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, Chris McCann graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Music at Ulster University. He is a creative individual with a passion for performing and composing music. He is a member of the International award winning choir Codetta and performs with them regularly, recently winning the Cork International Choral Festival. He has also volunteered at the City of Derry International Choral festival and whilst at university created his own orchestral ensemble called Groke Orchestra.
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 2016/17
- Sean O’Neill
- Lisa Ryan
Alisha Platt, Amelie Corr, Cerys Bartlett, Clíodhna Fee, Jordan Monteiro, Kasia Kozuch, Katie Holmes, Lauren Cunningham, Lucia Holmes, Rebecca Wallace, Rhiannon Stewart and Sorcha Gilmore
Dance artists on projects 2016/17
Sheena Kelly, Ripton Lindsay, Kelly Neill, Sean O’Neill
Artists, technical & support on projects 2016/17
Thomas Annang – Musician, Oliver Quinn – Technical, Oliver Corr – Photographer, Jow Fox – Photographer, Daniel Holmes – Photographer, Nandipha Jola – Story Teller, Una McCann – Musician, Amanada McKittrick – Visual Artist, Damian Mills – Musician, Joel Murphy – Musician, Ash Reynolds – Visual Artist.
Volunteers on projects in 2016/17, including:
Molly Bell, Delphine Corr, Rachel Heenan, Elisabeth Higginson, Jade Houlahan, Brona Jackson, Justine Jonutyte, Chris Mallon, Jordan Muxlow, Lisa Ryan.