QUICK JIG: Brent Pace takes to the stage for his production of A Taste of Ireland Christmas Spectacular.
QUICK JIG: Brent Pace takes to the stage for his production of A Taste of Ireland Christmas Spectacular. Contributed

Irish Christmas spirit takes to the stage

WHEN thinking about Irish dancing, visions of Riverdance immediately pop into mind but A Taste of Ireland is bringing the traditional dance to a whole new level ahead of Christmas.

Touring around the country, award-winning choreographer and lead principal Brent Pace has created a story that will resonate with many people separated from loved ones at Christmas time.

The story follows two Irish lovers forced to live worlds apart, with the male lead heading to Australia for work.

While longing for his true love, who remains in Ireland, Mr Pace's character learns to embrace the foreign Australian culture while remaining true to his Irish roots.

"He's faced with a lot and it's about him acclimatising to Australian culture,” Mr Pace said.

"He goes out for the night and is faced with a lot of temptations and the things he meets in Australia are completely different but his heart is still in Ireland.”

The show blends more traditional steps with contemporary dancing styles, which have been influenced through the cultural phenomenon of Lord of the Dance and Riverdance.

"Irish dance is made up of so many different facets, with light shoe and heavy shoe,” Mr Pace said.

"Since Lord of the Dance and Riverdance came around there's been a modern tap fusion type developing within itself.

"Within the show we highlight the many different aspects that Irish dance has created.

"Throughout the show we have traditional Ceili dance and melodic jig numbers.

"There's also an a cappella style where the boys dance to their own beat that they create.”

Mr Pace said the show features plenty of Christmas carols and will be fun for the entire family.

"When I created this show I really wanted to focus to be on something that a young family could come along and enjoy,” he said.

"Creating an Irish show is one thing but creating a Christmas show is a whole other ball game.

"Making something that you could have little girls who like seeing the ballet could come along and get the buzz.”

Mr Pace said he's enjoyed creating a show different to what many people have seen in the past.

"It's a variety show which has challenged me hugely because I'm used to just focusing on the dancing,” he said.

Show times

  • A Taste of Ireland will be performing at The Arts Centre Gold Coast on Tuesday, December 19
  • 07 5588 4000
  • www.theartscentregc. com.au


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