August 5, 2009
Patricia Henry, Irish Dance Troupe, Foyle Company
Hello again, its hard to believe that our time off has gone by so quickly and that I’m back again writing the tour Diary, except this time it a little different, were not exactly on tour instead we are performing in the Gaiety Theatre Dublin for 10 weeks. This is Riverdance’s sixth consecutive year to return to the Gaiety for the summer run.
It was Monday 22nd of June when we all met in the Dance House rehearsal studio on Foley Street for an intensive day of rehearsals. It was great to see everyone again as we had been off for about eight weeks so there was a lot of catching up to do. After a hard days work we all decided to go and get something to eat and have a few drinks together as it was also one of the dancers Niamh Eustace’s birthday, so we had to help her celebrate.
The following day we were in the Gaiety for a full run through of the show to make sure everything and everyone knew what they were doing, the TV3 cameras were also floating about the theatre that day taking footage for a backstage documentary that they were showing on the Morning AM show. I brought them round backstage and show them all the exciting spots such as the lead dressing rooms, the wardrobe area and also on stage during rehearsals.
View the video of the visit on Ireland AM
The following day was opening night and what a rapturous applause we got – it was such a good feeling being back at home in front of an Irish audience again. Following the show we had an Opening Party in the Dress Circle Bar of the Gaiety where again we all got a chance to catch up. We were all delighted to have our lead dancer Melissa Convery and her husband Declan Masterson back on stage with us. Melissa and Declan took a year out from the show as Melissa gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Ríán in February of this year.
During the first two weeks in July a group of us performed at the Summer Garden Parties held by The President Mary McAlesse at Áras an Uachtaráin. We have been doing these for the last couple of years and we have so much fun doing them. This year we performed alongside the legendary Phil Coulter, The Chieftains, Mary Black, Christy Moore, Colm Wilkinson and many more acts. The summer parties are organised to say thanks on behalf of the President to all the different community groups around the country who do so much good work within our communities.
On Saturday July the 11th, our evening performance was dedicated to the memory of Eithne Walls who performed many a time at the Gaiety Theatre during the summer of 2004. Moya Doherty spook briefly on stage before the show to address the audience, and I have to say the emotion that all of us felt throughout the entire show was over whelming. Eithne will always be in our memory when we are performing.
We always have a few birthdays to celebrate during the Gaiety run, and so far Caterina Coyne, Dane McKiernan, Alexey Sukharev and Mark Gorman have all celebrated theirs.
Another piece of good news is that a group of Riverdancers (Mark Gorman, Maria Buffini, Laura Minogue, Patricia Henry, Clare McCole and Mark McCole) who sat their TCRG exam back in May all passed with flying colours, a big congratulations to them all!
Another charity event that a group of the lads performed at was the Gaiety All Stars football match, which also included Paul McGrath, Bernard Dunne, Brian McFadden, Pat Kenny, Jason Sherlock and Brian Ormond was the MC for the night. After the match a bunch of the lads from the show performed at the dinner dance for all that played the football match along with other guests.
I think that’s all the news so far from the Gaiety, I will be back in a few weeks with hopefully lots more photos and exciting stories to tell.
Until then bye!!
Riverdance Flying Squad Gig in China
Riverdance & St Lukes Hospital, Dublin