It was nice to be back in a dance studio and a fine studio it was at the “Grand Theatre”, Quebec. This was even more important for one of our new troupe members, Callum Spencer who in just a few short days after his arrival would perform male lead for the very first time.
Those days before our first show flew by and then I was standing side stage for my first press call, just about to dance the number Riverdance
Adrenalin kicked in and then I finally realised what I’m a part of and to top it off, in my home state and country…. NSW, Australia.
Veterans Padraic Moyles and Niamh O’ Connor bid adieu to the American stage after serving many years with the ‘American’ Company. Niamh and Padraic were joined by Lauren Smyth, James Keating and singer/ tap dancer, Micheal Wood on their transfer to our sister company, the Moy on a six week tour of Australia and New Zealand until June. As the saying goes, one door closes and another opens and it did just that for their replacements. We have since welcomed Megan Baffa, Owen Barrington, Ben Mapp, Tokiko Masuda and Callum Spencer. They shall complete the remaining seven weeks with the Shannon Company.
Newcastle played host to a great first week of the tour. It was a busy one, in particular for the 6 new dancers who worked very hard, yet rewarding for both cast and crew who enjoyed all the local amenities had to offer. Jason Oremus proudly got to dance for his family who travelled from Sydney to watch him.
Paula Xiberras spoke to the lovely Peta last week fresh from a successful performance at Newcastle as Riverdance begins its farewell tour of Australia. Peta is sad that this is being billed as the farewell tour as she would like nothing more than to be touring with this show ‘forever’.
Cast and crew are reunited at Dublin airport. Hugs, kisses and lots of chit chat fills the air, as we all catch up on the past few months. It’s been a while since the Moy Company have travelled together. It’s also an exciting day for new dancers Patrick O’Mahony, Emma Warren, John Lonergan, Louise O’Sullivan and Shaun Kelly who will perform with Riverdance for the first time ever on the upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. Peta Anderson from Sydney will also join the company when we land in Australia.
Meanwhile, our male troupe had an early start as they performed live on Canada’s largest TV show, Canada AM. Their PR duties must have paid off as the audiences in Toronto were the most memorable of the tour with a whopping near 10,000 people attending our shows!
Good dancing makes you want to dance, and Riverdance does that. Not only is this incoming production a chance to see, one last time, one of the defining touring shows of the past 20 years, it’s a chance to pay tribute to a show that, I’m sure, swells the ranks of local dance classes, where young girls and boys turn step dancing from something you simply see into something you do.
It goes without saying Chicago lived up to it’s name. I was determined to fit in as much as possible for the week and went in all guns blazing. I was that annoying tourist that we all see walking down the street in our home towns! The very fact we were in a heatwave, overlapped with visits from friends and loved ones and with St. Patrick’s Day flung into the mix, the week was certainly going to prove eventful!
As a dancer, you tend to concentrate so much on your own performance that you forget the effort it takes from our crew members to set up the show. For such a small group they are faced with the mammoth task of building the stage, lights, sound and costume department on a daily basis. This week, I spoke to a few of them to try and find out a bit more about their job responsibilities and daily routine.