One dance is jumping mid air above a second dancer who is lying on the floor, attempting to get up. From Brink, 2020, commissioned by Maiden Voyage Dance Company. Photo Credit Luca Truffarelli
Festival News

Thanks to National Lottery Funding Belfast International Arts Festival will feature leading theatre and dance work from Northern Ireland in a virtual showcase aimed at North American programmers and producers.

Seven major works, created by some of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre and dance artists and arts organisations, are due to be showcased at a special online industry event, on 19th October, organised by Belfast International Arts Festival, Theatre and Dance NI, with support from British Council NI and National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  The event, Spotlight on Theatre and Dance from Northern Ireland, is being co-hosted with the Irish Arts Center in New York and aims to offer a platform to network and promote tour-ready work from Northern Ireland to global programmers and industry leaders in the USA and Canada.

This event will include a showing of video extracts from the selection of new performance pieces from Northern Ireland followed by a livestreamed and interactive Q&A with the creators and artists.  The theatre and dance works taking part in the showcase event include:

Abomination – A DUP Opera by Conor Mitchell. Originally produced by The Belfast Ensemble and Outburst Queer Arts Festival

BRINK choreographed by Eileen McClory. Produced by Maiden Voyage Dance

Körper & Leib choreographed by Oona Doherty. Produced by Maiden Voyage Dance

Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Produced by Big Telly Theatre Company

Politics of Comfort written and performed by Janie Doherty. Directed by Alessandra Celesia

Questions of a Man devised and performed by Dylan Quinn and Jenny Ecke. Produced by Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre

Removed written by Fionnuala Kennedy. Produced by Prime Cut Productions

The online event will be co-hosted by Richard Wakely, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of  Belfast International Arts Festival, who commented, “BIAF are delighted and honoured to be working with our partners in Northern Ireland and New York to highlight the great and often innovative practice and works from our own local artistic community. It reflects our on-going commitment to provide professional development opportunities for NI talent. Moreover, in these uncertain times for artists, it is vital that we help them to develop their practice and earn income by identifying and creating opportunities for them to share their work with audiences in other markets”.

Niamh Flanagan, Executive Director, Theatre and Dance NI said, ”It is with great pride that we see the continued development of ‘Spotlight on Theatre and Dance from Northern Ireland’ as part of Belfast International Arts Festival. Following the success of the presentations at the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we have continued to work with our partners to platform the incredible home-grown talent of theatre and dance in Northern Ireland. The performances are testament to the versatility, talent, and ambition of our professional artists and creators who have produced high-quality work for presentation. The screening of the film, followed by a live streamed Q&A is an opportunity to view the breadth of this work and to hear directly from the gifted artists and creators themselves. We are so proud of them all and want to share their work and talent as far and as wide as possible.”

Jonathan Stewart, British Council Northern Ireland Director, said, “The performing arts sector has been challenged by Covid-19 both economically and in terms of how audiences connect and interact with festivals, venues and events. Despite these challenges, the Irish Arts Center in New York is providing innovative ways to showcase creative works from Northern Ireland to audiences online, including those presented in the superb Spotlight from Northern Ireland programme.  Our partnership with Belfast International Arts Festival, Theatre & Dance NI and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland demonstrates a shared commitment to support artists and to continue championing Northern Ireland’s performing arts sector internationally, both digitally and physically.”

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “It’s vital that our artists and arts organisations are given opportunities to showcase their tour-ready work to industry leaders and programmers outside of Northern Ireland.  Thanks to National Lottery players, it’s incredibly exciting that high-quality work from here is being showcased to USA and Canadian industry leaders in partnership with the Irish Arts Center through the Belfast International Arts Festival.  This platform opens up the potential for these world-class works to be toured internationally and to be seen by thousands of people, helping to put Northern Ireland on the map for all the right reasons.”

On Monday 19 October, the film compilation of video extracts will be screened for the wider public at 4pm.

Industry professionals, who wish to attend screening and participate in a livestreamed and interactive Q&A with the creators and artists, need to register in advance and will receive a private link to join a Zoom webinar. This industry event is co-hosted by the Irish Arts Center, New York.

For more details visit event page