September 8, 2009
Aoife Ni Bhriain, Fiddle Player, Foyle Company
As a first-timer in Riverdance, I honestly did not know what to expect!
To say I was petrified about the whole thing would be a huge understatement! It has to be said, however that I was pleasantly surprised as to how it all went.
The first step of joining Riverdance was getting the music and learning it all. Even after growing up with the music all around me – my Uncle John (John O’Brien) played Riverdance on Broadway and my Dad (Mick O’Brien) played Riverdance on Broadway and in the Gaiety – It was no mean feat.
Every note has to be there no matter what speed it’s at!
After learning the music it was time to get kitted out with the costume. I went to Abhann wardrobe to Monica (Ennis) who took my sizes for the American Wake costume and a few days later it was time to go shopping with Monica and Joan (Bergin). Having seen Joan on the television just the night before the shopping trip I was very excited to get to meet her and see what she had in mind for the costumes. We found two dresses easily enough, Joan having picked up one herself beforehand, and then they went off to be altered in wardrobe where Monica did all the needlework.
Rehearsals were next, so after doing the shopping I went straight to the Gaiety to play for Declan (Masterson), Julian (Erskine) and Louise (Byrne). Although I was quite nervous about it they put me completely at ease and seemed happy enough that I could play the tunes!!
The show itself was one of the most nerve-wrecking experiences of my life!!! It’s one thing playing in the Gaiety, it’s another playing live for dancers to a full house! Even after being close to having nightmares about making a mistake in the live performance the realisation that the show was a lot of fun hit me almost immediately and I was able to enjoy myself and admire what was going on around me between musicians, dancers and everyone backstage. It was such an honour to be involved in such a professional performance and to be in such a relaxed atmosphere!!
All in all it was an unbelievable experience, nothing like anything I’d done before and yet probably the most fun I’ve had on a stage in a very long time!
Next stop Riverdance Tour China!!!
Riverdance & St Lukes Hospital, Dublin
Riverdance in Ljubljana Slovenia for the first time