‘We dance for life and freedom’. This is the message that Palestinian company Diyar Theatre carries to audiences through its performances. Its work combines Palestinian folklore with contemporary dance in a way that conveys not only a passion for dance but a commitment to revitalising its national heritage. Diyar Theatre’s programme in Belfast will include folk dance (debkeh), performed by twelve talented and committed Palestinian dancers, who are keen to introduce their cultural and folk dance heritage to the world. They will also perform ‘Taken’, a piece choreographed by Royston Maldoom and centred around the testimonies of Palestinian children who had been - and continue to be - held, usually without charges, in Israeli prisons. The inspiration for Taken came from a television report, seen by Maldoom. It showed a young Palestinian girl called Tamimi, who, in an astonishing act of bravery, slapped an Israeli soldier who was trying to encroach on her family’s property. The piece also draws on personal testimonies of hunger strikes, detention in solitary confinement and their devastating effect on families. Its final scene of defiance and strength characterises the people that Maldoom says he has been privileged to meet during his visits to the Palestinian occupied West Bank and Gaza.