Belfast set to experience the biggest ever Bounce!


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Belfast set to experience the biggest ever Bounce!

30 August 2017

Northern Ireland’s annual disabled and deaf arts festival ‘bounces’ into Belfast this month with ten days of entertaining and thought-provoking dance, theatre, visual art, physical theatre, film, cabaret and a range of workshops.


The sixth Bounce Festival opens in great voice on September 27 in the grounds of Belfast City Hall with the ‘Big Bouncy Hummm of Harmony’ – a gloriously positive joining together of three choirs – the award-winning Open Arts Community Choir fresh back from triumph in Latvia, the Alzheimer’s Society’ Singing for the Brain and Song for Life from Cancer Focus and the Crescent Arts.

Headlining the festival are keenly anticipated performances by two exceptionally talented female dancers, Northern Ireland’s Helen Hall and Scotland’s Claire Cunningham.

Other highlights include:

  • ‘Four Corners’ an exciting piece of inclusive theatre from professional dancers Blink on Saturday, September 30. Travelling to NI from England after a sell-out tour, this troupe of dancers, some with learning difficulties, weaves together a compelling show of dance, live music and storytelling.
  • The festival features two films – Ken Loach’s award-winning ‘I Daniel Blake’ which touches on disability and welfare reform – and the UK premiere of ‘Defiant Lives’ about disability activism, featuring disabled artists from Britain, the US and Australia.
  • The UK premiere of local contemporary dance group, Blue Chevy’s ‘Rubik's Cube Messy Dimensions’ explores mental health issues experienced by young disabled artist Nikki McLaughlin.
  • Luminous Soul and the Open Arts Community Choir will present an evening of music and dance at the Brian Friel Theatre on October 5.
  • The UK premiere of ‘Grotesque’ - a visual arts and performance piece by Greek performance artist Katerina Fanouraki, focusing on breaking down stereotypes and challenging social, ethical and sexual conventions.
  • The ‘Big Bouncy Cabaret Party’, with MC and raconteur Julie McNamara, will see Caroline Parker using physical theatre skills to present well-known recorded songs such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in sign, dance and mime. The night includes sign song guest slots for local deaf divas.
  • The ADF has formed a new partnership with Fleming Fulton school and the festival will include ‘The Journey’, an exhibition of selected work from the students, displayed at the Crescent Arts Centre for a week after launching 5-7pm on 27 September. There is also an exhibition celebrating 25 years of Open Arts – at the MAC, Belfast.

This year’s venues include the ADF Gallery, Brian Friel Theatre, Crescent Arts Centre, Spectrum Centre, the MAC and City Hall.

The full programme, with tickets and more in depth information on the artists will be available shortly via the Arts & Disability Forum website,

Links can also be found on Facebook @ArtsandDisabilityForum and Twitter @adf011. Or call by in person to the ADF Gallery at the Belfast Telegraph end of Royal Avenue, tel 028 9023 9450 /

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