Celtic Spring, the Irish step dance and fiddle group that reached the finals of the first season of “America’s Got Talent,” bring their reverberating foot beats and high intensity performance to the Ford’s Big!World! Fun! Family Series. The 8-member Wood family of six children ages 8 to 23 and their parents present, “An Earthquake of Irish Dance” at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 15. This season’s family events are inspired by the four elements – earth, air, fire, water - and crafts and science-based fun begin at 9:00 a.m.
Celtic Spring's performances have taken the band around the United States, Canada and Europe. While immersed in traditional music, the band has developed its own style and a repertoire that includes numerous original compositions. A depth of expression is evident in their stunning arrangements - from haunting airs to hard-driving dance tunes. In recent years, Celtic Spring has added expressive vocals and the rhythmic octave mandolin.
Aside from their mastery of performance, the Wood siblings are responsible for the creation of most of the content of their performances. Compositions by the two eldest of the Wood siblings (Elizabeth, 23, and Deirdre, 21) will punctuate their Big!World!Fun! performance, emphasizing the family’s beautiful original choreography and providing a foundation for solos by each of the six siblings.
Mary Wood’s grandparents were from Ireland and passed Irish culture on to her and her siblings. She and her husband Greg did the same thing. Elizabeth began violin and step dance at the age of 4. A defining element of Celtic Spring is the members’ dual expertise in music and dance. The Wood siblings are champion Irish dancers, and have been influenced by French Canadian and Cape Breton step dancing styles. The siblings have studied under some of the finest fiddlers today, including Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes and Liz Carroll.
Other members of the family are Sean (19 -octave mandolin, fiddle, step dance, octave fiddle), Patrick (17 -octave fiddle, fiddle, step dance), Maire (13 -fiddle, step dance), Aidan (8 -step dance, fiddle) and dad Greg [bodhran (Irish traditional drum), percussion]. Mary Wood plays keyboards.
Admission to all events is FREE for children and $5 for adults, plus all Big!World!Fun! attendees receive coupons for discount admission to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Parking is only $1. To reserve/purchase tickets, call the Ford box office at 323 461-3673 or visit www.FordTheatres.org.
Big!World!Fun! family events are hour-long performances designed for children ages 4 to 10 and their parents and grandparents. The series continues with Helios Dance Theater’s sea voyage, “The Lotus Eaters” (August 22); and Hula Halau Ka Lehua Uluwehi I Ka Lani demonstrating the graceful, expressive elements of hula in “Hawaiian Breezes” (August 29).
The Big!World!Fun! Family Series is sponsored by The Nissan Foundation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation and Macy’s and presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation.
The media sponsor of Big!World!Fun! is ABC7.