Maiden Voyage Dance are inviting women across Belfast city to join them for the second year of the Belfast Movement Choir.
Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Maiden Voyage Dance Belfast Movement Choir is an intergenerational project which focuses on movement for health and wellbeing for women across Belfast. Despite its name, Movement Choirs are not about singing – they aim to bring groups of people together through dance, in one communal, celebratory, cultural activity.
The Belfast Movement Choir will see groups of 12 women aged 18-80+ begin their autumn term in person in North, South, East and West Belfast as well as on Zoom, from the start of November. There will be an autumn, winter and spring term for the Choir over a period of six months, ending with an outdoor event performance or filmed performance in spring 2022.
The Choir is led by Sandy Cuthbert, Dance Engagement Coordinator and one of the stars of ‘Epilogue’, Maiden Voyage Dance’s recent sell-out film installation at the Belfast International Arts Festival. Sandy says:
“The Belfast Movement Choir is a celebration of the joy of creativity and moving together. It is accessible for women with all levels of dance experience and for those with none. We do not teach a particular style of dance, but rather support participants to express their own creativity with movement.
Choir participants are all shapes and sizes and that is something that we celebrate, in a totally safe and non-judgemental space. A number of our participants are mature and older women.
The movement is not high impact and the facilitator will only deliver what is appropriate for each group and is sensitive to each individual within that group. Each participant is supported to work at their own pace while they build their confidence and comfort level.”
There are a number of benefits in taking part in dance at any age, including building mental and physical agility, increasing movement memory and alertness, working in collaboration and developing your creativity, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Finn O’Gorman took part in the first year of the Belfast Movement Choir and found that it opened up lots of new possibilities for her:
“At an age where my movements were becoming restricted and the future seemed defined by limitation, Belfast Movement Choir introduced me to a world I hadn’t ever imagined.
Here was an arena where motion was redefined and expanded. Any and all parts of the body could be enlivened by expression; parts previously abandoned were brought back into the fold.
I developed a new relationship, a new conversation with my own body which is informing every aspect of my life, this new life – no longer defined by limitations, but by potential and possibility.”
Taking part in the Maiden Voyage Dance Movement Choir is free and you don’t need any previous dance experience.
Register with your name and preferred venue and we’ll be in touch with further information.
Belfast Movement Choir – venues:
North Belfast – The Duncairn Arts Centre – McClory Hall
Week Beginning 8th November – Thursday 7.30-9.30pm
Facilitator Sandy Cuthbert
Number of places available: 9
South Belfast- The Crescent Arts Centre
Week Beginning 8th November – Monday 10am-12 noon
Number of places available: Now full
West Belfast- The Spectrum Arts Centre-Dance Studio
Week Beginning 8th November – Thursday 11am-12 noon
Number of places available: 12
East Belfast- Vault Studios
Week Beginning 8th November – Wednesday 5-6pm
Young Adults (13-18 years)
Number of places available: 12
Zoom group for those not able to attend face-to-face sessions
Week Beginning1st November – Wednesday 10.00-11.30am
Facilitator-Anna Treanor & Rosie Mullin
Number of places available: 10