Rhythm of the Dance is a spectacular two-hour dance and music celebration of Irish culture through music and dance which was created in 1999 and inspired by the epic journey of the Irish Celts throughout history.
Featuring world champion dancers, a traditional Irish band and singers, this richly costumed show has been consistently rated as one of the most popular and successful Irish step dance tours in the world and performs across the UK this summer.
It will return to the Marina by popular demand on Wednesday 18th July at 7.30pm.
Rhythm of the Dance presents the ancient and modern by combining traditional dance and music with state of the art technology to give audiences of all ages a unique experience. The multi-award winning show has, over the last 19 years, performed to over 6 million people in more than 58 countries across the globe.
We caught up with lead dancers Amy Marie Prior and Dane McKiernan ahead of the performance.
Amy Marie Prior was at the Hennigan O’Loughlin School of Irish Dancing in London. She subsequently won six world medals and five southern regional Oireachtas championships. Amy turned professional when she was 18 and completed her first tour in Russia and Europe in 2015 and in 2016 joined Rhythm of the Dance as lead female dancer.
Dane McKiernan is choreographer and lead dancer in the show. Dane has been dancing since he was 6 and began touring the world in 2007 with the National Dance Company of Ireland’s Rhythm of the Dance. In 2009 he joined ‘Riverdance’ and in 2012 was part of the modern Irish dance group Prodijig which won Sky TV’s ‘Got to Dance’. He subsequently toured with Prodijig in the show ‘Footstorm’ and returned to Rhythm of the Dance in 2014 as lead dancer and choreographer.
What do you like best about being in RHYTHM OF THE DANCE?
AMY MARIE: The people you meet on the different tours from different countries and becoming a family with everyone in the show because of the amount of time you spend together. And taking that final bow at the end of the show is what makes me appreciate my job and realise how lucky I am.
DANE: I really enjoy having a creative outlet with the choreography and watching the show come alive every night onstage.
What’s your favourite part of the show?
AMY MARIE: My soft shoe solo which leads into a duet with Dane or the Bodhran number in the second half as it’s one of the musicians and the boys against me in our heavy shoes. It’s always said to be a favourite number with the audience.
DANE: The opening number ‘Newgrange at Dawn’ – it starts with acapella rhythms and builds to a full company routine with the band. It definitely wakes up the leg muscles and lets them know they have another two hours to go!
What do you like most about touring?
AMY MARIE: Touring is such a different way to explore and see the world. I’m so grateful at 21 to have been to so many countries and given the opportunity to explore different parts of the world. I also love seeing all the different theatres and the reaction from the audience at the end of every show and I love meeting everyone after the show as well.
DANE: I love to travel and we get to see new places almost every day. It’s only after a couple of years you start to become familiar with some places you would have probably never thought to visit.
Tell us five things you couldn’t live without when you’re on tour.
AMY MARIE: 1) My blanket – it goes everywhere with me and it’s perfect for long trips on the bus. 2) The ice bucket that I get into filled up to my hips after every show! This helps my muscles and especially my feet so I’m not sore the next day. 3) Glucose tablets and my blood sugar monitor – I suffer from hypoglycaemia which is low blood sugar. It can be tough to keep my sugars at a reasonable level when burning so many calories off during every show. 4) earphones – it’s so nice to zone out before the show when stretching or getting ready. 5) my makeup and dancing shoes.
DANE: 1) Headphones! Music is life, especially when you’re travelling every day; it can feel like twice the duration of the journey when you’ve misplaced your headphones! 2) Coffee – you can never have enough energy to burn during a two hour show and, after being on the tour bus for a couple of hours, a cup of decent coffee is top priority for most of the cast. 3) My phone! I have to remember to pack a spare charger and it’s always best to have a fully charged power bank with you for long journeys or there’ll be no music or TV series to enjoy! 4) Home comforts – if you’re away for months at a time you miss the simple things like a decent cup of tea…after years of first hand research I’ve come to learn that Ireland has the best milk. Fact! 5) Travel pillow/blanket. We really do spend a lot of time travelling so comfort is essential. On long journeys the tour bus will be a sea of limbs and different coloured blankets while everyone gets some rest.
And finally what’s the audience reaction like when you’re onstage?
AMY MARIE: It really depends on the different parts of the show but I usually get a lot of laughter or reactions during the bodhran number as it really follows the story of the musician trying to win me over onstage between the male dancers. However the final number of the show and the reaction we receive after our last bow gives me an amazing feeling inside as it makes all the hours of rehearsals and years of learning how to dance worthwhile as the audience is so appreciative.
DANE: I love to watch the audience reaction throughout the show, especially after the opening scene because for the first time you get to see if they are going to be a vocal or reserved crowd. Depending on the country or region, some audiences are especially vocal whereas others are quite reserved until the end of the show. The world tour we just completed had standing ovations after every single show and that’s just the best feeling after performing for two hours. When the audience are enjoying the show, it definitely lifts the cast on stage to perform at the highest level; it’s all about creating that energy every night!
Full Price: £24.75 Concession: £22.75 Privilege Card Holders £21.75 – CLICK HERE to book now!