Opening the Spectrum

Opening the Spectrum focuses on broadening horizons and opening opportunities. It includes anything from one-off workshops, summer schemes, performances, festivals, or longer ongoing projects.  The programme incorporates work outside Northern Ireland and is undertaken only if there is a social or developmental aim that fits into the framework of the company’s mission statement.

Programmes of work delivered internationally have resulted in the development of ongoing partnerships with local development organisations in South Africa, Ethiopia, Germany, Austria, Palestine.


Unanimous Platform

This annual event provides the opportunity for young people aged 12-24 years to make and share work in a none competitive, celebratory environment. The platform takes place in a professional theatre and youth groups from across the island of Ireland come to take part. Past platforms have been held in:

  • The MAC, April 2019, 2022 & 2023
  • Lyric Theatre, March 2016
  • Crescent Arts Centre, December 2014
  • Waterfront Hall, April 2014
  • Crescent Arts Centre, December 2013
  • Crescent Arts Centre, March 2013


Identity (Gaza City, April/May 2017)

Working for Theatre Day Productions and alongside choreographer Royston Maldoom, to devise, create and mount a performance with men and women in Gaza. The performance was called Identity and it went on to tour Gaza and the West Bank.

U.Dance Festival  (2014, 2015 & 2016)

DU Dance has facilitated dance artists attending and working alongside Youth Dance England in the delivery of U.Dance, England’s annual youth dance festival.

Belfest ‘15, International Youth Dance Festival  (Belfast, September 2015)

Pop-up performances across Belfast city centre, a mass dance celebration with over 300 dancers, three dance photographic exhibitions and film showings and an International Youth Dance Showcase at Theatre at the Mill, Newtwnabbey, brought groups together from across the island of Ireland, the UK and Europe for the first festival of its kind in Belfast.

Magagula Heights Township  (South Africa, 2012 – 2014)

The company acted as a consultant and trainer on a professional development programme for community dance students aged 16-20 years. As part of this work several projects were undertaken with children and young people from the township and four students received scholarships to avail of further professional dance training in Johannesburg.

Opening ceremony for the World Police & Fire Games  (August 2013)

The World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) was held for the first time in Belfast in 2013 and DU Dance was asked to create the games opening ceremony. 500 people took part in delivering the event to an international audience of approx. 21,000.

U.Dance Festival  (Southbank Centre, London, July 2012)

29 young dancers from Northern Ireland took part in the U.Dance festival in London as part of the pre-olympic celebrations.   U.Dance 2012 was a national initiative spearheaded by Youth Dance England with project partners, YDance (Scotland) , National Youth Dance Wales (Wales) and DU Dance (Northern Ireland).

Yante, I Can Move  (Palestine, 2011 – 2013)

The company acted as a consultant and trainer on the I Can Move professional development programme, training 12 young community dance artists. In 2013 a children’s performance was created and performed at the Al-Mustaqbal School in Al-Tireh, Ramallah.

Exile  (Palestine, August 2011)

This performance project, directed by Royston Maldoom, assisted by Mags Byrne, involved 119 young Christian and Muslim teenagers from four towns working together over a five-week period.  The resulting performance toured to Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Zebabdeh.

Celebration  (Belfast, December 2009)

DU Dance devised and choreographed a piece to open this inter Education & Library Board celebration performance.

The Quest  (Switzerland, June 2008)

250 young people aged between 5 and 14 years from Schule Bannfeld in Olten worked for four weeks with the company. Concluding performances were in the Olten Stadttheater.

Overture 2012  (London, November 2008)

For Dance Umbrella, London, Royston Maldoom assisted by Mags Byrne and Steve Mason, delivered Overture 2012. 120 young people danced to Shostakovich’s Symphony No 10 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Magma  (Waterfront Hall, Belfast, May 2007)

Performed as part of the Shankill Schools Project, The Fire Within with pupils from Belfast Boys Model School and Blackmountain Primary School.

Can Do Can Dance
(The Deutsche Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, September 2006)

A community dance festival programme involving performances, lectures, seminars and master classes. Du Dance worked with 92 children from a primary school in Hamburg’s red-light district and five local choreographers who were mentored through this programme.

Cool Moves  (Armagh, April 2005)

A dance-for-film project with a substantial in-service training programme for teachers and youth leaders.

Adugna (Ethiopa, 1996)

What began as a one off project with street children in Addis Ababa became a training programme which eventually developed into Adugna Community Dance Theatre. Three weeks became 20 years of working and consulting for community dance in Ethiopia. This work is ongoing.