Bounce Arts Festival looks north-west for its ninth year

Drag Syndrome will perform at Bounce 2021

NORTHERN Ireland's annual Bounce Arts Festival is expanding into the north west for the first time this year.

The acclaimed festival is celebrating its ninth anniversary in 2021 with a programme of events in Belfast and Derry between October 1 and 3 showcasing the best new work by D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists from Ireland and beyond.

Run by disabled-led arts charity the University of Atypical and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Department for Communities and Belfast City Council, the Bounce Arts Festival features a mix of dance, comedy, music, art exhibitions, poetry readings and physical theatre

"Bounce has become a hugely popular event in Belfast and by expanding into the north west the festival can reach an even wider audience," explains Damien Coyle, chief executive of University of Atypical.

"We make Bounce events as accessible as possible to disabled and D/deaf audiences, but Bounce is for everyone. The festival is perfect for people with open minds and an appreciation of diverse and unique creative talent."

Performances this year will include a show at Belfast's Black Box by the ground-breaking Drag Syndrome, a drag collective featuring drag queens and kings with Down Syndrome who have been featured in British Vogue, on Hulu and have appeared at RuPaul's DragCon and the Royal Opera House.

Performance artist Sinead O'Donnell, dancer Helen Hall and storyteller/stand-up comedian Alice McCullough will all perform in new work commissioned by the University of Atypical in both Belfast and Derry.

Alice McCullough will perform her Brave New Words show at The Vault in Belfast and at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry. Alice's award-winning combination of stand-up comedy, poetry, storytelling, and theatre finds her speaking candidly about her battles with Bipolar disorder.

Sinead O'Donnell's show Trigger is derived from her experiences working in public environments. She will perform at Flax Arts Centre in Belfast and at the Nerve Centre in Derry.

Helen Hall will perform Collecting Moments at Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre and the Nerve Centre. The show explores how we experience the moment, our attempts to try and step back into that moment and how the moment might change.

There are many more live shows and workshops and online content including acclaimed singer/songwriter Robyn G Shiels performing a special one-off gig at Havelock House in Belfast, while multi-disciplinary artist Declan Byrne will exhibit his observed translation of the world at the Atypical Gallery in Belfast.

All in-venue events at this year's Bounce Arts Festival will be subject to enhanced Covid-19 protocols and procedures.

:: See for full event and programme details.

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