Maiden Voyage at Belfast Children’s Festival 2023

Maiden Voyage Dance celebrates 21 years of dance with two new commissions.

Maiden Voyage Dance which is this year celebrating 21 years of commissioning and creating dance for theatre, public spaces and young and family audiences is set to return to the Belfast Children’s Festival in March this year with two brand new pieces of work.  The artist-led dance company has announced haiku a new work for public spaces from acclaimed choreographer Erik Kaiel, and Line of Life a digital dance installation piece from local artist Clara Kerr.

Erik Kaiel creator of Festival favourites, Tetris and No Man is An Island has returned to Belfast to create haiku a new piece for public spaces.

The piece is an ode to friendship. Each one of us is trying to find our tribe where we can grow and be seen and accepted for who we are. Friendship unlocks a way of seeing and being in the world so we are more free to be ourselves. haiku celebrates small poetic moments as more powerful than grand gestures

For the piece Erik will work with existing Maiden Voyage dancers, and welcome new dancer Gerard who has joined the company having recently graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Commenting on the new works, Erik said about the process of making haiku;

“The most interesting part of the creative process as a choreographer is when your ideas and who the performers are meet. I hadn’t met Maeve, Gerard and Rosie before we began and the piece we have created together is rooted in their sense of self rather than them doing steps I ask them to do. There is a strong sense of the performers ownership of the piece, and we really see human beings expressing themselves fully which is what we should all feel able to do within our own friendships, family and community.”

Alongside haiku Maiden Voyage Dance has commissioned local artist Clara Kerr to create a solo piece Line of Life.  Working with young people and adults, ‘Line of Life’ has taken this stimulus physical, emotional and life journeys are woven together and reflected on the unexpected pandemic interruption in all our lives it through a dance, music, digital and live interaction.  The installation considers our many journeys through life with all its twists and turns from the places we live, the emotions we experience and the decisions we face as we move through life. As well as choreographing the piece, Clara will also perform it during the Festival.

Clara Kerr, Maiden Voyage Dance, studio rehearsals, January 2023.

Commenting on the two new commissions, Nicola Curry from Maiden Voyage Dance, said

Bringing two brand new pieces to this year’s Belfast Children’s Festival and celebrate our 21 years since our first production too is wonderful! 

We are thrilled to support emerging artists such as Clara as well as invite established international artists to create work in Belfast also. We can’t wait to share these two distinct works with festival audiences. It is fantastic to continue and rekindle the very important local and international relationships with and within our industry to share excellence in dance thanks to funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and by Belfast City Council.”

Caoileann Curry-Thompson, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “Congratulations to Maiden Voyage Dance as they celebrate 21 years of creating high-quality dance for audiences in Northern Ireland and beyond, helping to bring great art to all.  The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support Maiden Voyage Dance and look forward to experiencing these two new works to be performed at this year’s wonderful Belfast Children’s Festival, well done to all involved!”

haiku will be performed by Maiden Voyage Dance trio Maeve McGreevy, Gerard Headley and Rosie Mullin.

Audiences will have several opportunities to catch haiku and Line of Life.

haiku will be shown free at The Ulster Museum, on the following dates and times;

And again at The MAC, Upper Gallery as follows

Line of Life will be shown at the Factory at the MAC on the following dates and times;

For tickets visit