A revamped version of the classic Irish dance production ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ is wowing audiences in American theatres.
The show tells the story of the history of Ireland and has been a worldwide hit for the past 15 years. Over 5 million people have seen the production and it has also featured on PBS Live.
Last year dancer and choreographer Dane McKiernan and musical director Christopher Anglin teamed up to add their own flavour to the show.
McKiernan said: “We put a new spin on the whole show, in recognition of its 15th year, we gave it a fresh, new way of telling the story.”
McKiernan and Anglin’s revamped version has already been a huge hit in Europe. The tour began in October last year and has been taken to Ireland, Russia, Holland, Germany and Israel.
The show features 22 leading Irish dancers as well as dancers from the UK and US. There are five musicians and the vocals come from the Young Tenors.
McKiernan said: ““People are loving this new production, and so are we, it’s been very well received.
“All the music and vocals are live, and we have a microphone in the floor for the dancers, it’s a very honest production, very lively with numerous costume changes.”
McKiernan first joined ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ in 2007, but left after three years to work on the show that first inspired him to become a dancer – Riverdance.
He said: “Like most of this generation of dancers, it goes back to ‘Riverdance.’ I saw it on TV in 1994 when I was 6, and that was it for me. I’ve been dancing ever since.”
He returned to ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ as choreographer two years ago.
He said: “There is a scene in the first act where a female dancer is doing the old style, called Sean Nos in Gaelic, which was much more free-flowing, and how it transformed after the famine and the hard times into a militaristic, regimented style during the French Revolution. Then after they arrive at Ellis Island, we see them mixing with different cultures and learning their dances and music. By Act 2, they’re doing swing-style dancing mixed with a Southern American style of music.”
Rhythm of the Dance is currently touring America – check their website for dates near you