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.

‘Relocate’ Film Project Underway

Filming has begun for ‘Relocate’: a Dungannon-based project from Sutemos and Suteminis which explores themes of migration and settlement.

Well done to all the participants and thanks to everyone who has supported the filming – especially given the weather which included wind, sleet and hailstones. Some well-earned hot chocolate was definitely in order!

The red carpet will be rolled out for the film’s premiere in The Square Box, Ranfurly House, Dungannon on 17th April 2019, 6-9pm.

Save the Date(s): Primary Schools Dance Festival 2019

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 Primary Schools Dance Festival will be taking place on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th May. Watch this space for more details!

If you want your school to get involved, contact us via email ( or telephone 028 9033 0956.

Dance Passion – Get Involved

Driven by social media and the BBC’s unrivalled reach, #DancePassion will showcase the country’s dance sector in all its variety. Facilitated by BBC Arts and One Dance UK, companies and artists will celebrate this diverse art form with performance and insight including behind the scenes access, rehearsals and conversation.

In Spring 2019, BBC Arts and One Dance UK want to work with dance companies and independent artists in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to shout about and share stories, performances, insight and archive to celebrate this art form. From 1st-6th April, everyone will work together to create a national moment in celebration of dance. This is an opportunity for dance organisations and artists from Northern Ireland to get involved.

To find out more information on how to get involved, click here.

Young Carers Night at the Oscars ~ Ballymoney Town Hall

There may have been a white carpet of snow, rather than the red carpet laid out at Ballymoney Town Hall on Tuesday night, 29th January, but that didn’t deter young people, their family, friends, support workers and school teachers stepping out to applaud the stars of the show – young carers from the Causeway Coast & Glens and Mid & East Antrim areas for the premiere screening of their film “The People I Know”. They each received an “Oscar”, DVD copy of their film and a resource pack of further arts events and activities to get involved in.

This is the third in a series of films made by and with young carers through DU Dance (NI) in partnership with Barnardos Northern Ireland produced by Triplevision Productions and funded by BBC Children in Need.

Ten young carers, aged 10-13 years, came together for the first time between October and November last year for a series of workshops followed by two days filming in various venues in Ballymena and the beautiful location of Ballintoy.

An audience member remarked “Very powerful – a great way for the young people to convey their feelings and message.”


Some of the young carers involved in the third film “The People I know” with Terry Burns, BBC Children in Need and Mervyn Storey MLA.


Happy Christmas from DU Dance (NI)


Summer Sessions Success

Our Youth Engagement Summer Sessions are now finished. Alternatives, Alternative Energies and Belfast Boys had an amazing time this summer on their week of youth dance. Alternatives finished up their week with a trip to the Jet Centre for some bowling, Alternative Energies had a splash doing aqua dancing and Belfast Boys had a great time at the cinema. Thanks to everyone involved!

Young Carers #3

The third of our six young carers dance on film projects will get underway in October in partnership with Barnardos NI and Triplevision Productions.   This time the workshop programme will be hosted by The Braid, Ballymena, and will lead to filming at locations chosen by the young people in November.  We are excited to work with the group who are all 8-12yrs and from across Co. Antrim. Let’s see what we can create together!!!