Meet the Cast

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Gianna Petracic

Lead Dancer
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Natasia Petracic

Lead Dancer
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Lauren Smyth

Lead Dancer
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Brendan Dorris

Dance Captain, Lead Dancer
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Kieran Hardiman

Lead Dancer
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Bobby Hodges

Lead Dancer
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Brandon Asazawa

Irish Dance Troupe
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Darren Casey

Irish Dance Troupe
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Louise O’Sullivan

Irish Dance Troupe
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Emma McPhilemy

Musical Director, Saxophone
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Tara Howley

Tin Whistle, Uilleann Pipes
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Laura Williams

Drums
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Rocio Montoya

Flamenco
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Ana Turcan

Dance Captain, Russian Ensemble
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Iana Hajdau

Russian Ensemble
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Alexander Safonov

Russian Ensemble
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Eugeniu Turcan

Russian Ensemble
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Dmitriy Zolotorevskiy

Russian Ensemble
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Christopher Broughton

Tapper
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Dharmesh Patel

Tapper
gianna-petracic
Gianna Petracic

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 at The Gaiety

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Natasia Petracic

Lead Dancer / Irish Dance Troupe

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.

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Lauren Smyth

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.

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Brendan Dorris

Lead Dancer/ Irish Dance Troupe/ Dance Captain

Born in Belfast, Brendan studied dance at the Paul Wilson School of Dancing and the Hyland School of Dancing. He performed the lead role in a production of Heartquest in Melbourne Australia in 2002. Brendan has been placed in the top five in the World Championships and top three in the All Ireland Championships and has obtained a Politics/History Degree from Queen’s University Belfast. He performed lead roles with the O’Shea’s Busch Gardens’ productions of Irish Thunder and Emerald Beat, before joining Riverdance in 2007.

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Kieran Hardiman
Lead Dancer/ Troupe Dancer
Kieran started dancing at the age of nine for the Costello O’Brien School in Galway, Ireland. He has competed in every major championship, winning the Connaught and All Scotland Championships before placing third in the world. In Kieran’s professional career he has performed with over 12 different shows touring in over 40 countries. During this time, he has performed on BBC’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show, RTE’s The Late Late Show, BBC’s Proms in the Park, and UNICEF’s Cinema for Peace . He has also danced for the President of Ireland and the Empress of Japan. Kieran first joined Riverdance in 2007 and is delighted to dance the lead role in China and America.
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Bobby Hodges

Lead Dancer/ Irish Troupe

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.

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Brandon Asazawa

Brandon began dancing at the age of 4 with the Leneghan Academy of Irish Dance located in Cleveland, Ohio. In sixteen years of competitive dancing, Brandon became a five time Mid American champion, National champion, and placed 6th at the World championships. After participating in the 2015 Riverdance Summer School, Brandon began touring with Riverdance at the age of 19. Brandon is privileged to be in the show that inspired him to begin Irish dancing and looks forwards to continue to share his passion with audiences around the world. Brandon would also like to thank the family, friends, and teachers that allowed him to fulfill a lifelong dream.

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Darren Casey

Irish Dance Troupe

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!

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Louise O’Sullivan

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.

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Emma McPhilemy

Emma McPhilemy is an international soloist and performer, with a highly unique and versatile style to her playing. She  performs throughout the UK, Europe and China as a soloist, as leader of the Abelia Saxophone Quartet and as the soprano saxophonist in Bill Whelan’s production of RiverdanceRecent highlights include performing Tansy Davis’ ‘Iris’, a concerto for soprano saxophone and ensemble, playing first alto in a recording for one of the world’s premier classical record companies, Chandos records, and touring the UK, Germany and China as the musical director and saxophonist in the current Riverdance production.

Emma is currently working on composing a new and innovative style of music for an album to be released in 2017/18 and is enjoying commissioning a variety of new works for her saxophone quartet, who subsequently performed as BBC young artists live on Radio 3. 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Emma as she will be leading the group to compete at the European Youth Music Festival in Belgium, and to tour major cities in China, performing a tailored programme in well established recital venues. Forthcoming solo performances include her debut appearance as a soloist at Wigmore Hall in May 2017.

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Tara Howley

Uilleann Pipes / Low Whistle / Tin Whistle
Tara Howley is a 21 year old award winning multiinstrumentalist, singer and dancer from Kilfenora Co. Clare. She is a two-time senior all Ireland champion on the uilleann pipes. Starting both classical and traditional music at the age of 4, Tara has numerous all Ireland titles in solo competitions and with bands and groups in various instruments such as concertina, fiddle, drums, mouthorgan, piano, whistle and uilleann pipes. In 2014 Tara toured Britain and Ireland with the group Macalla na hEireann and The Echoes of Erin. She produced and launched her debut solo album in April 2015 and is currently studying Irish music and dance in the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick.

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Laura Williams

Laura is a professional drummer and percussionist. She graduated from Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts with BA (Hons) Music where she was awarded the Zildjian Avedis Percussion Prize and the Philip Holt Commendation Prize. Since graduating, Laura has performed extensively at venues and festivals around the UK and internationally, supporting the likes of Ellie Goulding, Newton Faulkner and JLS. She was also percussion ensemble leader for the Balloons Project; a featured ensemble for the 2012 Olympics. Alongside her session work, Laura has been a part of many theatre productions across the UK, in both performance and creative roles. She is resident Musical Director and composer at Carbon Cadence Dance Company.

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Rocio Montoya

Rocio started dancing at age 4 in Granada, Spain. At 21, she graduated from El Conservatorio Profesional de Danza, Granada and began working professionally with various flamenco companies and artists including Compañia Andaluza de Danza, Flamencos en Route, Mario Maya and Rafaela Carrasco. Rocio has also created her own works. In 2006, she premiered Acordes Pintados con Palabras and currently has an ongoing show Alhambra Baila. Rocio has performed all over the world as a featured flamenco soloist in Riverdance and most recently added Heartbeat of Home to her credits as a flamenco artist/choreographer.

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Ana Turcan

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.

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Iana Hajdau

Riverdance Russian Ensemble

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.

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Alexander Safonov

Russian Ensemble

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.

eugeniu-turcan
Eugeniu Turcan

Riverdance Russian Ensemble

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.

dmitrity-zolotorevskiy
Dmitriy Zolotorevskiy

Riverdance Russian Ensemble

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.

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Christopher Broughton

Christopher Broughton began his career at age 12 under Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance and joined the acclaimed Kennedy Tap company, known for producing greats Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick Grant. He received the national award for NAACP ACT-SO twice and performed on various stages with worldrenowned artists Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, Grammy Winning R&B singer MYA, and Ted Levy. His choreography, courage and charisma are in high demand as he continues to travel worldwide both as a soloist and with Jason Samuels Smith’s A.C.G.I., Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars, and Michelle Dorrance’s company Dorrance Dance. As part of both performance runs of Encore’s Cotton Club Parade at New York City Center, he made his Broadway deebut in the Tony-nominated, Astaire Award-winning production After Midnight. He most recently performed on the 68th Tony Awards and the Today Show and is participating in the second workshop of Top Hat.

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Dharmesh Patel

Dharmesh Patel graduated from Doreen Bird Performing Arts College in 2007. Since graduating he has performed in numerous operas for the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House and at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles. He starred on Sky 1’s Got to Dance as a semi-finalist and he’s also a member of Plague, who won the World Hip Hop International Championships in both 2005 & 2011. He was one of the original cast in Bodyguard the Musical in London’s West End and has choreographed and performed for Cirque Du Soleil.

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