Review of 2017 and looking towards 2018

Many thanks to all our audiences, participants, supporters, board members and funders in 2017. We wish you a wonderful festival season and a very happy new year. Here’s the year in review and what is upcoming in the early part of 2018. We look forward to seeing you then!

2017 Review

Maiden Belfast – Triple Bill

In March we brought NI audiences three new commissions on love, loss and living. Commissioned choreographers were Rachel de la Nieta Lopez, Oona Doherty and Nicola Curry with lighting design by Ciaran Bagnall. Described by Jane Coyle in Culture Northern Ireland as;

Brave and breathtaking…Maiden Voyage’s new Triple Bill scores a 100% success rating, confronting these big existential themes with a satisfying combination of humour, pathos, anger, passion and finely controlled physicality.

The first work was a trio Every Something has a Somehwere by London based choreographer Rachel Lopez de la Nieta with a soundscore by Henrietta Hale.

Henrietta Hale’s soundscape wittily captures the internal music of an old house….mysterious figures are left to their own devices..before cutting loose, physically and vocally, subversively revelling in their anonymity’ Jane Coyle

Audiences described the work as ‘witty, evocative, enjoyable and challenging’.

The second work presented was a new male duet Korper & Leib by Oona Doherty.

‘Encased in Carl Kennedy’s haunting score, this is a work whose intensity and constantly changing visual imagery will live long in the memory’. Jane Coyle

Audiences described the work as ‘moving and mesmerising’, ‘breathtaking and provocative’.

The final piece Landscapes of Loss was a collaboration by Sharon Kelly, Nicola Curry and Martelle McPartland. Simon Fallaha in The Big list writes

‘..indisputably the most deeply felt…It’s about trying to recover from a lost future, attempting to accept the present and looking forward to a new future – a tale that, like the ones preceding it, contains messages that deserve and need to be heard.

Audience responses ‘gorgeous use of multiple disciplines’ and ‘genuine emotion and great intensity’.

Maiden Voyage production of ‘Triple Bill’, The MAC theatre Belfast, March 2017.

Offspring –work for young and family audiences

The reworked Pause & Effect by Eleesha Drennan that went on tour with both performances and an extensive outreach programme across Belfast, Newtownabbey Lisburn and Armagh during October thrilled our young and family audiences. Many thanks to each of our venues, audiences and participating schools. We hope to be back with a new Offspring work in Spring 2018!

Best school trip ever – participant & audience member

The performance was perfectly pitched and captivated the children (St Kieran’s PS)

Pupils had never been to the theatre before and really enjoyed watching the show and they loved the workshop. It was all fantastic!” (Abbot’s Cross PS)

Maiden Voyage’s production of ‘Pause and Effect’, The Mac, Belfast, 5th October 2017

Move Fit

We launched a new programme currently running across six groups in five North Belfast Primary Schools. Move Fit aims to improve participants physical and emotional wellbeing and change attitudes to participating in regular physical activity. Move Fit has been generously supported by funding from Children In Need, Garfield Weston Foundation and Victoria Homes. Coordinated by Aisling McCormick and delivered by a fantastic team of tutors including Sheena Kelly, Janie Doherty and Rosie Mullin and Aisling herself; the programme has been a great success with 48 workshops taking place in Term 1.   The programme will run through to June 2018. When asked how participating makes them feel responses included ‘Human, fit, healthy, not sad’ and ‘I didn’t think I would like dancing but I really do!’ We are looking forward to returning to the participating groups in Currie Primary, Holy Cross Boys, Lowwood Primary, Holy Family and Holy Cross Girls in Janaury.

Changing Faces

We also said two goodbyes this year to Carmen and Ryan. Carmen returned to Madrid to complete her MA studies and had been with the company since 2012 and Ryan O’Neill who took his first workshop with us in 2002 and joined the company in 2009 is now performing in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More in Shanghai. We miss you guys and wish you both great succes in your new ventures.

‘ a charismatic performer of beautifully understated strength and stage presence’  Jane Coyle on Carmen Fuentes Guaza

‘continues to thrill with the physicality and expressionism he brings to his work’ Jane Coyle on Ryan O’Neill

In September we welcomed Aisling McCormick to coordinate our outreach programmes and the wonderful Hannah Rogerson who made her debut performances in Pause & Effect. Originally from Kildare, Hannah graduated from Fontys in Tilberg this year and we look forward to working with her again in 2018.

Looking ahead to 2018 – dates for your dairy

Dance Exposed

We will be welcoming Scottish choreographer Jack Webb to create a new work for public space which will premiere over 10-11 March during Belfast Children’s Festival – more details released in January! Jack will be teaching class so watch out on social media for details. Class is open to professional or advanced dancers.

Photo Jack Webb


Intensives to look forward to in the new year include a chance to learn from Ursula Robb an ex Rosas dancer who will offer a creative & compositional masterclass based on her signature movement style and also to delve into somatic self sensing and movement practice with Nicola & Sandy.

12 February 945-530pm Ursula Robb 1 day Intensive £30/£20 for DRB mems

Suitable for advanced/professional dancers/dance teachers only

28 January 230-5pm Somatic Self Sensing I               £15/10 for DRB mems

25 February 230-5pm Somatic Self Sensing II                       £15/10 for DRB mems

25 March 230-5pm            – Movement, Ground and Bones         £15/10 for DRB mems

Somatic events are suitable for everyone – no dance experience necessary

To book please email with which event you wish to attend. Please note the office will be closed 20 Dec-5 Jan inclusive.

Photo Ursula Robb

Best wishes from Nicola & Sandy