Community Dance Artists to Visit Bethlehem

Next week Artistic Director Mags and four Northern Irish dance artists will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem as part of our community dance artist training programme.   It has been made possible by Mags’s extensive experience of working in the area and the key ongoing relationships she has nurtured.  This is a fantastic opportunity for DU Dance to bolster its delivery team and share its best practice in, and ethos on, community dance.

On the project we are delighted to be working with Molly Kelly, a contemporary dancer studying dance at the University of Limerick; Jamie-Lee John Fagan, a Hip Hop dancer and Founder of Urban Motion Company in County Tyrone; Amy Hill, a contemporary dancer teaching at South Eastern College in Bangor and Conor Anthony Downey, a physical theatre artist specialising in Irish dance and Musical Theatre.

The young artists have been invited to participate on the basis that they are working in community dance or are at University with the intention of doing so.  They each bring very different dance backgrounds to the project but, in advance of the trip, have worked together in a studio to create and plan.  The output has been a team coming together to support and collaborate on a shared approach, finding creative solutions to the artistic challenges this international project will undoubtedly present.

Hosted by Diyar Theatre, who DU Dance were thrilled to host in Belfast whilst they performed at Féile an Phobail in August 2022, the group will enjoy a wide range of new experiences from delivering workshops in schools and the community with intergenerational groups to creating a short piece with Community Dance Diploma Students at Dar Al-Kalima University involving Irish, contemporary and Debke dance. British Council representatives have set up meetings with different artists and made available a local artists studio.  The group will also partake in the Bethlehem International Performing Arts Festival which takes place during their visit through attending events and workshops and seeing ground-breaking work.

For many of the group it will be their first time in this part of the world and they are all excited and appreciative of the significant learning, personal growth and networking opportunities the visit will engender.

The group arrive in Bethlehem!