Maiden Voyage Dance is inviting women across the city to get their dancing shoes on with the launch of the second year of its 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 their 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 being spearheaded by Sandy Cuthbert, Dance Engagement Coordinator with Maiden Voyage Dance and one of the stars of ‘Epilogue’, the company’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 had never 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. Just email Sandy at email@example.com 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-Venue-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-Venue-Helen Lewis Dance Studio
Week Beginning-8th November Monday 10am-12 Midday
Number of places available: 3
West Belfast – The Spectrum Arts Centre-Venue-Dance Studio
Week Beginning-8th November Thursday 11am-12 Midday
Number of places available: 12
East Belfast – Vault Studio-Venue-Dance Studio (autumn term)
Week Beginning-8th November Wednesday 5-6pm
Young Adults (13-18 years)
Number of places available: 12
Zoom group – For those not confident about returning to face-to-face sessions
Week Beginning-1st November Wednesday 10.00-11.30am
Facilitator-Anna Treanor & Rosie Mullin
Number of places available: 10
For further information and interview requests, please contact Sarah Hughes, Ava Creative Consulting, tel. 07905 276399, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maiden Voyage Dance
Maiden Voyage Dance has been leading the way in contemporary dance in Northern Ireland for 19 years as an artist-led commissioning company. The company offers discoveries in dance with, by and for artists, audiences and participants and has created 23 Maiden Belfast full length/mixed bill productions, nine Dance Exposed short works for public space and three Off Spring new works for young and family audiences with local, national and international choreographers and collaborators.
Established in Belfast in 2002 by Artistic Director Nicola Curry, commissioning, producing and touring of new work is at the heart of the artistic programme alongside provision of development for professionals and creative learning and engagement opportunities for those new to dance.
Maiden Voyage is principally funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Supported by Belfast City Council.
For further information on Maiden Voyage Dance, please visit www.maidenvoyagedance.com