Michael Wood talks with Dance Captain & Lead Dancer Brendan Dorris
Riverdance is a show known for its high level of precision and clarity. The responsibility of maintaining this high level of precision, coordinating daily rotations, and making sure the company stays performance ready rests on the shoulders of one man, Brendan Dorris, male lead and Riverdance veteran.
Q: As a first time Dance Captain, were you nervous when you started?
A: Not really. I was coming back from an absence, so I didn’t have anything to lose. It felt more like a fresh start rather than a promotion
Q: What’s the hardest part about being a DC?
A: Being responsible for the whole tour. Everyone tends to get complacent after weeks and months of the same thing. I need to keep everyone motivated, as well as myself, motivated.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part about being DC?
A: Seeing the small improvements take shape. It makes you feel like you’re adding to something great. And bringing the best out of the dancers.
Q: How do you balance your role as DC and lead dancer?
A: Poorly! Good organization I guess? When I’m on lead I make sure I do all my prep in advance. A lot of it depends on everyone else being responsible enough to do there own jobs without needing me to tell them. So it helps to have a good team around you.
Q: Does it interfere with your personal relationships in the cast?
A: I suppose it does. I try my best to separate both, but at the end of the day, you are peoples boss. And thought you don’t want to separate yourself from the cast, you need to keep that distinction. When it’s time to play that’s fine, but when it’s time to work, we work.
Brendan Dorris, originally from Belfast, has been dancing with Riverdance since 2006, and has been dancing lead since 2007.