Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap focuses on inter-generational work.  Historically, dance has been a social gatherer of people of different ages and genders. Currently, there are few such situations which bring together people of different ages. With advancements in digital technology and radical changes in forms of communication, the gap between the generations has increased. Closing the Gap seeks to address this lack of connection and to challenge preconceived attitudes that obstruct integration and increase isolation.

ONGOING WORK:

Alternative Energies Youth Engagement Project
(Ballymoney 2013 – ongoing)

Set up in September 2013, this project engages participants aged between 12 and 18 years.  In 2017 the group consists of 15 young people, who meet each week at the leisure centre in Ballymoney, facilitated by the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council. They have taken part in national and local events and performances, including : Imaginary (2016), War2Unite (2015), Shadows (2014), Vul’indela (2014), Persona (2013), Coming Home (2013)

PAST PROJECTS:

Dance Hall Extravaganza (St Patrick’s Parish Hall, Ballymoney, October 2016)

The Dance Hall Extravaganza celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Ballymoney Evergreen Club as they joined together with DU Dance (NI) to re-live the renowned dance halls of the 1950s. The event transformed St Patrick’s Parish Centre into a Dance Hall reminiscent of 1956, the year the Evergreen Club first opened its doors. Live music was provided from The John Trotter Band with special interval performances from members of the Evergreen Club, Alternative Energies Youth Engagement Project and the Causeway Crew.

Alternative Energies (2012 – 2015)

A three-year inter-generational programme engaging people aged between 9 and 92 years across communities in Ahoghill, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Belfast. The programme involved the delivery of two large-scale performance projects and the creation of three short, arts-based films.  They include: Fallen (performance at Titanic Drawing Offices, Belfast, November 2014), Back to the Wall (film made in Belfast, February 2014), On the Backs of our Mothers (performance at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, November 2012 during Belfast International Arts Festival), Earth (film made in March 2012) and Tides (film made in March 2012)  The films were screened at  a number of festivals and events across Ireland, as well as in England, Scotland, Germany and France.

Over the Halfpenny Bridge
(St. George’s Market, Belfast, April 2009)

A three-month workshop programme leading to an evening of community celebration. The work encompassed a wide range of activities, from different cultural dance styles to creative dance, drumming, poetry, visual art, print work and storytelling. Some 85 children and elderly participants took part in this cross-community, intergenerational programme.

Dance Halls
(Ballroom, Culloden Hotel, Holywood, March 2008)

This inter-generational project ran over a period of five months and involved children, teenagers and elderly participants in a programme based on the dance halls of the 1940s and 1950s. The climax was a community celebration and performance in a specially dressed ballroom, with music played live by the James Huish Big Band.