Dance of Desire

James Hay Theatre, Christchurch

03/04/2010 - 03/04/2010

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

22/04/2010 - 22/04/2010

Production Details


The new All-Irish production DANCE OF DESIRE. is coming to NZ as part of an extensive world tour.

Produced by Michael Carr of Ceol Chiarrai Productions Dublin, this new show is described as “edgy, somewhat more adventurous than past Irish Dance shows, and full of “A” level championship performers”.

Over the past year the show has played in Paris, New York, Beijing, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and a record seven month season in Australia. After their end of year break back home, the cast will re-commence their world tour in New Zealand with the first performance in Hamilton March 10th 2010.

Covering 13 New Zealand cities, DANCE OF DESIRE boasts a huge cast of 22 dancers and celtic musicians, plus a specialist light, sound and stage crew of 10.

DANCE OF DESIRE is described by critics as stunning and amazing. The high voltage, guaranteed all-Irish production challenges the boundaries of other Irish dance productions and has uniquely elevated the world of Irish dance to a new level.

Complete with entirely original music and choreography, from the makers of ‘Spirit of Ireland’ & ‘Dance on the Moon’, Ceol Chiarraí Productions Ltd ground breaking production DANCE OF DESIRE Special prices will be available for Dance schools, Family Groups and Senior Citizens. Michael Carr says “we are very proud of this, our finest ever show. Despite the state of the world economic climate, we have succeeded in presenting a world class performance within the price range of the average New Zealander – and for a production of this quality, that’s something.”

ITINERARYApril 2010                                                                                        Bookings
Easter Sat 3               CHRISTCHURCHJames Hay Theatre        Ticketek
Tues 6                         TIMARU Theatre Royal                                Ticketek/Merlins
Wed 7                          DUNEDIN Regent Theatre                         Ticket Direct
Fri 9                             INVERCARGILL Civic Theatre                    Ticket Direct
Sun 11                         OAMARU Opera House                              Ticket Direct
Tue 13                         NELSON Trafalgar Centre                          Ticketek
Thurs 15                      NEW PLYMOUTH TSB Theatre                 Ticketek
Sat 17                          WELLINGTON Opera House                      Ticketek
Sun 18                         PALMERSTON NTH Regent Theatre        Ticket Direct
Tues 20                       NAPIER Municipal Theatre                          Ticket Direct
Thurs 22                      AUCKLAND Bruce Mason Centre              Ticketmaster
Fri 23                           HAMILTON Founders Theatre                     Ticketek
is undoubtedly unique in its imaginative design.

Dance of Desire is a show with everything: colour and light, wonderful original music, clever dramatic content, and incredible dancing that truly pushes the boundaries of choreography and fuses Irish dance seamlessly with Flamenco, Latin American, Middle Eastern, ballet and ballroom styles, with a few acrobatics thrown in. Added to the dazzling dance content and a strongly portrayed storyline, Dance of Desire also has a unique soundtrack composed entirely of original music.

Dance of Desire takes the traditional Irish Celtic myth of the Children of Lir and gives it a treatment reminiscent of the Kirov Ballet’s approach to Swan Lake, turning it into a tale with a happy ending.


All-encompassing globalised mix of old with new

Review by Natalie Dowd 23rd Apr 2010

The acclaimed Irish show Dance of Desire originated in Dublin in 2001, and tours internationally. Mixing a plethora of dance genres, original music, light, and a colourful array of costumes, the cast of twenty two tell an ancient Celtic tale. This is the second to last performance in New Zealand, which perhaps explains the absence of programmes.
The narration (in a non Irish accent) at the beginning of each half sets the scene in the absence of printed information and the enthusiastic and versatile dancers and musicians do a great job of telling the story of primal passion and emotion.
This show pushes far beyond the boundaries of its predecessors in a minimalist setting of a throne surrounded by four pillars lit and emblazoned with Celtic symbolism. A blend of Contemporary, Ballroom and Latin, Flamenco and Folk and Hip hop complete with body rolls, meld with the more traditional Irish dance. There’s even a bit of ballet, Britney, Beyoncé breaking, and lots of belly (bare midriffs) with the inclusion of Middle Eastern dance.
It is, for the most part, a successful fusion. The choreography is surprising at times due to the inclusion of many genres, but becomes predictable and pedestrian in parts and not consistent with the WOW factor. This is particularly evident in the scene where King Lir’s children become ethereal creatures. I feel as though I am in Swan Lake minus the technique or real rudiments of ballet.
Definite exceptions are the solos and duets when Bandi Krem takes the stage. Krem’s charisma is immediately apparent and he has a rare dynamism that makes him every inch the impish goblin; lithe, cunning, and humorous. Masked and crowned with a spiky green head piece he shows star quality throughout.
Marie Lynch also gives a technically strong and passionate performance as Aoife, King Lir’s jealous wife, alongside her often sexily-clad entourage. 
I imagine the provocative hips – sexy Latin and current dance vernacular used to convey sassy bad girl attitude – being hugely popular with a younger audience. This audience, with its older demographic, becomes most appreciative of the strong and technically secure unison sections that are more traditionally based. They rollick along clapping in time, particularly when the male dancers bring their vigour and potency to the mix. The male spear dance in combats is a definite favourite, and in stark contrast to the feminine mystique. Overall, the cast seem most comfortable and confident when in step: tapping, clicking and leaping Irish style. 
There are an impressive number of costume changes with slick transitions throughout and the lighting complements the colourful array of simple yet effective and often sassy outfits. Thankfully the sound is adjusted in the second half, making the beats sound less strident. It is somewhat disconcerting to hear an audience member nearby comment that there “were more beats in the music than what the feet were making.”
Dance of Desire is an interesting reflection of how dance can be all encompassing, in this case, reflecting the globalisation of people and culture, as well as mixing old with new. Dance battles have come a long way from the crossroads and the evening ceilidh of old, and in this work have an added sense of drama and pathos as the story unfolds.
Expect to be entertained, there’s something in Dance of Desire for everyone.
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Heartily appreciated

Review by Kerri Fitzgerald 05th Apr 2010

This young, vibrant company bursts on to the stage to deliver an entertaining and accessible piece of dance theatre using traditional Irish dance refreshingly fused with other genres. An ancient Celtic legend is retold in the manner of a narrative ballet but uses – in addition to dance – a singer, some voice over narration, and also live instrumentalists in two of the sections.

 As the curtain rises we are presented with a large throne and some colourful drops that set the scene for the fateful desires about to be unleashed. 

In ancient times, when love affairs and great battles were almost a daily occurrence, King Lir (solemnly and elegantly danced by Christopher McSorley) remarries the evil Queen Aoife (beautifully portrayed by Marie Lynch – a stand out dancer of skill and panache). A great battle between good and evil is unleashed as the king seeks to protect his beloved children from his jealous new wife. Guards and cohorts dance with each of the protagonists in a series of pieces making full use of the dramatic possibilities in the narrative.

Queen Aoife’s accomplices are a sultry group who move with seductive guile using a sexy blend of Irish dance, some contemporary moves, and dance ideas from other genres such as salsa. They are accurate in their footwork and the use of additional arm moves gives their dancing a fresh and invigorating freedom. They strut, swish and execute the traditional Irish toe tapping with ease. At times this reviewer found the choreography was predictable. It could be even more contemporized allowing the dancers an extended and imaginative range of movements.

The men are effective in their strong and passionate chorus work. Their dancing is characterized with high, quick kicks, seemingly effortless jumps and great precision of footwork. A couple of slips revealed the difficulty for dancers both in the execution of such movement and in changing floors and venues frequently. Floor microphones enable the rhythms to be heard easily and could be unforgiving if any major inaccuracies occurred.

The Goblin (danced endearingly by Zoltan Papp) expresses his heartfelt desires using a range of pantomimic gestures with integrity. As the story unfolds, his role becomes more central as the King exerts his authority again until finally good is restored to this ancient kingdom.

Although at times this pastiche seems a bit contrived, the mainly older audience gave a hearty, appreciative response. For those with Celtic blood flowing in their veins and a passion for dance, this is worth the trip. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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