Lead Dancer / Irish Dance Troupe
Maggie began dancing with the Claddagh School of Irish Dance in California. She won four North American Championships, two All-Ireland Championships and in 2007 won the World Irish Dancing Championships. In 2010 Maggie performed the lead role in Busch Gardens’ production Celtic Fyre and originated the lead female role in Battle of the Dance. She joined the cast of Riverdance in 2011.
Australian born, Natasia began dancing at the age of 3. She trained in all styles with a strong focus on Classical Ballet and Irish Dance. Throughout her dancing career Natasia obtained 7 National Irish dance titles whilst training as a Ballerina with the Australian Ballet School. This all led her to be chosen as an original cast member in the debut world tour of Heartbeat of Home (2013). Since then she has continued on to perform as a lead with Heartbeat of Home (2015) as well as leading Prodijig’s show Footstorm in China (2014). After joining Riverdance in 2014, Natasia is delighted to now be performing the leading role in the show that inspired her to pursue Irish dance.
Australian Gianna attended the Halloran School of Dance. She trained in Irish Dance, Ballet, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Obtaining several Championship titles in Irish Dance, she also studied ballet part-time at the Australian Ballet School. Gianna’s career came to life when she joined the original cast of the international touring show Heartbeat of Home. Soon after she joined the cast of Prodijig’s show Footstorm. Her Riverdance journey began in 2014 on the 20th Anniversary tour in the UK and has since toured across three continents. Gianna is delighted to be performing the lead in Riverdance.
Lead Dancer/Irish Dance Troupe
Lauren was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland and she began Irish dancing with the St. Patrick’s School of Irish Dance. She won many regional championships including the Ulster and Northern Ireland titles numerous times. Lauren transferred to the Reilly School of Irish Dance where her success in competition continued. She joined Rhythm of the Dance in 2007 where she performed the lead role for three years. In 2010 she then progressed to fulfil her lifelong ambition in joining Riverdance.
English-born, Chloey started Irish dancing with with Jenny Flower at the Matthews Academy and has competed at national and international feiseanna, qualifying for the world championships every year. Having joined Riverdance in 2008, Chloey has touring Europe, Japan and China and one of her highlights was performing at Radio City, New York. Chloey is a keen athlete and a qualified personal fitness trainer, She loves to motivate and help people achieve their personal goals.
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Born in Sydney, Australia, Will trained with the Halloran Dance School in Irish, ballet, contemporary and tap from the age of four. Will performed lead roles in musical productions and made regular appearances on TV. At University he studied a Bachelor of Music and is an accomplished guitarist. An ambitious athlete, Will is studying personal training on and off tour. Following an impressive competitive Irish dance career, placing top 3 internationally and winning state and national titles, he then went on to perform with Celtic Illusion and Heartbeat of Home. In 2014 he joined Riverdance, touring over ten different countries, and is thrilled to be joining the lead team.
Bobby was six when he started dancing in his hometown Bristol. After an illustrious career as a competitive Irish dancer, winning ten world titles, he joined the cast of Lord of the Dance. After just six weeks in the show, he was cast as the principal lead. In 2012 he joined the cast of Prodijig to help create their debut show Footstorm. Bobby went on to be cast as principal lead in Heartbeat of Home which has toured internationally and is now thrilled to be performing lead in Riverdance, the show that inspired him to pursue dance.
Jason started dancing at the age of five alongside his six sisters. Under the tuition of the Armstrong school in Belfast he developed a deep-rooted passion for rhythm. Jason has been principal dancer with Prodijig’s Footstorm and with Heartbeat of Home and is truly honoured to attain lead role in three shows. As an avid traveller he has now performed in 200 cities worldwide. Jason is delighted to join Riverdance again on its remarkable 20th anniversary.
Ellen from Co. Meath Ireland began dancing at the age of 5 and attended the renowned O’Shea School in Dublin. She has been dancing professionally for the last seven years and has juggled this with her studies, graduating with an honours degree in Accounting and Finance in 2012. Ellen has toured Europe, Asia, Canada and the The USA with Noctu, Irish Celtic, Heartbeat of Home and Riverdance. She was Assistant Dance Captain with Heartbeat of Home and is currently Dance Captain with Riverdance. Ellen is delighted and very privileged to be following her dream and touring the world with Riverdance.
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Irish Dance Troupe
Orlagh Carty is from Co. Wicklow began dancing at the age of 4 for the Hunter school where she acclaimed 3 All-Ireland titles and 6 Provincial Championships. She then began her career as a professional dancer and was selected as one of the original cast of Noctu, filmed for the TV series Dance Off, 2011. Orlagh went on to perform with numerous shows touring Europe, Asia, Russia & U.S.A. Most recently she was a part of Prodijig’s new show Footstorm. Orlagh is honoured to join the cast of Riverdance and looks forward to being part of the 21st anniversary tour.
Darren Casey started dancing at the age of eight for the world renowned Scoil Rince Mona ni Rodaigh in his hometown of Dundalk, Co.Louth in Ireland. After a successful competitive career including during which he won gold in Ulster, All Ireland and World Championships, Darren fulfilled his lifetime dream when he joined Riverdance in the summer of 2008, he toured worldwide with Riverdance for three years. Darren was also part of dance group PRODIJIG, who won the TV hit show ‘Got To Dance’. Darren is now delighted to be back on stage and touring with Riverdance!
Michael Gardiner started dancing in Denver, Colorado when he was 4 years old. At the age of 10, Michael and his family moved to Galway, Ireland and he, along with his older sister Anna and younger brother Matthew, joined the renowned Hession School. Michael went on to win every major including the All Irelands and World Championships, with a historic world title win in the same year as his brother Matthew. Michael has toured with the Kilfenora Ceili Band and is a member of the ‘Fusion Fighters’ and Trad on the Prom. Along with his younger brother Matthew, ‘The Gardiner Brothers’ preformed their famous ‘Smooth Criminal’ piece on Irelands biggest TV show, The Late Late Show this year. He loves choreographing new material and show pieces and has started teaching with the Hession School and Trinity Academy. Michael is an Architecture student at the University of Limerick and is an avid lover of trad music! He is delighted to have fulfilled a lifelong dream of touring with Riverdance and is excited to be a part of the Riverdance team.
Born in Bristol, Mitchell Hodges began dancing at the age of 4. After training with the Carey Academy in Birmingham he went on to attain several international titles including Great Britain, All Scotland and four consecutive North American championships. His biggest achievement to date was being crowned the U18 Men’s World Champion in London 2014. Mitchell is thrilled to begin his professional career with Riverdance.
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Miriam began dancing at the age of three with the Lee-Byrne Academy, Dublin. Over her competitive years she has won Dublin, Leinster, All England, All Scotland, Great Britain, All Ireland and World Championship titles. In 2011, Miriam deferred her university degree to start her touring career with Irish Celtic. She was one of the original cast members and was selected as Dance Captain of the troupe in 2014. Miriam has also toured with both Gaelforce Dance and Dance Masters, where she performed the lead role. She has also been a member of Damhsa Irish Dance Company since 2010 and performs weekly at the Belvedere Irish Nights in Dublin and at corporate events throughout Ireland and abroad. For the past 3 years Miriam has been selected as a choreographer for studio2stage – a performance experience for aspiring young dancers. Miriam has been touring with Riverdance since 2014 and is delighted to be returning to the cast for the Barrow Company’s UK & Germany Tour.
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Patrick began his dance training at the tender age of two with Rinceoiri Na Riochta under the direction of Jimmy Smith and Honor O’Conor. At seven, Patrick won his first Munster title in 1993 and continued claiming the title every year until 2004. Patrick was awarded All Ireland Champion in 1995. Patrick continued to compete until 2004 in the All Ireland’s, the British National’s, the American National’s, the Great Britain’s, and the World’s, always placing in the top 4. Patrick went on to dance and travel all over the world with shows such as Ragus, To Dance on the Moon, Spirit of Ireland, Dance of Desire, Playboy of the Western World, Irish Thunder and Emerald Beat in Busch Gardens, Virginia and Florida, Skydance, Noctu, Irish Celtic, Gaelforce Dance and Dance Masters. Patrick is extremely excited and privileged to be a part of the overly talented cast of Riverdance, and would like to thank his parents and family for their support throughout his dance carrier.
Louise from Dublin, began dancing at the age of 4 for the Elaine Kavanagh School of Dance. She has won many medals in competitions worldwide and also learned tap, ballet, modern and Latin American dance. After 17 years of competition Louise joined Gaelforce Dance as understudy and then principal dancer. Louise danced with Dance of Desire, Magic of the Dance, Dance Masters and Irish Celtic touring the world for 4 years. Louise has a degree in fitness and personal training and works with Trinity College gymnasium in Dublin when she is not on tour. Louise is delighted to achieve her dream to perform with Riverdance and would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support through out her dancing career.
Peter Wilson 23, began dancing at the age of 4 with the Coyle school in Donegal. After a successful competitive career including titles at National and World level, Peter pursued his studies at Dundee University, Scotland completing qualifications in Media, culture & Society. In 2012 Peter began his professional career by being one of 12 dancers cast in Breàndan De Gallai’s ‘Rite of Spring’. Peter has toured Russia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States performing the lead role in ‘Rhythm of the Dance’, ‘Ragus – The Show’ and was the Dance Captain of ‘Gaelforce Dance’ . In 2013 Peter travelled to Las Vegas to film the series ‘Jigs and Wigs’ which continues to air in Ireland and the UK. In late 2013 Peter was invited to perform in China as part of a concert televised to 300 million people. In 2014 Peter joined Riverdance on the 20th Anniversary tour and continues to tour extensively throughout the world. Peter has performed in some of the worlds most prestigious venues including The Hammersmith Apollo Theatre London, Tokyo Opera City Music Hall, The Kremlin Palace Moscow and The Gaiety Theatre Dublin.
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Drums / Percussion / Bodhrán
A native of Monaghan, Mark began playing drums at the age of four. He studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Performing Arts College both in Dublin.
He is now one of Europe’s most sought after, and highly regarded, drummers and is constantly in demand from a host of leading stellar international music acts. His very individualistic and energetic style has seen him play with many international acts including Lionel Richie, Simply Red, Katie Melua, Josh Groban, The Corrs, The Divine Comedy, Lemar, Gary Moore, Mary Coughlan, Ronan Keating, Westlife, Girls Aloud, Donnie Osmond, and the late Christy Hennessy.
Mark Alfred uses and proudly endorses: Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Vater Drumsticks, Protection Racket Cases.
Uilleann Pipes / Low Whistle / Tin Whistle
Matt is a native of Limerick City. He began playing and touring with various musical groups and stage shows at a young age. These productions include Micheal Ó Suilleabháin’s Traditional Irish Music Orchestra, Ragús, and The Belfast Irish Harp Orchestra among others. Matt has recorded on RTÉ television programmes, BBC radio documentaries and with other artists including the Irish Tenors and Denis Carey. He has also performed on various orchestral works including Bill Whelan’s Seville Suite at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and Shaun Davey’s Grainneuaile Suite. He has a graduate degree in Irish Music and Dance Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music at the University of Limerick.
21 year old Ceilidh Briscoe has been playing the violin for 16 years. She is currently in the middle of the third year of her Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance at the University of Ottawa studying with Yehonatan Berick, after completing a two year Diploma in Violin Performance at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, studying with Michael van der Sloot. In 2013, she performed as the first violinist in a Conservatory-formed quartet that took first place at the National Music Festival of Canada. In the summer of 2014, she took part in the two week program, ³Summer Music on the Shannon in Limerick and Ennis, Ireland, where she taught, and performed as a part of the orchestra, and as a soloist. Ceilidh also performed as a soloist with the Master Series Conservatory Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic, and the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. With regards to orchestral playing, Ceilidh currently holds a substitute position with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and a full time position with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Complementing her classical playing, Ceilidh is a five time North American Fiddle Champion, an All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has studied the Sligo style of Irish playing extensively via the internet and in person, with Brian Conway, of New York City.
Kenneth Edge began his career in music by winning RTE’s ‘Young Musician of the Future’ competition in 1983. Since then, Ken has performed with some of the greatest musicians and orchestras in the world. He has attracted many composers to write new works for him to perform, such as Shaun Davey, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and John Buckley. Aside from his performing career, Kenneth has held the posts of Music Director of Ireland’s CoisCéim Dance Theatre Company, for which he composed the scores for five of their productions, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Limerick.
Riverdance Russian Ensemble/ Dance Captain
The Riverdance Russian Ensemble combines elegance and grace with verve, dynamism and joyous physicality. The company’s dancers come from a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds. What they have in common is a dedication to dance and many years of training and performance in pursuit of perfection in their chosen art. Working as individual performers, they have come together for Riverdance, where they will share their individual talents and fuse the many elements that have gone into the development of their own unique style of dance.
Marta Ortiz began to dance at four and quickly developed her talent through many disciplines, earning her degree in Spanish Dance at age 21, and a Certificate in Flamenco at 24. Having studied with such greats as Rubén Olmo in Centro Andaluz de Danza, and in the prestigious center of flamenco Amor de Dios in Madrid for two years, Marta’s second year in that school saw her work with more famous masters; Carmela Greco, Lola Greco, Alfonso Losa and Pedro Córdoba amongst others. During her time in Madrid, she performed as a cast-member of “The Trick”
across the most prestigious Flamenco theatres (or Tablaos) of the capital. As creator and choreographer of the Cádiz company “Carnaval en Danza”, Ortiz has produced three shows that fuse the musical styles of Andalusia, Cádiz carnival and traditional flamenco. As well as touring with Riverdance, Marta spent a large part of 2016 dancing and teaching in Japan.
Katrina Meske grew up in Republic of Latvia where she graduated from prestigious Riga Choreography School, excelling in ballet, character dance, contemporary and acting, and got to dance with Latvian National Opera and Ballet whilst still being a student performing in such productions as Swan Lake, Giselle, Alchina etc. Through her years of education she expanded her horizons in dance traveling to many festivals and summer intensives in Europe, US and Asia. In 2011 Katrina moved to London to follow her carrier working with numerous dance companies including European Ballet where she was invited as the principal dancer for such ballets as Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Cinderella and Coppelia. In 2013 Katrina joined Riverdance and has toured extensively with the show ever since performing to enthralled audiences all over the world.
Riverdance Russian Ensemble
Ilya Burtsev grew up in Krasnoyarsk , Russia, attending the Krasnoyarsk Choreographic College’s department of folk dance. After graduating in 2006 he worked in the college’s Godenko Ensemble in Siberia. He passed military service in the Moscow ensemble Red Star as a ballet dancer. From 2009, Ilya performed as ballet soloist in the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army, touring more than 25 countries. In 2014 he joined Riverdance.
Anna Vedenina grew up in Novosibirsk, Russia. She studied at the Novosibirsk Ballet School in the department of classical dance. In 2011, she graduated with honours from the Krasnoyarsk Choreographic College’s Department of folk dance, before performing with the Chaldony in Novosibirsk. Moving to Moscow in 2013, she worked with numerous dance companies. She has performed across the world, from Mexico to China, and many Russian cities. As well as consistently touring in various capacities, Anna has been delighted to nurture young talent in her role as a teacher. In 2014 Anna joined Riverdance.
JL Williams is celebrating 15 years of show-business performing on Broadway, Television, Film and theatre in over 20 countries around the world. Selected credits: Original Broadway Cast of “FELA!” Japan and USA tour of “42nd Street” in the role of Andy Lee, World tours of Magic of the Dance, Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award Alumni, Alumni of Broadway’s “Shuffle Along”, and CBS’s “The Gregory Hines Show” Follow on Instagram @jltapsoul or www.tapsoulpro.com
Tyler Knowlin is a professional tap dancer from Connecticut. He attended The Hartford Academy for the Arts, where he was introduced to rhythm tap and given the opportunity to train with masters such as Jimmy Slyde and Gregory Hines. At 14, Tyler performed at New York City’s first annual tap festival, Tap City. Tyler’s east coast performances include Jacob’s Pillow, The Bushnell, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Playhouse on Park, The Duke Theater, and Lincoln Center. In 2007, Tyler moved to San Francisco. He taught for City Dance Studios and ODC Dance. In 2013, Tyler taught and performed in Brazil. Tyler was most recently a featured performer in Hillary Marie’s original show Soul Walk. Tyler would like to thank everyone who has supported him along this long amazing journey!
Xander, from Sydney Australia has been dancing since the age of 7. He has trained in various styles with Halloran School of Dance including Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz. Xander began his international show career in 2013 with the Busch Gardens show ‘Celtic Fyre’, and has since toured in various productions across the globe including the world famous Son Amar in Spain and as a Lead Dancer with GFD Promotion’s . Xander has also appeared in the Australian Television series Dance Academy and has studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the University of New South Wales. Other then Irish dancing Xander has a great interest in film production and photography and runs a YouTube channel. Xander is very proud that he continues to live his dream of being in Riverdance.
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