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Maiden Voyage Dance explores life after the limelight in ‘Epilogue’

8 Oct 2021


Jane Mooney and Sandy Cuthbert in Epilogue, Maiden Voyage Dance. Photo – Conan McIvor

Maiden Voyage Dance, Northern Ireland’s commissioning company for contemporary dance, will present a new film installation entitled ‘Epilogue’ as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival at Havelock House on Ormeau Road from 11 – 13 October.

Inspired by a quote from the American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham – “A dancer dies twice — once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful” – ‘Epilogue’ is an artistic collaboration between retired professional dancers, Jane Mooney and Sandy Cuthbert, choreographer Eileen McClory, film maker Conan McIvor, poet Maria McManus and sound designer Helena Hamilton.

Nicola Curry, Artistic Director of Maiden Voyage Dance said: “Being a dancer is more than just a job – in some ways it’s a way of life which impacts all aspects of your day-to-day existence.  Dance can also give as much as it can take away. When the all-consuming life of a dancer comes to an end, what happens when the curtain comes down and the applause has faded?  How do they look back on the life they gave to dance?  With changing bodies and additional life experience, what can they offer to dance now that they couldn’t when they were younger and what can dance offer them now in return?  These are just some of the fascinating ideas that the team are exploring with ‘Epilogue’ ”

The production was filmed indoors at Havelock House and the Crescent Arts Centre and outdoors on location in Ormeau Park and Silent Valley.  The selected landscapes connect deeply to ‘Epilogue’s themes of endings and beginnings, of life and loss and of reflection in the fullness of life’s journey.

Looking forward to ’Epilogue’, Caoileann Curry-Thompson, ACNI Arts Development Officer, Drama and Dance said: “A collaboration between Maiden Voyage, our leading commissioning contemporary dance company, and Eileen McClory, our fast-rising, brilliant choreographer is always an exciting prospect but Epilogue surpasses the usual levels of excitement. With exquisite collaborations and performances from Sandy and Jane, and evocative words, imagery and sound from Maria, Conan and Helena, this piece is charged with a remarkable level of creativity, voice and experience. The interrogation and celebration of what the dance takes from the body of the dancer is at once tender and reflective, and inspiring and powerful. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland wishes the creative team all the best for the production, which I for one can’t wait to see.”

‘Epilogue’ will be screened at Havelock House (former UTV), Ormeau Road, Belfast from 11-13 October as part of Belfast International Arts Festival.
Book your free tickets for ‘Epilogue’ now at www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

Maiden Voyage Dance 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.