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Tapping into the rhythms of Ireland

ORIGINATING from traditional Irish folk dances, Irish tap dancing has swept the world since it was brought to the stage in the 1980s. Nowadays it is one of the most popular dance forms ever, right up there with ballet and the tango.

The rows of dancers skip onto the stage, backs straight, arms linked and their feet traveling with impossible speed across the boards.

In the live shows their jigs and reels reflect the joy of life and constantly inspire audiences.

Shanghai audiences will still remember the thrill of watching "Riverdance" in 2003. Now another famous Irish tap dance show, "Celtic Legends," is due to set foot in Shanghai.

This will be the first time "Celtic Legends" has been seen in China. The troupe is on a world tour that includes Japan, South America and Australia.

The dancers performed their stunning show over 150 times last year all over the world enchanting more than 1 million fans.

Coming from the wild and beautiful hills of Connemara in Ireland back in 2002, "Celtic Legends" has moved from small beginnings to become a major international attraction. The show, bathed in the traditional culture of Irish music and dance, has now been seen in every corner of the globe.

The live music, dance and song of the show respect the culture and ancient history of Ireland but generate an electric atmosphere that sweeps audiences completely away to Eire, its culture, its land, its pubs, its music and its heart.

Traditional Irish instruments provide the distinctive rhythms and sounds throughout the show. The fiddle drives the frenetic reels, the great drum, the bodhran, beats out the driving rhythms of the band, the plaintive uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) harken back to days of yore with beautiful and haunting airs.

The musicians are some of the world's best with the passion for their art unmatched. The dancers have won countless championships and have toured with other Irish dance shows like "Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance."

But this show isn't just about the dancers - the musicianship is also truly breathtaking.

The world tour this year has invited Irish super singer Michael Londra to be the creative director and the guest vocalist for "Celtic Legend." Londra, a leader and driving force in Irish arts worldwide, is the lead voice in "Riverdance" on Broadway.

An international recording artist, Michael's strong tenor voice has played on some of the world's biggest stages from the Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The show's musical director is Liz Knowles, widely recognized as one of the best fiddle players in the world. She was the lead fiddler in "Riverdance" and "The Pirate Queen" on Broadway, has performed with the traditional band Cherish the Ladies, regularly plays with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and has recorded with Don Henley, Paula Cole and Ensemble Gallelei. Ger Hayes is the choreographer for the creative team.

Date: May 8-10, 7:15pm

Venue: Opera Hall of Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 180-880 yuan


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