai 2007”, at the Dance and Music Conservatoire in Paris. After graduated he joined Michael Clark Company for the Stravinsky Project and the Stravinsky Project Tour in 2008.

Andrea has performed with Swansea Ballet Russe, Cork City Ballet, Ballet Theatre UK, Combination Dance, Diciembre Dance Group and Cedar Dance Theatre. In addition, he has worked with the artist Martin Creed performing “Ballet: work n. 1020”.His choreography “Fragments” is currently in the repertoire of the Junior Dance Company, in Bari, Italy.Andrea joined Chrysalis Dance in 2009 and has performed in Ways You Wander, 3 Piece Suite, Connect 4 at the Dublin Dance Festival and Four Season of Peace at the World Peace Day.

Joanne Klijn

Joanne trained at the acclaimed Royal Ballet School, London and Elmhurst School of Dance in Birmingham. While still a student she performed with the Royal Ballet Company in many well known classical ballets. After graduation Joanne gained her Pilates teaching qualifications and began teaching privately in Birmingham. She is a member of ‘DNA 3D,’ a dance and research company with whom she regularly performs in Wolverhampton. She has performed in the opening and closing ceremonies in the European Gymnastic Championships, the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships and the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham.

Joanne joined Chrysalis Dance in 2010, performing in ‘3 Piece Suite’, ‘Connect 4′ at the Dublin Dance Festival in 2011, and ‘Four Seasons of Peace’ at World Peace Day.

Jane Magan

Born in Dublin, Jane began dancing with Anne Campbell Crawford at the Dublin School of Classical and Contemporary Dance then attended The Perm State Academy, Russia. She returned to Ireland to complete her academic studies and attended The Russian Ballet Centre in Dublin before completing her training at L’Academie De Danse Classique Princesse Grace, Monaco. Jane joined Ballet Ireland in 2001 and spent 10 years with the company. Soloist roles have included the title role of Alice, the Fairy-Godmother in Cinderella and Rosalinde in the companys’ acclaimed production of Romeo and Juliet by Morgann Runacre- Temple. In addition to her role as a dancer,Jane has also taken part in Ballet Irelands choreographic platforms, acted as Ballet Mistress and formed part of the educational team. Other engagements include Elisa in The King and I ,Euridice in Orpheus with Operaworks ,Shrewlands at Resolutions, London and Cloud Dance Festival.

Jane joined Chrysalis Dance in 2009 for the company’s production of Ways you Wander and returned in 2011 for Four Seasons of Peace.

Artists Who Have Performed With Chrysalis Dance

  • Lindsay Ashe-Brown
  • Greet Boterman
  • Lucy Casson
  • Aisling Cook
  • Michael Cooney
  • Quentin Harris
  • Maurice Kelleher
  • Sophie Kiddle
  • Icleiber Klaus
  • Monica Loughman
  • Clarissa Michaux
  • Nicola Murphy
  • Danny Reubens
  • Claire Rooney
  • Sanna Eriksson Ryg
  • Emma Teixeira
  • Lisa Tyrell
  • Jessica Westwood.

Apprentice Dancers:

  • Stephanie DuFresne
  • Jessica Healy
  • Elsbeth McKeever
  • Jenny McKeever
  • Alma Ryan
  • Tara Shine
  • Lisa Tighe
  • Mary Walsh
  • Jennifer Quirke

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Chrysalis Dance is committed to promoting understanding and enjoyment of modern ballet.

In May 2012 over 200 young dancers nationwide will participate in Chrysalis Dance’s workshop programme, where the company willl bring it’s unique style of dance to a new generation through active participation.

This will be a wonderful opportunity for students to work closely with the professional dancers, get an insight into the choreography and push some boundaries with their ballet techniques by ‘modernising’ what is familiar to them. The workshops are suitable for a variety of age groups and levels of dance experience.

The Chrysalis dancers are qualified and experienced teachers of dance with the IDTA, RAD and ISTD, maintaining a high code of practice. Sibley has been an international tutor for the RAD and spent 6 years as chairperson of the RAD’s Irish Regional Committee. Currently she is a Director of Irish Ballet Forum.

Chrysalis Dance has an on-going apprenticeship programme with Youth Ballet West. To date, nine talented YBW members have been offered apprenticeships with Chrysalis Dance and have performed in their works. Sharing a home with the Corrib Dance Academy, students in Galway are given a unique insight into the work of the company and are invited to watch rehearsals and see the work as it progresses.


Further information on Chrysalis Dance is available at