Luminous Soul celebrates a decade of dance with the ‘MeetShareDance’ festival – 5 to 7 Sept

Open Arts, one of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic arts and disability organisations will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of its dance group Luminous Soul by hosting the inclusive dance festival MeetShareDance in Belfast from 5 – 7 September 2019.

Luminous Soul is the only contemporary dance development programme for disabled people in Northern Ireland and features members who have a range of disabilities: physical, sensory, learning disabilities and mental health illness.

Now in its eighth year, MeetShareDance is an international workshop dance festival which is based around the ideas of inclusivity and exchange.  It aims to raise the profile of integrated dance in artistic and everyday life. The festival has previously taken place in Porto, Madrid, Helsinki, Berlin, Lubjana and Dublin – this will be its first visit to Northern Ireland.

Eileen Branagh, Chief Executive of Open Arts said:

“MeetShareDance embodies the ethos of what Luminous Soul as a disability dance group has been doing for the past 10 years.  We bring people of all abilities together to learn to dance, make new connections and share their talents with each other and the public.

Over a decade of dance, Luminous Soul members have worked with and been trained by some of the most well known inclusive choreographers in the UK and Ireland and some have even gone on to have their own successful careers in professional dance.  We’re really looking forward to celebrating the group’s achievements with dancers from all over Europe at MeetShareDance in Belfast in September.”

During the festival forty amateur and professional dancers from eight countries – Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, UK, Slovenia – will take part in three days of inclusive dance workshops at the Crescent Arts Centre. Participants in MeetShareDance will then showcase their skills to the public with a performance of a newly devised collaborative piece in Cornmarket at 1pm on Saturday 7 September.

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts and Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is committed to providing opportunities for everyone to access and engage with the arts.  Congratulations to Open Arts on celebrating ten years of providing high-quality dance development opportunities, for people with disabilities, through the Luminous Soul programme and we look forward to the Meet Share Dance Festival coming to Belfast to mark the occasion this September.”

For further information on Luminous Soul and the MeetShareDance 2019 festival, visit www.openartsni.org

Open Arts is principally funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and receives Core Multi-Annual Funding from Belfast City Council’s Tourism Culture & Arts Unit.

Open Arts’ mission is to inspire and support the creativity and artistic development of disabled people. The organisation does this by promoting artistic excellence and encouraging the participation of people with and without disabilities.Open Arts was established in 1992 as a limited company with charitable status, it ran as a research project before that from 1988.  It was one of the very first arts & disability organisations set up in Northern Ireland.

Open Arts is a disability-focused organisation with 6 out of 8 Board members having a disability. Two core staff members and a number of freelance individuals, engaged in the delivery of the Open Arts programme, also have a disability.

Linda Fearon and Andy Paton from disability dance group Luminous Soul will celebrate a decade of dance with a free public performance at Cornmarket on at 1pm on Saturday 7 September.

Visit www.openartsni.org for further information.

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.