Arts

Dancers Claire Cunningham and Helen Hall headline Bounce! disability arts festival

Belfast disabled and deaf arts festival Bounce! returns later this month.

Scottish dancer and choreographer Claire Cunningham will perform at Bounce!

THE Big Bouncy Hummm of Harmony gets Northern Ireland's annual disability and arts festival Bounce! under way in the grounds of Belfast City Hall next Wednesday, with three choirs – the Open Arts Community Choir, the Alzheimer's Society's Singing for the Brain and Sing for Life from Cancer Focus and the Crescent Arts Centre – joining together in song.

Belfast dancer Helen Hall and acclaimed Scottish performer and choreographer Claire Cunningham headline the festival, now in its sixth year, with separate opening and closing performances.

Hall, who is visually impaired, gets her audience to experience dance and music by entering the world she inhabits.

Cunningham, who performs with crutches, having been born with the bone-wasting condition osteoporosis, makes a welcome return to Bounce! The star of the inaugural festival in 2012, she will perform her Give me a Reason to Live show, billed as a powerfully physical, emotional and visually striking work which explores religious art and the judgment of souls and bodies.

Ken Loach's I Daniel Blake, which touches on disability and welfare reform, will be shown as part of the festival, while Defiant Lives, a film about disability activism, featuring disabled artists from Britain, the US and Australia, including Liz Carr who plays Clarissa in Silent Witness, will receive its UK premiere.

:: Bounce! (September 27-October 6) is supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The ADF Gallery, Brian Friel Theatre, Crescent Arts Centre, Spectrum Centre, the MAC and City Hall will host festival events. More details at the Arts & Disability Forum website, www.adf.ie, Facebook @artsanddisabilityforum or from the ADF Gallery, 028 90239 450.

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