Choreographer Dylan Quinn on the Benefits of Funk

Northern Ireland's latest dance production hits the road

Audiences across Northern Ireland can enjoy an 'exciting, inspiring, entertaining and enthralling' dance experience this month when, from August 18 – 28, Enniskillen-based Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre Group perform FUNK in eight venues province-wide, from Derry-Londonderry to Belfast.

The vibrant and interactive show – made possible by the funding of the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland – is, as director and performer Dylan Quinn attests, an 'interpretation of funk for the 21st century' with a large dance ensemble.

FUNK features some of the greatest funk tracks ever produced, by the likes of James Brown and George Clinton et al. Brown, the Godfather Of Soul, originated the funk genre in the mid-1960s with his high tempo soul music, before other musicians blended jazz, soul, R&B and dance to conjure the sound of funk that we know today.

And so far, response to the show from audiences has been extremely positive. Quinn (pictured above) explains that his group have 'always been committed, as a company, to creating new, interesting and exciting work of a high standard. And FUNK is part of this commitment in developing new work.'

Quinn's long time interest in funk music led to him creating a show that merged the funk genre with contemporary dance. Influenced by various painters and choreographers, he set out to structure an 'easy to tour' dance piece that was suitable for various venues, and festivals in particular.

The FUNK tour will feature a cast of 'superb' international dancers, and a DJ, who will invite the audience to dance at the end of the show. Quinn is convinced that an interactive approach – encouraging the audience to become a part of the process – will make for a more enjoyable creative experience for ensemble and audience alike.

'I love attending something in the theatre and leaving afterwards with the feeling of just how special a night I had,' says Quinn, 'and how much more enjoyable it was than sitting at home. I want to make sure audiences feel exactly the same way with FUNK.'

Quinn is confident that FUNK will be 'a night like no other', and welcomes everyone to come along to enjoy one of the world's 'most addictive' forms of music and dance. He is especially excited about bringing his new creation to the future City Of Culture on August 21, describing Derry~Londonderry as a centre for excellence in dance, being the home of Echo Echo Dance Company.

'Derry has a large number of people both interested in and willing to try out new things,' says Quinn. 'I have always had a great time when working in Derry, so I couldn’t imagine not stopping there on a Northern Irish tour. The City Of Culture year is coming up soon, and it’s a great chance to highlight the best we can offer in the North.'

Quinn’s plans for the future include performing FUNK outside of Northern Ireland, and growing the theatre group to be a successful and vital part of the local community, one where 'the creative arts get the respect they deserve'.

For more information on FUNK, and to book tickets, visit www.dylanquinndance.org.