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Neither Either: New dance show that's pure poetry in motion

It's been a good festival for fans of dance - international artists Israel Galvan and Camille A Brown have thrilled audiences with their moves, and there have been standing ovations at every performance.

But dance-lovers needn't put their feet up just yet - there's more to come, and it's yet another world premiere. Next off the blocks is one of our own dance companies. Maiden Voyage's new work is a co-production with the Liz Roche Company from Dublin. This cross-border enterprise takes as its starting point the writings by Seamus Heaney.

In Place And Displacement, Heaney wrote of "... the strain of being in two places at once, of needing to accommodate two opposing conditions of truthfulness simultaneously". This double life is something many living in Northern Ireland recognise: to be Irish, British, or Northern Irish? And are we just one of those things, or is there an overlap, a sort of Venn diagram of identity?

It's these thoughts and ideas which Neither Either sets out to explore. Two companies, one from Belfast and the other from Dublin, join together to examine the predicament of living out two conflicting states of mind at the same time. Dancers will illustrate the tensions between these thoughts. Identities, beliefs, emotions and aspirations are put to the test in an evening which blends dance, poetry and music.

The show has been choreographed by Liz Roche, and dancers will perform to a score written by the inexhaustible Neil Martin. After playing in Belfast, Neither Either travels to Dublin, before embarking on an all-Ireland tour.

It's not the first time the two companies have collaborated. In 2002 Maiden Voyage and Liz Roche Company (then Rex Levitates) co-produced Senses. Maiden Voyage's Nicola Curry believes that shared history was one of the reasons this collaboration works so well.

Liz thinks it's important for dance organisations to find new ways of producing work. One of those ways is to share resources - and this idea of coming together is mirrored in the subject matter of Neither Either. The dancers learned at first hand about adapting to hold more than one point of view at once.

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The show premieres at the Mac tomorrow night, and the production will be accompanied by a series of talks with various artists about the enduring influence of Seamus Heaney. Poetry in motion, and all that....


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