Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Atlantic Steps in Pasadena Feb. 2

ATLANTIC STEPS -- Ireland’s oldest dance form brought to America in thrilling fashion-- comesto California this February

Extraordinary 27-year old dancer Brian Cunningham leads a cast of 10, bringing sean-nós dance to the world stage with a dazzling display of style, skill, and athleticism
"The Michael Flatley of sean-nós dance"  RTÉ Television 
JRA Fine Arts
Fri Feb. 1- Torrance, CA -Torrance Cultural Arts Center     8:00pm

Sat Feb. 2 - Pasadena, CA -Beckman Auditorium - Caltech    8:00pm

Fri Feb. 8 -Santa Clarita, CA    -PAC at College of the Canyons

From the beautiful, rugged Irish coastal region of Connemara, 27-year-old Brian Cunningham is bringing one of Ireland’s oldest dance forms to the world stage with Atlantic Steps.  "Awe-inspiring and spine-tingling," raves About Mayo (Local News from the West of Ireland).

Atlantic Steps is the inspiring epic story of Ireland’s sean-nós (old style) dance, portrayed through the vibrant music, song, and dance of the West of Ireland. Centered around the joyful dancing and unbridled energy of extraordinary Irish dancer Brian Cunningham, the show is moving festival and theater audiences to their feet, bringing sean-nós dance to its rightful place on the world stage.

The Chieftains' Matt Molloy says, "Brian's enthusiasm, exuberance and good nature exudes...this refreshing performance should be enjoyed by all."

Brian leads a formidable 10-member cast of dancers and musicians. Kieran Jordan, one of Irish-America's hottest talents, began dancing at age five, and has been a major figure in the sean-nós (pronounced shawn-nos)revival in the US. The musicians include some of Ireland's top traditional artists including the great Séamus Begley of County Kerry on accordion andOisín Mac Diarmada of the group Teada, one of Ireland's premiere fiddlers today, all playing the robust, rhythmic, and highly-melodic tunes of Connemara and the West of Ireland.

One of many forms of Irish dance, sean-nós dance is an informal and spontaneous art form, traditionally performed solo. Unlike the better known Irish step-dancing (Riverdance), sean-nós dance is characterized by its "low to the ground" footwork, free movement of the arms, and improvisation. Creating a percussive music of its own, sean-nós can be seen in such American forms as clogging, hoofing, and soft shoe tap dancing.
Brian Cunningham is one of the most exciting sean-nós dancers to have emerged from Ireland in years, and has won all the major dance competitions in Ireland. What began as a pastime for him and his siblings was handed down by their grandparents as a tradition from the days of house dances. Through his involvement with shows such as Fuaim Chonamara and now Atlantic Steps, he is playing a hugely important role in reviving one of Ireland's oldest dance forms and transforming it into a wonderful display of dance style, skill and athleticism. 
Atlantic Steps is an international touring adaptation of the phenomenally successful Irish show Fuaim Chonamara, which featured Brian and his siblings.  Having performed alongside Irish greats including Dé Danann, The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Dervish & Téada, Brian brought his dancing talents to headline the high profile Volvo Ocean Race spectacular in Galway during 2009. When 20,000 people danced the night away at Galway’s docklands within striking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, Brian was convinced of the worldwide potential of the sean-nós (old style) dance.

Brian Cunningham
Kieran Jordan
Kevin Doyle
Ayan Hall
Jackie O'Riley
Alice Ann Robinson
Séamus Begley (accordion)
Oisín Mac Diarmada (fiddle)
Sean Gavin (pipes, flute)
Pat Doocey (guitar)


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