Flying Squad Performance in Martha’s Vineyard - Riverdance

Flying Squad Performance in Martha’s Vineyard

11th – 14th June 2009 by Louise Byrne

Day One
Final preparations for the trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
The first part of the trip I was flying solo as most of the dancers are based in the US.
The biggest challenge faced today was how to manage the extremely heavy costume bag through Dublin Airport and Logan International! Thankfully my taxi drivers were just wonderful and I barely had to lift a finger! I arrived into a very cold and wet Boston 40 minutes ahead of schedule, leaving behind me the heat and sunshine of Ireland (hold on – something not right about this sentence!!!)
Once at the hotel, I went through the travel schedules for the next day –
• 1 dancer flying in from Pittsburg
• 1 dancer flying in from Columbus, Ohio
• 1 dancers flying in from Toronto,
• 1 dancers flying in from Seattle
• 6 dancers travelling by train from New York City
• 2 dancers already in Boston
I will be happy when everyone is together! Head to bed dreaming of on time flights, trains and ferries, everything running smoothly…..and of course sunshine!!

Day Two
Wide awake at 3am! Doze for a few hours before packing up and heading off to Boston South Station to meet with the first group of dancers – all going well so far…..expect for the rain!!
Arrived Boston South Station Bus Terminal at 10am – purchased bus and ferry tickets for the group traveling to Martha’s Vineyard….everything still on track!
Over to the train station at 10:30am to purchase return train tickets for the New York group and there in the distance I was delighted to see that the first group of dancers had arrived safely from New York – Caitlin Allen, Ryan McCaffrey, Kyle O’Connor, Timothy Kochka, Siobhan Burke, Eireann McCormack.
6 down – 6 to go!!
We sat and chatted for a while. It was great to catch up with everyone. Continued on my journey to purchase train tickets and on my return Jason Oremus and Siobhan Manson had joined the group….I was on a roll – 8 down – 4 to go!!
11am – called Joe Moriarty whose flight should have landed – yes…he was waiting in Logan to board the bus!
9 down – 3 to go!!
The next part of the journey was a 1 hour 45 minute bus journey to Woodshole….I managed to convince Jason to help me with the extremely heavy wardrobe bag….thanks Jason!
Arrived Woodshole for the ferry across to Martha’s Vineyard – no sights to be seen as it was so foggy but to be honest I don’t think anyone was really worried! When I looked over at the dancers they were either fast asleep or busy on their blackberries!
This was when the phone started to ring! As I pointed out the weather was not good as a result flights were delayed – Alana Mallon flying in from Toronto was waiting for her flight from New York to Martha’s Vineyard, Garret Coleman had arrived in Boston to find that his flight across to the Vineyard had been delayed indefinitely and Owen Barrington was stuck in Memphis on route from Seattle!
My dreams of on time flights, buses and ferries were going to be just that…..a dream!!
Luckily the next time the phone rang was Garrett to say that his flight had just been called…..10 down – 2 to go! Alana’s flight, 45 minutes delayed, arrived (hurray) – 11 down – 1 to go!
In the meantime the main group split up to go to meet our host families and settle into our accommodation. Along with Ryan, Kyle and Tim, I stayed in the Cox Residence with our hosts Bob and Chris. The rest of the group was hosted by Ed and Ellen Harley in their home. We received such warm a warm welcome and were so well taken care of by our hosts that none of us wanted to leave at the end of our stay!

With our hosts, Bob Cox, Kyle, Timothy, Chris Cox and Ryan

I decided to have a little rest on arrival. I looked out my window an hour later to see Ryan, Kyle and Tim jump into the water and jump out just as quickly….the water was very cold!! Still no word from Owen, who last I heard was awaiting his flight from Memphis to Boston….fingers crossed!

5:40pm – We head into Edgartown for our rehearsal. I finally get to meet with Chris Scott and the staff of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, for whom we are performing. We were performing for 250 people who were attending a dinner to raise money for the Trust which was established in 1975 to acquire, preserve and managed the endangered landmarks of Martha’s Vineyard. The performance was taking place in a tent on the grounds of Dr Daniel Fisher House.

Everything looked great – dancers changed for the rehearsal and Ryan but the troupe through their paces and as the rehearsal continued, the audience grew!
Rehearsals went well – so off the hungry dancers went to get some dinner but not before the phone rang….Owen had landed in Boston but was not going to make his connection to Martha’s Vineyard….so near but yet so far!!
11 down…..still 1 to go!
Poor Owen would have to spend the night in Boston and try again the next day!
After a wonderful dinner, hosted by the members of the Trust in Alchemy Bistro (the food was amazing!), a great debate raged….who was going out for a few drinks, who was going home for a few drinks and who was going home to bed!….well let’s just say that not many went for the last option!!

Day Three
Woke to the most amazingly beautiful day! We had the morning and early afternoon free, so it was off to explore the island. Some people went to the beach and so just hung by the pool.
I went on a bus tour around the island as you can see from the photos, it is most beautiful.
Back to camp and everyone was collected for the final rehearsal before the main event. Thankfully Owen arrived early in the morning, so we now had a full complement of dancers!
Rehearsals went well and again drew an audience!

Time for final stretching and costume checks…..and of course the cast photo!

The organizers had managed to keep the fact that we were performing at the event a secret, so there was great excitement when the announcement was made and the boys burst onto the stage for Thunderstorm. Then came Riverdance, with Heartland finally brought the house down!

The cast were wonderful and gave an outstanding performance on the night.

After the performance, everything packed up we went for our final dinner in Lattanzi’s where the dancers were persuaded to give an impromptu performance for our fellow diners – again they brought the house down. But the night was still young that the great debate returned….needless to say there wasn’t a lot of sleep had by the group.

Day Four
An early start for everyone – Alana and Owen were on flights out of Martha’s Vineyard, while the rest of the group was travelling by ferry and bus to Boston. It was time to say our final goodbyes to our amazing hosts, Bob and Chris. Thank you so much for looking after us so well…we really didn’t want to leave.
It was a very quiet trip back to Boston, apart from the odd snoring sounds from some dancers who shall remain nameless….Kyle O’Connor!!
A wonderful time was had by all, lots of memories of our wonderful time on the ‘Vineyard’.
Thank you to everyone involved for looking after us so well and make our trip to Martha’s Vineyard an amazing experience.


Interview with Riverdance Lead Padraic Moyles


The End of 5 weeks in Toronto!