Bel-Fest-15 will be a celebration of dance from young people across Ireland, UK and Europe.

Organised by Northern Ireland dance company DU Dance, its centre piece is a Youth Dance Showcase, to be held at Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey on Saturday September 19 at 8pm. It will feature performances by groups from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Austria, as well as the National Youth Group from Scotland.

On Friday at Culture Night, the city streets will come alive to pop-up performances, a mass dance celebration, photographic exhibitions and film showings. A Youth Dance Jam at 6pm and 8pm in Writers Square in the Cathedral Quarter.

And on Saturday shoppers will have dance coming at them around every corner as DU Dance in the Streets will bring some 300 young performers into town for an afternoon of traditional to street dance and everything in between, culminating in a huge open air performance in the grounds of Belfast City Hall at 3.30pm.

Dance United NI rehearsals for MERGE, part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens, October 17-19 2011 at T13. Dance United NI contact - Mags Byrne - mags.byrne@btinternet.com - 07790236130 Photography - Joe Fox photography - joe@joefoxphoto.co.uk - 07720295746

The groups taking part in Bel-Fest-15 are: Belfast Met, Company B (Dublin), Moving Together (Leicester, representing Youth Dance England), Inchicore College Dance (Dublin), Sixth Sense (St Louise’s College, Belfast), Sutemos (Dungannon, DU Dance), Ydance (Scottish Youth Dance) and Tanz die Toleranz (Austria).

DU Dance’s artistic director Mags Byrne has worked for many years as a choreographer and dance facilitator with young people in challenging situations all over the world, most notably on youth dance projects in South Africa, Ethiopia, Palestine, eastern Europe. This festival brings together the international dance ethos which she feels passionately about.

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