Belfast Telegraph

Dance project inspired by Sir Roger Casement set for 1916 arts programme

A dance project inspired by republican Sir Roger Casement will be a highlight of an arts programme marking the centenary of 1916.

The British diplomat was knighted for exposing human rights abuses in the Congo and the Amazon. He became a central figure in developing the Irish rebels' relations with Germany but was arrested during a failed arms running operation intended for the Easter Rising and later hanged in prison.

Choreographer Fearghus O Conchuir will present The Casement Project as part of a UK-wide scheme known as 14-18 NOW. The project will include stage performances, a film, an academic symposium and a summer beach dance festival. The work will be performed in Belfast this autumn.

Director of 14-18 NOW Jenny Waldman said: "One hundred years ago this year, the First World War was entering its darkest days.

"As the conflict entered its third year it must have felt as though the war would last forever, a sensation heightened by the intense brutality of the Battle of the Somme.

"It is important to remember the momentous impact of the First World War in Northern Ireland as well as mark the centenary of the Easter Rising."

Taking place between March 22 and November 18 across the UK, 14-18 NOW's 2016 programme explores themes such as the changing role of women, the treatment of conscientious objectors and the contribution of Asian soldiers.

Other highlights in Northern Ireland include:

:: The WW1 Years and More - award-winning performer Taylor Mac will bring a series of concerts to the Belfast International Arts Festival, reflecting on Ireland's experiences during the first decades of the 20th century

:: Radio Relay will explore Ireland's role in the development of radio technology through newly commissioned works and a nationwide participation event

:: Shelter will see Irish artist Anne Tallentire work with architects, activists and volunteers to create new work inspired by the Nissen hut, a curved structure invented in the First World War

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