Maiden Voyage Dance, Northern Ireland’s leading commissioning company for contemporary dance, will present a double bill of new work exploring boundaries and belonging in a post-Brexit world at The MAC in Belfast on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February.

Taking place entirely on a high platform measuring 1.5m, Brink sees Belfast dancer Ryan O’Neill and Greek-born Vasiliki Stasinaki negotiate the fragile battle for survival when our future is entrusted to someone – or something – else.

The piece is choreographed by Eileen McClory from Off the Rails, one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting choreographers whose work frequently explores topical themes.  It will also have a soundscape especially commissioned by local musician and songwriter Katie Richardson (star of Good Vibrations at the Lyric Theatre), in her first original work commissioned by a dance company.

In a co-production with Dublin’s Liz Roche Company, a leading light in the development of contemporary dance in Ireland whose work has toured worldwide, the second part of the double bill is The Here Trio.  Bringing together dancers from Northern Ireland, France and Spain, The Here Trio challenges preconceptions about site, history and the right to belong in a place.

Nicola Curry, Artistic Director of Maiden Voyage said:

“The political process in Northern Ireland has often seemed to me to be like a dance, with a range of choreographed gestures going back and forth between the players. The current political landscape of Brexit and Stormont throws up a huge range of questions for people in Northern Ireland around belonging, boundaries and trust which can be difficult to articulate verbally – although many political pundits have tried! – and this is where I think the language of dance can play a very useful role in helping us to better understand the situation we are in.

The combination of exploring these issues just one week after the Brexit deadline, as well as platforming the work of two of Ireland’s most powerful female choreographers, along with artists from Ireland (North and South), Spain, Greece and France all bringing their unique cultural perspectives to our current political and social situation, means that the Maiden Voyage Double Bill will be simply unmissable.”


Looking forward to the Maiden Voyage Double Bill, Caoileann Curry-Thompson, ACNI Arts Development Officer, Drama and Dance said:

“New work from Maiden Voyage Dance is always an occasion for much excitement, and we at the Arts Council are delighted to be supporting this Double Bill of new commissions. The first, Brink, is by one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative choreographers Eileen McClory, a former ACES awardee. It draws on the amazing talent we have in Belfast, with the superb dancers Ryan and Vasiliki, and music by Katie Richardson. The second, The Here Trio, is by the incomparable Liz Roche a longstanding friend of the company. As ever, Maiden Voyage will be penetrating the important questions of our time, and doing so in a thrilling, dynamic way which is sure to stay with those lucky enough to see this double bill for a long time to come.”

Maiden Voyage 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.

The Maiden Voyage Double Bill will be performed at The MAC at 8pm on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February.  Tickets are priced £18-£12.50 and are on sale now from The MAC box office at or tel. 028 90235053.

The Maiden Voyage Double Bill will also be performed at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Wednesday 12 February at 8pm.  Tickets are priced £7 and are on sale now from


For further information and interview requests, please contact Sarah Hughes, Ava Creative Consulting, tel. 07905 276399, email

Notes to Editors

  • Maiden Voyage Dance has been leading the way in contemporary dance in Northern Ireland for 18 years as an artist-led commissioning company. The company offer discoveries in dance with artists, audiences and participants and have created 23 Maiden Belfast full length/mixed bill productions, 9 Dance Exposed short works for public space and 3 Off Spring new works for young and family audiences with local, national and international choreographers and collaborators. Established in Belfast in 2002 by Artistic Director Nicola Curry and joined by Company Manager, Sandy Cuthbert in 2016. Commissioning, producing and touring of new work is at the heart of the artistic programme alongside provision of professional development for professionals and creative learning and engagement opportunities for those new to dance.

Maiden Voyage 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.

For further information on Maiden Voyage Dance, please visit

  • Liz Roche Company is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary dance companies. With a reputation for its finely wrought and beautifully crafted choreographic style, the Dublin based company presents the works of choreographer Liz Roche in collaboration with artists, dancers and designers of the highest calibre. An artistically distinctive and ambitious arts organisation, the company has produced over twenty original productions, touring throughout Ireland and further afield in the UK, Germany, France, USA, Australia and China, most notably being presented at the Baryshnikov Arts Centre and Judson Memorial Church in New York, the South Bank Centre, London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Le Centre Culturel Irlandais, The Irish Arts Festival Beijing and Brisbane Powerhouse.

Recent achievements include:  I/Thou for Cork Opera House, Sirius Arts Centre and DDF 2019, Naher… closer, nearer, sooner for the Goethe-Institut,  Totems for National Gallery of Ireland, Embodied for DDF and An Post/GPO and Bastard Amber for the Abbey Theatre, DDF15 and Kilkenny Arts Festival; the first commission of its kind for an Irish contemporary dance company. Residencies and partnerships include: IntraSpaces, a new creative partnership with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL Company-in-residence at Dublin Dance Festival 2017 – 19 and The Civic Theatre.

Liz Roche Company is strategically funded by Arts Council Ireland and supported by Dublin City Council.

For further information on Liz Roche Company, please visit

  • Off the Rails #OTR is a project-based dance theatre company, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, founded in 2010 under the direction of choreographer Eileen McClory.

Off the Rails Dance mission is to create choreographic works that explore topical themes by delving deep into the realm of social conventions and finding hidden voices.

Our choreographic quest is to investigate the honesty of the performer’s imperfections by creating raw, highly-physical movement material that explores the human condition.

OTR have developed a strong track record of creating daring and innovative work. OTR has presented various short works and two evening-length works S(e)nsored 2011 Pick n Mix Festival, Belfast and The Dutiful Wife 2015, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, The MAC, Belfast.

The company has received commissions from The Ulster Hall, The Crescent Arts Centre, Banjax Ltd and the Playhouse, Derry.  They have also received support from the Joint Sectoral Dramaturgy Project (JSDP) in association with TinderboxLtd, The MAC, Belfast and Dance Resource Base, Northern Ireland.

OTR is continuing to develop an exciting catalogue of work by experimenting with site-specific, immersive/non-traditional theatre spaces and performance incorporating film, projected visuals, archive documentation, social histories and collected testimony with movement and physicality at the helm of the work.

As an established Dance Artist, Eileen has received commissions from Maiden Voyage  Dance Company: Untitled 2020, The Playhouse Derry: TURF 2018, Tinderbox & Theatre Company: CUCK 2017.

As Artistic Director of Off the Rails Dance #OTR Eileen choreographed and produced The Dutiful Wife 2016, and S(3)nsored 2011 and received an Artist Career Enhancement Award from Arts Council NI in 2018 to develop #theSHAMEproject for production in 2020.

Residencies: 2019 Creative Europe/Galway Theatre Festival’s Make-a-Move: Incubator lab, Galway.  2017 SPACE PROGRAMME, The Performance Corporation (IRE). 2016 Dansmakers, Amsterdam: The Game Show supported by Arts Council NI. HATCH Artist, The MAC Belfast, 2013/14.

Eileen has worked extensively in Higher Education, most recently as a guest choreographer at the University of Cumbria and throughout her post as Teaching Fellow and Course Director of the BA Dance Program at Ulster University, Derry 2014-2017, in which she was responsible for leading the dance programme during its phase-out.

Eileen is completing an MA in Contemporary Performance Practice at Ulster University, Derry, She received her BA Dance from Liverpool John Moores University (04) and completed two-year Professional Training Programme at Dance New Amsterdam, New York (09).

Eileen has worked with: The Playhouse, Derry; Tinderbox Theatre Company, Theatre of Pluck, Replay, ponydance, Accidental Theatre, DU Dance, Bruiser Theatre Company and Assault Events (UK). Performing in international festivals such as Bauhaus Summary (DE) Christchurch Festival, Taranaki Arts Festival (NZ), Darwin Festival (AUS), Greenspace Festival (USA), Belfast Festival at Queens, Feile An Phobail, Pick n Mix Festival, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Outburst Arts (all in NI).

For further information on Off The Rails Dance, please visit

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