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Maiden Voyage explore life, love and loss in new work

Friday 10th February 2017 at 3pm 0 Comments Dance

Acclaimed local and international choreographers are joining forces for the new commissions focusing on the issues of life, love and loss Image: Acclaimed local and international choreographers are joining forces for the new commissions focusing on the issues of life, love and loss

A brand new triple bill exploring sensitive issues such as miscarriage and infant death, relics of our past and lives lost, and the relationship between our physical and spiritual body is to be premiered in The Mac by Belfast Dance Company, Maiden Voyage Dance, in early March. 

The three brand new commissions will bring together local and international choreographers including the acclaimed, Rachel Lopez de al Neita from London, Oona Doherty from Bangor, Belfast based Visual artist Sharon Kelly, and writer Martelle McPartland from Lurgan.

Every Something has a Somewhere, created by Rachel Lopez de al Neita, focuses on the role and importance everyday objects play in human lives when associated with loss.  Exploring how we attach a value to personal items, has inspired Rachel to question how much we attach similar values on people, thus objectifying them too.

Commenting on Every Something has a Somewhere, Rachel said;

“The idea for the works were triggered by having recently cleared my garage of years of stuff, objects and furniture, all belonging to myself and my family including dead relatives. These things, some old and antique and some more contemporary, seem to be the relics and extensions of our existence and provoke nostalgia. I am fascinated by the values and labels that we attach to material form. Do we attach similar value judgments to people thus objectifying them?”

The second commission focuses in on ‘Körper & Leib’, focusing on the relationship between our physical and spiritual self, using the two German words for the body. Körper relating to the physical body and Leib the spiritual body. This duet for two men created by Bangor born, international dance artist, Oona Doherty, sees the dancers moving in a skillful slow meditation. Doherty’s intention is to bring the audience into a place where they tune into the realms of the spiritual body.  Influences in creating the work included representation of the male form in Renaissance art, the spiritual symbolism in gesture, the Tao connection to the body, nature and the universe.

The final performance, ‘Landscapes of Loss’ is a collaborative project initiated by Sharon Kelly and writer Martelle McPartland, and developed with Maiden Voyage Artistic Director Nicola Curry exploring the physical and emotional territory of infant death, itself a very intense, deeply personal subject.  Working collaboratively, the artists have developed a work reflecting their own personal experiences using movement and moving image to bring the grief and loss associated with stillbirth to a wider public understanding.

Commenting on the triple bill, which will be held at The Mac on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March 2017, Sandy Cuthbert, Company Director for Maiden Voyage Dance, said;

“All too often when we experience loss in life, understandably, it is hard to express.  These three brand new commissions, coming together, provide both a platform, and a space for many different aspects of love, loss and living to be considered.  The performances are moving, and emotive, powerful yet sensitive to the subject matter, and collectively bring a focus on what is widely acknowledged to be challenging life experiences which many of us can identify with.”

Maiden Voyage is supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council, said:  “Maiden Voyage has built a reputation for excellence for the quality and distinctiveness of both its dance programme and delivery and is seen as a leader in their field both within and, increasingly, beyond Northern Ireland.  This triple bill features impressive work from three outstandingly talented choreographers, including the Arts Council’s current Major Individual Artist awardee, Oona Doherty.  We are delighted to support Maiden Voyage with these brand new commissions which demonstrate the power and usefulness of the arts in dealing with difficult subjects.”

There are three performances planned, two in Belfast, one in Armagh.  Tickets for the performances at The Mac in Belfast, on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March are available from or by calling the Box Office on 028 9023 5053. Tickets for the show in the Market Theatre, Armagh on 9 March, are available from or by calling the Box Office on 028 3752 1821.

*The Maiden Voyage Dance Triple bill is suitable for 15 plus.


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