DU Artistic Director Mags Byrne has been working professionally in dance for over thirty five years. She has performed and toured with many contemporary dance companies and choreographed and mounted projects for groups and companies all over Britain and Ireland, as well as in Austria, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Palestine, Romania, South Africa and Switzerland.
Finance Manager Valerie Catterson studied Latin and political science at Queen’s University Belfast before going on to study accountancy at the University of Ulster. She has over 20 years of experience working as a freelance accountant in the voluntary, charity and arts sectors.
Company Manager Louise Dempster-O’Neil has over 25 years of experience in company and project management, fundraising and community development within the public and voluntary sectors, working for large and small organisations in the fields of housing, regeneration, heritage and the arts. She has worked in Leeds, Manchester and, for the last 13 years, in Belfast.
Programme Director for the Youth Engagement Projects, Deborah Hamilton has extensive dance and community arts experience – as a performer, choreographer and previously held positions as a Performing Arts & Dance lecturer at Belfast Metropolitan College, Ulster University and Stranmillis College of Higher Education.
Sheena Kelly, Director of Sutemos Youth Engagement Project, is a dance artist whose interest lies within the contemporary dance field and community dance practice. She has worked across the UK and Ireland as well as internationally, in Norway, Germany, Spain, Austria, Romania, Italy, South Africa and Switzerland. A graduate of LIPA, over the past 10 years Sheena has gained extensive working experience in youth dance.
Adib Ma’ani-Hessari is a professional dancer and choreographer having gained a BA (Hons) in Dance Choreography from the University of Northumbria. He has worked freelance across Northern Ireland and toured across Europe and South Africa with a number of companies. Adib first worked with DU Dance (NI) in 2009 on the production Exile, as part of a professional development programme and we’re delighted that he is involved with us again as the Director for the Belfast Boys Youth Engagement Project.
DU Artistic Consultant and internationally renowned choreographer, Royston Maldoom, has been the initiator and leader of numerous dance projects in Northern Ireland and across the world. Now resident in Berlin, he is known particularly for his work in the field of community dance. His work was honoured in the movie Rhythm Is It! and he has received many international honours and awards including: Deutscher Ehren-Tanzpreis; Special Schiller Award; Order of the British Empire; German-British Forum Award; Club der Optimisten. Mags and Royston are particularly well known in the dance world for their work with street and working children in Ethiopia over a period of ten years.
Administrative Assistant, Maria McCloskey, got involved with the company when she took part in the Young Carers Project, Who Do You See? She is now training with TV and Film company, Triplevision Productions. During her time with Triplevision she has been involved in productions for the BBC and UTV. She has a passion for music and film.
Director of Alternative Energies, Kelly Neill has worked as a dance teacher for 12 years, beginning her career as a dancer in Northern Ireland and across the UK. She worked for the Riverside Youth Theatre in Coleraine as choreographer and movement coach for eight years. She is currently a dance lecturer at NRC and runs the Kelly Neill Dance School with over 140 students, teaching contemporary, jazz, hip hop and commercial pop.
Board of directors
- Jane Coyle, chairperson – arts journalist, writer, theatre and dance critic.
- Les McLean, treasurer – former head of operations at the Ulster Museum.
- Valerie Catterson,company secretary – accountant & freelance finance manager.
- Rosamond Bennett – chief executive officer of Christian Aid Ireland.
- Claire Flynn – Senior Public Affairs Consultant for Stratagem.
- Randall Shannon – former chief executive of the Buxton Festival.
- Arthur Webb – freelance theatre director and arts and education consultant.
Youth Steering Group 2017/18
- Sean O’Neill
- Lisa Ryan
Lucia Antonio, Cerys Bartlett, Amelie Corr, Lauren Cunningham, Clíodhna Fee, Sorcha Gilmore, Katie Holmes, Kasia Kozuch, Jordan Monteiro, Alisha Platt, Rhiannon Stewart and Rebecca Wallace.
Dance artists on projects 2017/18
Mags Byrne, Gerard Deeds, Adib Ma’ani Hessari, Sheena Kelly, Hannah McMillan, Kevin Murphy, Kelly Neill, Conor O’Kane, Sean O’Neill, Meseret Yirga.
Artists, technical & support on projects 2017/18
Emmet Colton – Film, Oliver Corr – Photographer, Joe Fox – Photographer, Chris McCann – Production, Una McCann – Musician, Amanda McKittrick – Visual Artist, Damien Mills – Musician, Joel Murphy – Musician, Oliver Quinn – Technical, Gerard Stratton – Film.
Volunteers on projects in 2017/18, including:
Deborah Hamilton , Elisabeth Higginson, Sheena Kelly, Ana Menezes, Jane Mooney, Sean O’Neill, Lisa Ryan, Phillip Walker, Lucas Yandell.