Spotlight Palestine

Saturday 28th March 11am

Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway

“For the last 35 years I have worked on dance performance projects with young people in communities around the world experiencing socio economic challenges and conflict.  The physical repercussion on young bodies living in such environments is evident and manifests itself in the work.  Dance has an important and transformational role to play in inspiring and connecting young people and their communities. But its not easy and there is a toll.  I will talk about Exile, the first community dance performance project I worked on in Palestine with choreographer Royston Maldoom.  - For me it was traumatic to say the least, probably the most difficult professional experience Royston and I have ever had. 

I will also look at the connections and similarities to working with young people in Belfast where I now live and I want to pose the question ‘ the term Community Dance somehow a bit inadequate in these situations’.

Mags Byrne – DU Dance Northern Ireland - has been working in dance professionally for over thirty years.  Initialy as a performer she worked with many dance companies including Dance Theatre of Ireland, Irish Modern Dance Company, Footwork, Daghdha,  Moving Shapes and Barefoot Dance.  More recently she has worked as a director and choreographer mounting projects throughout Britain and Ireland and internationally in South Africa, Romania, Indonesia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ethiopia and Palestine. She has worked closely alongside choreographer Royston Maldoom since they met in 1989 and mounted and delivered many small and large scale projects and performances with him, most notably Adugna in Ethiopia, where they spent several years working with street and working children. 

Based on a fundamental belief in the intrinsic value of dance both as an art form and as a social development activity Mags works with people of all ages and ability levels and is currently the Artistic Director of DU Dance NI.   Over the past five years the Company has gained a reputation for its work at the cutting edge of dance and social and community engagement where it constantly pushes the boundaries of where and with whom dance has value.

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