Celtic dance show is electrifying

By Ilona Hanne

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Take some electrifying modern Irish Dance and combine it with mind-blowing magic and some grand illusions, put it all live on stage and you have Celtic Illusion, the original dance and magical illusion sensation which has already taken Australian audiences by storm.

Now its the turn of New Zealand audiences to be impressed, amazed, wowed and kept on the edge of their seats throughout this incredible show as it tours the country this month.

With just one show in Taranaki, tickets to the performance on Tuesday, November 15 at the TSB Showplace are selling fast.

Stratford Press managing editor ILONA HANNE caught up with Anthony Street, lead dancer and also the director and executive producer.

The show is described as being a combination of music and dance. Can you tell us a little more about that?

It does sound like a bit of a bizarre combination really, but once you see it, it actually works really well.

The magic is all about illusion and sleight of hand. You won't see me chopping a girl in half but you will see me make a dance disappear. What I love about the mix of dance and magic is it means the show offers something for everyone. You may come for the magic, but you'll be blown away by the dancing, and vice versa.

How did you end up with the idea of combining the two types of show?

When I was little, I was really into magic. David Copperfield was my idol, and so from a young age, I wanted my own magic and illusion show.

Then, when I was 14, my grandmother had recorded Michael Flatley's show, Riverdance, on a VHS tape and I just loved it. I watched it until the tape wore out! I fell in love with Irish Dancing and wanted to learn. My grandmother found classes for me in our town and signed me up. From that point on, I had the dream of having my own Irish dancing show and Michael Flatley became another idol of mine.

Your grandmother must be pretty proud that she started you off.

She's definitely my number one fan, but more importantly, she is my biggest support and is as passionate about this show as I am. In fact, she comes on tour with us and will be there selling the merchandise. I reckon she is the busiest Nana in the world! Many years ago she saw a psychic who told her she would go into business with her grandson. At the time we thought nothing of it. It is only recently we realised - hang on, we ARE in business together!

What do you personally love about this show?

The music is absolutely beautiful. It's composed by Angela Little, who worked with Baz Lurhman, and she did an amazing score for the show. Lots of people tell us how much they loved the music after they have seen the show. Then my favourite part of the show, where I dance with the female lead. I dance in a light shoe, as opposed to a heavy shoe. In Irish dancing, the men don't often dance in the light show, they stay in the heavy ones used for tap. I think it makes the piece quite special.

Finally, there is the simple fact that I am on stage, doing what I love with great artists all around me.

I still can't quite believe that just a few short years ago I had just started learning Irish dancing, and from there I ended up dancing in Lord of the Dance and now on to having my own show, it's just incredible. Celtic Illusion. TSB Showplace, Tuesday, November 15 at 8pm. Tickets available through Ticketek.

- Stratford Press

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