DU Dance (NI) Features in Mid Ulster District Council Good Relations Showcase

DU Dance (NI) featured in Mid Ulster District Council’s first ever Good Relations showcase on 18th June 2019. The event, which took place in the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown, brought together a number of organisations that work with the Council to deliver invaluable programmes to the community.

Our dance film ‘Relocate’ – an intercultural project exploring themes of migration and settlement – was featured as part of the showcase, and our artistic director Mags Byrne was in attendance to discuss the work we do.

Click here to read more about ‘Relocate’.

Alternative Energies and Alternatives Delight Audience at Flowerfield

Flowerfield Arts Centre was the setting as Alternatives and Alternative Energies treated a ninety strong audience to a celebration of dance on 24th May.

Aaron Callan, chair of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council’s Leisure and Development Committee, provided the opening address. The evening featured a performance of ‘Abstraction’ by Alternative Energies, and  a piece titled ‘Dance Through the Ages’ – as well as a screening of the short film ‘Not Alone’. The programme concluded with a joint performance from Alternative Energies and Alternatives.

Thanks to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, in particular Desima Connolly, for hosting this event and for their continued support throughout the year.

Project funding provided by Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation.

‘Relocate’ Screening at The Junction in Dungannon

On Saturday 18th May The Junction in Dungannon hosted the latest screening of ‘Relocate’. This follows on from the film’s premiere in April.

‘Relocate’ is a dance film project from Sutemos and Suteminis bringing together children and adults from the traditional communities within Dungannon and newcomer children and adults. The project was supported by both Dungannon Youth Resource Centre and South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP).

The sixty strong audience – including some of the young participants and their teachers – was delighted and moved in equal measure by the film and its themes of migration and settlement.

Thanks to our funders:

DU Dance (NI) Principal Funder: Arts Council of Northern Ireland
BBC Children in Need
Community Relations Council
This project has been supported by The Executive Office funded through its District Council Good Relations Program
in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council

DU Dance (NI) to Feature in Short Film Showcase

DU Dance (NI)’s short film work will be showcased as part of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival.

On Sunday 19th May at 4pm the Strand Arts Centre will screen a collection of shorts films by John Deery, DU Dance (NI) and McGill University in Montréal. The event will also feature a panel discussion.

For more information about the event, click here.

About Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival

NIMHAF is a festival highlighting mental health by showcasing arts and film events across Northern Ireland. The festival runs from 6th-31st May 2019.

Click here to find out more.

Primary Schools Dance Festival 2019

Our 11th annual Primary Schools Dance Festival took place at Belvoir Players Theatre on 15th & 16th May 2019.  The festival offers children of primary school age the opportunity to perform in an exciting, supportive, non-competitive context. It is open to any style of dance and all levels.

158 children aged 4-11 performed to a combined audience of more than 270.

During the the festival pupils and teachers were able to share their work with other schools in a professional theatre setting.

We were also delighted to invite Palmira Rendilheiro, from Cape Town, South Africa as our special guest artist for the second year in a row. Palmira performed a fusion of contemporary dance and jazz which delighted the audience.

Paula Bittles of George Best Belfast City Airport presented certificates to the children following their performances.

Well done to all the young dancers, their teachers, parents, support staff, and the enthusiastic audience.

Special Thanks

We would like to extend a special thanks to George Best Belfast City Airport Community Fund for providing funding for this project.

DU Dance (NI) Featured in Research Article

DU Dance (NI)’s ‘Heroes on the Hill’ project is the subject of an academic research article by Katharine Scrantom and Katrina McLaughlin. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychosocial benefits of the project as an example of a cross-community, intercultural dance programme for youth in Northern Ireland.

The study concludes that “Arts-based programmes like Heroes on the Hill should not be underestimated in their dynamic ability to address such complex issues; in fact, they must be considered crucial in promoting integration, diversity, and inclusion in Northern Ireland.”

Click here to read the research article in full.

About ‘Heroes on the Hill’

‘Heroes on the Hill’ was an intercultural dance and drumming project involving schools and community groups and delivered in partnership with STEP (South Tyrone Empowerment Project).

For more information about ‘Heroes on the Hill’ click here.

Unanimous 2019

An enthusiastic audience was in attendance as UNANIMOUS once again brought together some of the most exciting youth dance groups from across the island on Sunday 28th April 2019.

This was the eighth annual Unanimous youth dance showcase event – and the first to be held in the MAC, Belfast’s flagship contemporary arts space.

Thanks to all the wonderful groups who participated this year:

– Alternative Energies, Ballymoney
– Brona Jackson Youth Dance Company, Derry
– Company B, Dublin
– Connect Youth Dance, Enniskillen
– Dublin Youth Dance Company
– FYI Dance Club, Wicklow
– Limerick Youth Dance Company, Limerick
– Sutemos, Dungannon

Thanks also to our two wonderful MC – Sean O’Neill and Lisa Ryan – and our photographer Joe Fox and the rest of our team of volunteers and staff.

Read on to see photos of the showcase or click here to find out more about Unanimous!




Cultures Come Together for Performance Project in West Belfast

Over the last six weeks a number of community organisations brought together different people living in West Belfast, those who are new to the area and those who are long-term residents, to work on a performance project which was showcased on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th March at An Culturlann on the Falls Road.

DU Dance (NI) collaborated with partners An Culturlann, Beyond Skin and Falls Women’s Centre – to involve women, teenage girls and children from several countries – including China, Ireland, Lebanon and Syria – in an exploration of the common experiences of those who lived in West Belfast in the height of The Troubles and those who have recently moved to the area from places of conflict or challenge.  The women’s stories of how they hold their family together in such circumstances were moulded into a dance theatre piece that the participants themselves performed under the aspirational title of “Faoileoireach” which means “to soar high”.

These women and young people, including pupils from Gaelscoil an Lonnain, had never performed before but shared the stage with professional musicians from Beyond Skin and singers from Clanmil Women’s Ensemble led by Siobhan Brown.

The capacity audience on both nights – of local people, family and friends – travelled this journey with the performers and fittingly on what the BBC is celebrating this week as #Dance passion one audience members remarked “such an emotional story beautifully told with such dedication and reverence, a truly moving experience.”

Aisling Ní Labhraí, Executive Director at Cultúrlann said “The use of physical movement and multiple languages to tell the story of these women and children is a magical concept. It celebrates the richness of cultural diversity and artistic expression whilst highlighting the human experience as a universal one. We have been delighted to partner with DU Dance (NI) on this wonderful project and hope that it will be the first of many.”

The project was made possible by a number of funders – Belfast City Council, Good Relations; Community Relations Council; Community Foundation Northern Ireland and The Honourable The Irish Society.

Chair of the Shared City Partnership Councillor John Kyle said “The telling of stories through dance and music can be both powerful and therapeutic, the effects made even greater when the experiences portrayed were born in conflict as this performance illustrates.”

Gavin O’Connor, Youth Arts Development Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “The Arts Council is delighted to see this collaboration between three of our funded organisations which has brought communities in West Belfast closer together to tell their powerful and inspiring  stories through the arts.  Congratulations to all involved.”

Filming Concludes for ‘Relocate’

That’s a wrap! Filming for ‘Relocate’ finished earlier this week – and thankfully the weather was a bit kinder to everyone this time around.

‘Relocate’ is an intercultural project from Sutemos exploring themes of migration and settlement. It’s wonderful to have a project like this encouraging families to work together.

Well done to all involved!

Faoileoireach / Soaring


DU Dance (NI) working in partnership with Beyond Skin, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich and Falls Women’s Centre present two public performances featuring dance, music, film, storytelling & song involving women and young people from West Belfast and those who have made this area their home.

Friday 29th & Saturday 30th March, 7:30pm
Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich
216 Falls Road, Belfast BT12 6AH
Tickets £5
Tel. 028 9096 4180

Everyone welcome.