DU Dance (NI) share news of a successful weekend of dance in association with The MAC from the 14th to the 16th April.

Yorkshire-based Gary Clarke Dance Company was invited to facilitate the first training programme for those dance artists working in the community.  Artistic Director Gary Clarke himself and GCC dancer Shelley Eva Haden shared their toolkit for working within communities.

Community Dance Artists often feel isolated with limited opportunities to connect with one another and develop their practise, DU Dance NI felt it was important to start those conversations and give community dance artists the opportunity to have time to nurture themselves, network and develop their practice.

The artist’s feedback was overwhelming positive, and we look forward to working with them further this year:

I left the weekend feeling refreshed and energised, I gained lovely new energy to keep going, that I am on the right path and that there is a community of Artists working in NI, so I am not alone. I felt supported and encouraged

I was able to reflect on my purpose, rethink what it means to interact and be a part of a community, and carry that with me even after the workshop.

Taking place this same weekend was the 11th annual ​Unanimous youth dance platform.  This event has continued to expand and help young people from the ages of 12-24 years from all over the island to get together in a professional theatre, develop skills, share their experience and form new connections.

This year, for the first time, some of the young people arrived a day in advance for a workshop with the Gary Clarke Company who shared aspects of their work from ‘Wasteland’ which is currently on tour.  Gary and Shelley encouraged the groups to work together and really gel in advance of their social Ceili that evening.

As with previous Unanimous showcase events, audiences enjoyed powerful performances from a range of enthusiastic young contemporary dance talent.  The diversity of the line-up for Unanimous reaffirms DU Dance (NI)’s commitment to fostering dance talent from across the island of Ireland and providing a supportive professional environment for dancers of all backgrounds.

Audience feedback:

Amazing – so professional and inspiring, beautifully staged and such energy on stage from the dancers.

It was so well organised and such a fantastic display the talent and creativity of youth.

Show was brilliant, enjoyed the whole evening from start to finish. Very well organised event, with amazing talent.

Alongside groups from DU Dance NI’s Youth Engagement Programmes Sutemos Youth Dance and Belfast Boys, Unanimous will see the following groups perform in a non-competitive arena Dublin Youth Dance Company, FYI Dance Club (Wicklow), Connect Youth Dance (Fermanagh), Laois Youth Dance Ensemble, Rachael Kealey Dance Company (Derry/L’Derry), Limerick Youth Dance Company, Youth Action’s Rainbow Factory (Belfast) and Ohr Dance Company (Laois).

Thanks to DU Dance for sharing the results of this wonderful event.

Photo credit Jim Corr with copyright to DU Dance (NI).