Sunday 18 March 2018

Lovely hurling – spirit of the nation set to take flight

Laura Butler

Laura Butler

THE choreographer of 'Heartbeat of Home' has credited his on-stage mentor Michael Flatley for his own creative success.

John Carey is the man behind the routines for the 29 dancers taking part in John McColgan and Moya Doherty's new stage phenomenon.

Having performed as Flatley's understudy in 'Lord of the Dance' before taking over the lead role for two years, Carey told the Irish Independent he learnt the tricks of the trade from Flatley.

"There was a lot of pressure choreographing this," said Carey, who started dancing at the age of seven in Birmingham's Doherty Academy.

"We obviously want to keep the elements of 'Riverdance' that everyone loved, and people expect it to be as good or of a similar vein, but an updated version with a fusion of different cultures.


Flamenco dancer Rocio Montoya and support at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin.
Flamenco dancer Rocio Montoya and support at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin.

"We have Afro-Cuban, Latin-American and Flamenco in this show, as well as the traditional Irish-style dance.

"It's about sticking to tradition, but adding a modern flavour."

Neither Flatley nor Jean Butler will be attending the world premiere of 'Heartbeat of Home' next week at Dublin's Bord Gais Energy Theatre, but Carey admitted he hopes Flatley will see the production "at some stage".

'Heartbeat of Home' will set out on a tour of China and North America following its Irish run and over 25 producers from cities as far as Melbourne will fly in for the opening night on Wednesday, October 7, with a view to buying the extravaganza.

"It's a mood piece that is representing Ireland in the 21st Century, we're digging deep to show that our culture has been maintained," said Moya Doherty.

Novelist Joseph O'Connor has written the narrative for the show and he told this newspaper that after 20 years working in isolation, it was an "intimidating" experience putting together the lyrics.

"It was both intimidating and wonderful for me to get the chance to be involved in this, it's a big-scale project and to see it showcased on a global scale is fantastic," O'Connor said.

"Our culture is what is left in the wreckage from the economic recession and all the corruption that went with it."

Irish Independent

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