Tag Archives: Lord of the Dance

‘Riverdance’ (20 Years) Will Be In Manchester, NH For Just One Performance — Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

by Anura Guruge


riverdance

Click to access the event page at ‘SNHU Arena’, Manchester, New Hampshire.


Watch a clip of ‘Riverdance’
with original creator and lead dancer Michael Flatley.


As many of you know, I like most things Celtic.

I saw the original ‘Riverdance‘, in Boston, probably 20 years ago. It was definitely in that time frame.

Since then I have seen ‘Lord of the Dance‘ twice, the first time with Michael Flatley. I have seen a third show based on the first two whose name I can’t remember.

I have the ‘Riverdance’ DVD and have watched it a few times, not counting the PBS reruns.

I do like ‘Riverdance’ BUT if push came to shove would have to say I prefer ‘Lord of the Dance’.

I want to make sure that YOU don’t miss this. So, I am giving you a timely heads up. Tickets are available.

Enjoy.


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by Anura Guruge

Cambridge Christmas Revels 2016: “Acadian – Cajun Celebration” — Was OUTSTANDING!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.






Absolutely brilliant!

Bravo. Kudos & a HUGE Thank YOU.

Made MY Christmas. Feel rejuvenated — which is what these wonderful pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice are supposed to be all about.

Yes, of course, I am an unashamed sucker for Revels. There is a visceral connection — which is probably not surprising given my truly pagan blood. I love and savor all aspects of Revels. Of course, I get up and dance the “Lord of the Dance” — and let me please tell you, that doing “Lord of Dance” at the stunningly beautiful ‘Sanders Theatre’, with three real buglers bugling on the stairs, is like nothing anywhere else.

That said, I am also fussy about MY Revels. This was at least the 10th I have been to — and for the last 7 years or so we have gone to at least one Revels each Christmas. I know what I like, I know what works, I know what elements need to be there and I know when I am treated to a good performance.

And the Cambridge “Acadian – Cajun Celebrations” exceeded my expectations, and given that this is Cambridge, the ‘Revels Mothership‘ as I refer to them, I had, as ever, very high hopes. This was my third Cambridge Revels, the second in two years.

The music, the songs, the presentation, the costumes, the props were all truly marvelous. It was a good story and they told it well. I learned quite a bit.

The French songs were captivating. The fifth act, ‘La Rose au Bois‘ (The Rose in the Woods) was truly amazing.

The Sword Dance which incorporated some impressive tap-dancing was magical as was the Mummer’s Play.

And this year, for the first time ever, it was POLITICAL. This being ultra-liberal and superlatively educated Cambridge there were at least three digs at the President-Elect, one having to do with his small hands. They had Trump’s doctor starring in the Mummer’s Play and that was appreciated by all. But, the most telling was when David Coffin, the M.C., stressed at the start that the Hallmark ‘Dona Nobis Pacem‘, the Peace blessing, was more important this year than ever before.

Overall it was a BLAST. Loved it. Bought the CD and it got player, in its entirety, twice before we got home (around 12:40am in the morning).

The Cambridge show is on for a few more days. Try and catch it if you can.

Welcome YULE.

Merry Christmas.


Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2016 tickets.
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Pictures.

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by Anura Guruge


‘The Trocks’ Truly Rocks The Hopkins Center Audience Last Night. The Laughter & Applause Was Non-Stop. An Amazing Tour de Force.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Hop50red

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by
Anura Guruge


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1.Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’ June 29 – 30, 2013 
>>May 28, 2013.

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All the pictures of the dancers from their Website at http://www.trockadero.org/. Click on any of the pictures to ENLARGE.




The spoofs on the fabricated, way-over-the-top, Russian names was a work of art in its own right. The ‘Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers’ of NPR “Car Talk” would be very jealous since these names made their efforts look insipid.


The Hop did it again. They set some very high expectations and then went onto exceed them with effortless elan. To say that they hit it way out of the ballpark with ‘The Trocks‘ wouldn’t even come close to capturing the unqualified success of last night’s performance.

I have not heard this much laughter from an audience since the last time I saw “Noises Off” – and that is considered one of the funniest comedies to hit the stage. We saw “The Producers” on Broadway a few years ago and this show sure had the audience in much more mirth than that clever comedy. There was this palpable, electric, kind of staticky, ‘rustle’ from the crowd right through the 2(+) hour performance – an energy you only feel at a show when the whole audience, as one, is totally captivated, sitting on the edge of their seats.

During the first intermission I heard a lady call it ‘hysterical’. At the end, an older gentleman sitting in front of us, stood up and shouted out ‘Thank You‘. During the ‘Swan Lake‘ act the lady behind us shouted out ‘Bravo‘, on average, every 90 seconds! And you can’t blame her for her unstinted joy and appreciation. This was a show that delighted one at multiple levels.

It was an astonishing creative synergistic mashup of above average classic ballet, farce, clever choreography, pantomime, pinpoint timing and incisive (insider) parody.

It was very clever and ever so entertaining. That they did, for their encore, a very convincing rendition of ‘Lord of the Dance‘ from Riverdance was just icing on the cake. The audience erupted in awe and appreciation. I have seen Riverdance (at least twice) and Michael Flatley in ‘Lord of the Dance‘ (in Vegas). This was up there. I know that Michael would have joined us in leaping to his feet to applaud.


'The Trocks' doing the Riverdance from over a year ago. They did not use a fogging machine last night (which was talked about in the post show discussion). They were much better last night than what you see here. Trust me, as Brit (and adopted Scot), I know my celtic dancing. Click to access YouTube video.

‘The Trocks’ doing the Riverdance from over a year ago. They did not use a fogging machine last night (which was talked about in the post show discussion). They were much better last night than what you see here. Trust me, as Brit (and adopted Scot), I know my celtic dancing. Click to access YouTube video.


The kids loved it. On the way home, my 12 year old instructed me that I had to give it a GOOD writeup. I hope I am meeting her request.

Deanna, who is a much harsher critic than I am, was beyond delighted. She loved it. Raved about it. I know she wants to see them again.

If you got to see them at The Hop this weekend you must know that you were privileged to be a part of something very special. If you didn’t get to see them try and catch another of their shows – but they are performing overseas for much of the rest of 2013. Lets hope that The Hop gets them back next year.

We stayed after the show for the post-performance discussion with the Artistic Director, Tory Dobrin. He was very personable and impressive. I asked the first question: ‘had they ever done Nutcracker and would they consider doing it in the future‘ (and I promise there was no double entendre in that question, though Deanna always assume that I am trying to be ‘cute’). The answers was that I wasn’t the first to have asked about the Nutcracker and no they have never done it and don’t plan to do it. He then went onto explain why. It has to do with his belief in ‘karma‘. The Nutcracker is a Christmas show and as such is only done during December. Since ‘every’ local community seems to have a production of the show, a ‘Trocks’ production would eat into these sales and they don’t want to do that. I can appreciate that.

Learned some interesting things from him. Only 40% of the 14 to 16 performers are from the U.S. They do not have any corporate sponsors or get any grants! So they survive entirely on monies made from performances (though I notice that they do seek donations on their Website). Since the non-U.S. dancers can’t collect U.S. unemployment they try to do as many performances a year as they can — and that means around 120 shows a year.


The post-performance discussion with Tory Dobrin who was an ex-dancer (and you could tell). Not sure who the young lady was. She was good. But, she never told us who she was. This is one of the rare shortcomings at The Hop. They can be remiss in introducing people. Click to ENLARGE.




Christmas Revels 2012 (An Irish Celebration), Dartmouth, NH: A Stupendous Success. Bravo! Thank YOU.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


Related post:
[Do a blog ‘Search‘ for ‘Revels‘ for the many others >>>>]:

§  Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets …Aug. 15, 2012.


Revels postcard 2012


The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.

The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.


Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

To say that yesterday’s ‘An Irish Celebration‘ Christmas Revels at Dartmouth, NH, ‘warmed the cockles of my heart‘ (as the expression goes) would be a lie. It did much, much more. They ‘toasted my cockles‘! It truly was heart warming, as befits its premise of helping people overcome the shortest day of the year, i.e., the Winter Solstice, and thereby herald in the new Yule. This was an inspired multidisciplinary performance that encompassed song, dance, storytelling and narration. It made your spirits soar; made you appreciate the genius of life. I always feel privileged to attend ‘Revels’. I wish more people could attend. I am sure that the world, given what transpired in Connecticut on Friday, would be a better place if more people experienced the joy of Revels.

Yes, as a confirmed lover of the Winter Solstice I am a captive audience for the Christmas Revels. The whole theme of driving away the shortest day and looking forward to progressively longer days is one dear to me. ‘December 21‘ (or thereabouts), the Winter Solstice, the shortest day, is my favorite day of the year. To me it signifies that we have turned the corner and that Summer is on the way. I sulk on the Summer Solstice and try to explain to others that ‘June 21’ is a day of sadness. The Summer Solstice is about the coming of Winter! Starting on that day, though it is only perceived by the cognoscenti, days start getting shorter — even though at first it will only be a few seconds a day. But, nonetheless, it is the beginning of the slippery slope that takes us into the dark days of Winter. But, as the Revels testify, each year, come the Winter Solstice we reach the other side. Rejoice. Days are getting longer. Summer is on the way.

As always the cast was gifted, motivated and interactive. They really want us to have a good time, to savor the moment, contemplate life, and get the best from the holidays. That said, it is hard to ignore that among all these talented folks there are some who are exceptional, beyond exceptional. Their prowess excels. They have me, a person devoid of talent, in awe. Yes, I have done standup presentations in front of 900 people, but all I was doing was talking. These people sing, they dance, they act. They are so gifted. Bravo. Among those that really stood out, you have Danielle Cohen, Jennifer Culley Curtin, Will Thomas Rowan, Josiah Proietti and the Irish bag pipe player. [I was so glad that they got it right.] The Irish dancing was good, though much of it was done by lovely ladies who were no longer teenagers. So, though I have seen ‘River Dance‘ (in Boston) and ‘Lord of the Dance‘ (in Vegas and Portland, ME), I would rate these ladies as entertaining as any I have seen. Also kudos to the two Morris Dancers. They were outstanding. Bravo. Bravo. The Irish dancers were sporting an interesting innovation that Deanna spotted. They wore wireless microphones on their shoes (the transmitters strapped to their thighs). I have been told that this was a suggestion by Kieran Jordan, one of the dancers, and was implemented by the ever resourceful and gifted Revels creative team. Very clever. Very smart. Always a joy.

As always they had lots of kids. This year, with the tragedy in CT so close, there was special, magical meaning to seeing these kids. In one scene they all appeared, dressed in white, standing at the top railing of the ship. Wow. I didn’t count, but I guess there were between 20 and 30. Roughly the number of kids we lost in CT. Seeing these kids made you appreciate life. Why we have a duty to protect these kids.

I bought the ‘accompanying’ CD — though it was not exactly the soundtrack from this show and was done by the folks in Cambridge rather than Dartmouth.

Three songs from yesterday’s Revels really made a mark, though I was familiar with one of them — not counting ‘All Around My Hat‘. So what I did is get YouTube versions of these songs. So, these were not exactly as performed at Revels, but variants by others.


Song 12 at Revels, 'Colcannon' by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

Song 12 at Revels, ‘Colcannon’ by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

'An Poc Ar Buile' (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

‘An Poc Ar Buile’ (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

'Deck the Halls' in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

‘Deck the Halls’ in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

Kate Middleton, The Princess And Her Hats With Maddy Prior & ‘All Around My Hat’

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


LAST related post (do a blog ‘Search’ for the others >>>>):
  Kate Middleton (Future Queen): Latest Pictures, Prank Call, …
>>Dec. 6, 2012.

  Kate Middleton Pictures — The Link … — Sept. 16, 2012.


Click to listen to Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span signing "All Around My Hat" while the lovely Kate swaps hats.

Click to listen to Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span signing “All Around My Hat” while the lovely Kate swaps hats.


We just got back from ‘Revels‘ at Dartmouth. Stupendous. Heart warming. Deanna was bopping and she doesn’t bop to much these days. So it had to have been good. Kids liked it. I got up, as usual, and did the ‘Lord of the Dance‘ line dance with the cast and the brave souls from the audience. Always fun. Given its Irish setting I was familiar with many of the songs. I was delighted to see that 14th song was ‘All Around My Hat‘ an old English ballad. It used to be one of my favorite songs, introduced to me by a group that I used to be fanatical about during most of my 20s: the incomparable, electric-folk ‘Steeleye Span‘. I first saw them, in London, kind of by accident, when I was about 17. I thought they were the cat’s whiskers. Over the next 12 or 13 years I followed them, making sure to see them in concert at least once a year. I am sure there were years when I saw them 3 or 4 times in one year, maybe even twice in a month. I thought that their lead singer Maddy Prior was the most amazing lady, ever. In the early 70s, while attending University in Swansea I learned to ‘cook’ (push) ISO 400 Kodachrome and expose it as ISO 1600 just to take pictures of her (many of them up her skirt because I would be standing below her while she was twirling, her trademark long skirt swirling, on stage). I think I had over 300 pictures of her. Anyway, to me, nobody can do ‘All Around My Hat‘ as well as Maddy. Period. The three gentleman who did it today did a gallant job, doing it in the traditional way. It was good, but were nowhere even close to Maddy in the 1970s — and I have heard her sing it live at least 20 times. So I went looking for Maddy on YouTube. Found this. It is the ultimate blend. Maddy’s voice with Kate’s pictures. I wanted to share ‘All Around My Hat‘ with you, and this seems like the perfect way to do it.