Reviewed by Louise Watts
When you think of Irish dancing, what springs to mind? For me it is fantastic footwork, quick steps and beautiful Irish music. What certainly does not spring into my mind is bagpipes and cowboy hats! However, that is exactly what I had the pleasure of watching last night.
Myself and a friend attended “Spirit of the Dance” at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. We had seen other Irish dancing performances so were very excited about this one. Spirit of the Dance is Irish in origin and produces an amazing display of Irish dancing steps combined with other styles of dance, such as Scottish and Flamenco dancing.
If I had ever imagined Irish dancing being incorporated into Flamenco dancing, I would never have been able to see it working, however last night it did. I have no idea how it worked, but it worked! I believe the reason it was so successful is down to the incredible choreography, perfectly chosen music and the outstanding dancing talent.
The show opened with an incredible introduction to the world of the “Spirit of the Dance” and had an amazing dancer on pointe dancing beautiful ballet steps. Along with this talent, she also had an absolutely angelic voice as she sang and introduced the audience to the show. From that moment, the audience were captured into this fantasy world of dance. We witnessed Irish dance steps combined with Scottish dancing, Flamenco dancing, Bollywood and Street dance and also Barn dancing! The variety of the dances was immense and the skill and footwork was out of this world. How on earth all those feet on stage manage to move in complete synchrony is beyond me. It was absolutely beautiful to watch, a true piece of art.
As if it wasn’t enough to provide us with this huge amount of energetic footwork, we were dazzled every time a new dance commenced with an outstanding array of costumes. I would love to see the state of the floor behind the stage as there can only have been enough time to throw the outgoing costumes to the floor ready to enter the stage again wearing something completely different! The costumes took the dances to the next level – absolutely stunning! The set was simple but pretty with a beautiful curtain containing different coloured lights. It set the atmosphere and ambience for all the various style of dance.
My personal favourite was the Cancan performed to precision and beautifully choreographed. After watching all this amazing footwork, we were then shown that it is not only their feet they have precision over. What followed was sheer brilliance. A fast-paced hand clapping dance with everyone sitting on stage participating. How they remembered all the steps I will never know!
All in all, we had an absolutely wonderful, enjoyable evening having our eyes opened to the world of Irish dancing and its flexibility. A jaw dropping dance masterpiece!!!
Tickets cost from £22 to £35 (booking fees may apply).
Spirit of the Dance is at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford from 11-16 September 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit orchardtheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01322 220000.
The Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1ED | 01322 220000