TitanicDance embarks on its current tour today, and kicks off in Belfast tonight. This show has been described as ‘An intoxicating, invigorating phenomenon on stage’, ‘Powerful…exhilarating! A real treat, combining dance and love.’
Personally I’ll just say it’s ‘exceptional’. Having seen the show back in February 2015, it was everything I’d expected, and then some more. It blew me away on that night. Having been launched just the previous year, even I knew this show was destined for world audiences. And that it exactly what the show has seen in recent years: and about to see again as this year continues.
TitanicDance, if you haven’t heard of it, is an Irish Musical dance show based on the Titanic. It’s Irish music and Irish dance at it’s best!
Titanicdance tells a heart-gripping love story as the great ship makes its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. This epic tale is enacted by a cast of 24 of the world’s top Irish dancers and 6 of Ireland’s leading musicians, making Titanicdance an unmissable spectacular of live music, song and dance, along with amazing costumes and set design. Visually Titanicdance is something you’ll never have experienced before. The original choreography is sure to set your feet tapping and emotions running high as the story unfolds – you’re guaranteed to want more ad more.
Yesterday I was fortunate to catch up with James Keegan, Choreographer and Lead Dancer from the show. Hailing from Manchester with Irish parents, Keegan is full of steam for the forthcoming tour of TitanicDance.
Having seen the show and knowing the story I now wanted to know more about the preparations, and the changes, since the last tour. Keegan was only too eager to tell me all about the new technology, the new visuals and the top notch production that it now incorporates.
“This show really is so powerful and at such a professional level now. It’s the same show but the visuals are top notch. The technical and production end have developed so much from 2015. You’ll see a huge difference.” I’m certainly looking forward to these developments.
Keegan said, “in 2015 there was little on the set actually relating to the Titanic. Now we have a full set.”
Speaking of the actual show Keegan says, “TitanicDance is a journey. Like all journeys it’s exciting. The show takes us on the journey of the Titanic through music and dance. But it also takes us, the cast and crew, on a journey worldwide. We get to showcase the show to audiences around the world. So it’s exciting in so many ways.”
Both Keegan and Raymond Sweeney (Creative Director, Producer and Lead Dancer – and a Donegal man) danced for many years in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. How does this show differ to that, I asked James? “TitanicDance is more emotional than Lord of the Dance. Every inch of the show we have thought out and planned. This is our show and it’s very real. Everyone who comes to see it will experience the emotion.”
When I saw the show in 2015 I recall tears running down my face. I’d seen the film, I knew the story (or so I thought), but this was something which took me and the audience further into the Titanic experience. There is the love story, But there is the real, genuine emotions which were experienced on that fateful night. And as Keegan said, this really is ’emotional’. At that same show I had my mother with me, broken shoulder and all. To see her enjoy and appreciate this was very special. She was captivated at every dance, every song, every Titanic fact. As was every audience member.
On completion of the current UK tour, TitanicDance is then set to tour China once more. I asked Keegan how the China experience was last time with the show. “We were received amazingly in China. They really like and appreciate the Irish dance. They love the totally different spin we put on the dance. They love the characters, the song. They love it all. Whilst there last time, there was an Arts Festival taking place with lots of different styles of dance. It was an amazing experience.” China awaits once more for TitanicDance later in the year.
The Titanic story is famous worldwide. Has James Keegan learned anything new from the research carried out for this show? “I’ve learned so much that I wasn’t aware of. What stands out is the number of people who acutally died. We learned about the actual amount of time the people spent in the water. These details you will also learn throughout the show. Everyone leaves having learned something about this disaster. But yes we learned so much from researching it.”
Finally I wanted to know what the future holds for TitanicDance. “It’s unsinkable!!”, Keegan says. “The show is so utterly powerful and for now, it really is ‘full-steam ahead’. I’ll sail with that notion I do think.
TitanicDance runs at Millennium Forum Derry from Thursday 28th September to Saturday 30th September. Bookings can be made at the box office: 02871264455 or online at Forum tickets.
More details on the show can be found at TitanicDance.com
If it’s one dance show you see this year, do make it TitanicDance. This one is special.