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Enjoy St Valentine’s Weekend Events at Down Arts Centre
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DOWN Arts Centre has three fantastic events lined up for Valentine’s weekend.

Come and dance to the music of the swinging 1930’s and 40’s with Swingabella’s Sweetheart’s Tea Dance on Friday 15 February at 6pm.

On Saturday 16 February at 8pm Maiden Voyage Dance will present a very male take on dance in Manifesto and on Sunday 17 February at 3pm we have a relaxing afternoon recital of light classical music,The Spirit of Spring and Love.

Come and dance to the Swingabella Tea Dance at the Down Arts Centre.

Come and join Swingabella on Friday 15 February as they perform for this special Valentine’s Tea Dance. Don your favourite vintage glad rags, curl that hair, apply copious amounts of Brylcreem and put on your dancing shoes for the retro Tea Dance is coming to Downpatrick.

Swingabella is a close-harmony vocal trio bringing back the sassy sound of the 30’s, and 40’s – the Swing era. The creation of Swingabella stems from the three members’ love of the intimate and intricate harmonies of the Andrews Sisters in the 40’s and the Boswells Sisters before them.

Nothing conjures up the image of that era quite like the jaunty Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree and the ever-popular In The Mood coquettishly sung by three broads in victory rolls and T-bar shoes! However, don’t be surprised to hear an occasional well-known pop tune that’s been Swingabellafied! Swingabella will be performing with a quartet of musicians (dubbed the Swingafellas!) for this event.  Non-dancers also very welcome.

On Saturday 16 February, Maiden Voyage Dance will present their exciting new triple-bill of dance theatre, where physicality, power and passion abound. Entitled Manifesto, the production features three dance commissions by men. They are Fermanagh-based Dylan Quinn, Belgian Filip Van Huffel and Cork-born New York City based Luke Murphy.

See Maiden Voyage Dance in action.

As anyone who has watched shows like Strictly Come Dancing will know, male dancers require very high levels of fitness, physical strength and stamina.  Manifesto will highlight the physicality and athleticism of dance in three contrasting works.  Quinn’s dance theatre piece looks at the way traditional society views the roles of men and women.

Van Huffel’s work is fast and dynamic, demanding strength and precision, pushing the male physique to its limits. Murphy takes a traditional ballet story and retells it in the context of a modern day high school reunion, complete with an original drum and bass soundtrack.

Dancer Gerrard Martin said: “Dance is such a hot industry at the moment and the male half of society are starting to change their attitudes about it. The rise in popularity of programmes such as Britain’s Got Talent has definitely helped, as has Strictly Come Dancing!

Enjoy the sounds of classical music to get you in the mood for Spring.

“My career has been really varied – I’ve danced for Lionel Richie in one of his pop videos and performed in the West End in Disney’s Lion King. The opportunities dance has given me are second to none and it is exciting to think that through Manifesto we are going to be able to share this programme with young men in Northern Ireland.”

On Sunday 17 February, Downe Independent Promotions presents The Spirit of Spring and Love, a recital of light classical music, celebrating spring and love, with violinist Anna Cashell and Comber-born mezzo-soprano Jenny Bourke, accompanied by pianist Simon Watterton.

To purchase tickets (Swingabella & Manifesto £10 / £8, Spring and Love £12 / £10) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747.

The complete Down Arts Centre Season Programme is available to download at www.downartscentre.com