July 6, 2021
It’s Michael and Matthew Gardiner here. You may know us as the Gardiner Brothers. We’re from Galway, Ireland and we’re cast members of Riverdance. We auditioned for Riverdance at the Summer School in 2015 and we’ve been part of the show and touring ever since. When the pandemic hit the two of us were on separate sides of the globe. Michael was in Radio City Music Hall, New York . Matthew had performed in the 25th Anniversary Show in the 3Arena Dublin.
When the pandemic hit, we had to come home, here to Galway. We had a bit of lost time together which we didn’t think we would get. The only way for us to keep mentally and physically fit, was to keep dancing. We started making some videos and at the start, just to keep fit, to keep going and we love to dance! It became this amazing entity where we could share the Irish culture and showcase how modern and versatile Irish Dancing had become, on our time off from Riverdance.
We started making these short videos, to various artists, some modern music, some Irish music, just everything. A routine quickly formed for us, where we were choreographing our steps in the videos the night before. Editing the videos, shooting it , making sure you had the right angle, making sure you had the right light… and then repeat.
It was just absolutely incredible when our social media just started to grow and grow: it was very humbling. It was a bonus for us because we wanted to do it anyway. It started to get more and more busy which is exactly what we needed. Matthew was going back to college an Michael was editing the videos. Matthew was studying for exams and every Friday evening we choreograph loads of steps to loads of different things so that we had enough content for the week. Saturday and Sunday, as long as the weather was nice (which was rare) we were able to go out and get some videos..
Tawin Island, Co Galway – one of our favourite spots – You might recognize it. There were some days when we could get one video on a Saturday and our record might have 24 videos in one day.
Other opportunities started to grow for us, we were asked to do workshops and it wasn’t even workshops for Irish Dancers. We did one for Google recently, teaching them a ‘St.Patrick’s Day’ piece. It has been incredible to spread Irish Dancing to people who haven’t seen it before. We also did brand collaborations with some incredible brands and we used Irish Dancing to showcase brands, which was kind of a new type of influencer and an incredible opportunity for us. It’s been absolutely amazing showcasing Irish Dancing on Social Media. We’ve absolutely loved it and hopefully we’re going to keep doing it as much as possible, and bring you along on the journey.
We’ve loved performing to virtual audiences, but we definitely cant wait to get back up on stage with the Riverdance team performing to live audiences. Well for now, we’re off to get another video, but hopefully we’ll see you soon.
Catch up with Amy-Mae Dolan
Catch up with Natasia Petracic