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Celtic Nights come to Jorgensen

By Cole von Richthofen
On March 6, 2013


Those who have seen professional step dancing will recall its hypnotic qualities. This Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., the traditional art form is coming to the Jorgensen stage, in the form of "Celtic Nights: The Emigrants Bridge." 

Irish stepdancing, a style rooted in traditional Irish dance, is distinguishable by a stiff upper body and fast, intricate footwork. Ever since the Irish step dancing act Riverdance received a standing ovation at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, step dancing has been of particular high regard on the world stage. This style is thought to have originated from people dancing on unhinged doors, which provided a steady and hard, albeit small, stage. 

Comprising six vocalists alongside six international dancers and two musicians, the cabaret cast aims to deliver a two-hour showcase of beautiful music and, of course, Irish culture. Celtic Nights is a musical performance with a storyline, which aims to capture the hopes, dreams, struggles and loves of the Celtic people who immigrated to the New World. 

According to the show's official website, Celtic Nights will communicate a "journey of a people leaving and arriving, their lives spent in a world of ships, trains and planes, coaches and horses, on foot ... searching for a place better than Ireland or half as good." In doing so, the cast hopes to highlight Irish influences on what became known as American music, including bluegrass, Appalachian, country and the songs of the Civil War.

 Many Irish classic favorites, including but not limited to "Danny Boy," "Isle of Hope" and "My Love is in America" will be performed, as well as several songs in Irish. All of the singers and dancers, a dozen in all, are highly accomplished in their field.

Tickets to the shows are $20 for UConn students and range from $39 to $59 for non-students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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