Power of Irish lore comes to local stage

  • Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 11:00 p.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:43 a.m.
Submitted Photos
A “Lord of the Dance” troupe performs  “Cry of the Celts.” Michael Flatley’s production will perform in Augusta on Tuesday.
Submitted Photos A “Lord of the Dance” troupe performs “Cry of the Celts.” Michael Flatley’s production will perform in Augusta on Tuesday.

High-energy, yet enchanting, Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” uses the power of Celtic music and dance to tell tale of an Irish folklore.

On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., local audiences will get the chance to be captivated by what world-wide audiences have experienced since 1996.

The show will be at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, with doors opening an hour before the show. Tickets are $45, $50, $55, with group rates available.

Flatley created a performance centered around the timeless “good versus evil” theme. The Lord of the Dance is being challenged against Don Dorcha, the Dark Lord, and a Little Spirit races through time to come to the Lord of the Dance’s help. Love, danger and desire emerge, as good tries to triumph over evil in this wondrous adventure.

Saoirse, the Irish Colleen, and Morrighan, the Temptress, along with the troupe which consists of the Clan of the Celts, the Warlords, the Warriors and the Girls of Irelands, take their sides in the journey.

The show now tours in two troupes, with members sometimes switching between the two.

According to the show’s website, Troupe Two is visiting around the U.S., and will be the one coming to town.

“A lot of us are looking forward to it,” said Tom Cunnigham, whose been with “Lord” since 1997 and has never been to Augusta before. “People who have been there before say its beautiful.”

Cunnigham said during a phone interview that he started as a back-line dancer and now performs as the Don Dorcha.

“My style of dancing is more suited for bad guy pieces,” he said. “It’s really fun. If I show up in a bad mood, it makes my performance better.” Cunnigham, though technically part of Troupe One which is touring Europe, is on-board with Troupe Two at the moment.

As cast members rotate troupes, they rotate roles. For example, Cunnigham could appear as the Dark Lord or a back-line dancer during the Augusta performance.

Playing the lead role all the time would be like playing in a football game six nights a week, he said.

According to the show’s program, other contenders for Don Dorcha are Zoltan Papp, who also is a dance captain, and Ciaran Plummer.

The Lord of the Dance will be played by Zach Klingenberg or Matthew Smith, while Sophia Ereminowicz plays the Spirit. Saorise could either be Bernadette Devereaux or Aisling Nally, and Morrighan could be portrayed by Maeve Donaghy or Katie Kerrigan – also a dance captain. A chorus of around 20 accompanies them; to see the full list and read cast biographies, visit www.lordofdance.com.

The mastermind behind the show, Flatley, not only created it, but choreographed, produced and directed it..

“From humble beginnings, this most talented of artists has brought the mesmerizing magic of Irish dance into the international arena,” according to his biography on the website.

“Michael has reshaped Irish Dance into a futuristic phenomenon and is known as one of the world’s most graceful athletes.”

In addition to “Lord,” Flatley has created two other shows, “Feet of Flames” and “Celtic Tiger,” and produced a flute CD.

Marie Duffy Pask, known as a prominent Irish dance teacher and choreographer, is the show’s dance director.

The composer is Ronan Hardiman, a former Bank of Ireland teller.

Extended across 21 scenes, the performance features “precision dancing, dramatic music, colorful costumes and state-of-the-art staging and lighting,” a release said.

And, according to Cunnigham, the show has been stripped down and reconstructed, from the roles and the costumes to the set and dances. “It’s a new, updated version,” he said.

“Lord of the Dance” was the highest grossing international tour of the year, during its debut year, according to its website.

“The power of the dance creates a strong bond between the dancers and the audience,” Pask said on the show’s website.

“I think the show and the dancers are great ambassadors for Ireland and the Irish people.”

Merchandise, such as shirts, CDs and DVDS, will be available.

To order tickets, visit the James Brown Arena Box Office, www.georgialinatix.com or www.lordofthedance.com or call 1-877-4AUGTIX. For more information on group rates, call group sales manager Mike Cecchini at 706-262-4573 or email him at mcecchini@arccc.com.

The Bell Auditorium is at 712 Telfair St., Augusta.

For more information on the show, visit www.lordofdance.com.

Want to Go?

“Lord of Dance”

Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.

$45, $50, $55. Group rates are available.

Bell Auditorium at 712 Telfair St, Augusta

Visit www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com or www.lordofthedance.com

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