Local dancers star in NAFCo world premiere at Forum


It was the poet W.B. Yeats who asked, “How can we separate the dancer from the dance”?

One of the questions the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention will be posing is - how can we separate the dancer from the music.

It’s not clear if such a division is either possible or desirable but The Millennium Forum is the venue where you just might find out.

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention presents an evening entitled Fiddle & Feet and it really promises to be a unique evening of entertainment with different dancers and dance styles from various parts of the world, including former Riverdance lead Breandan de Gallai with a new piece receiving its world premiere on the night.

Breandan has choreographed this piece mindful of Derry’s huge interest in Irish dance and conscious of the fact that the city has produced so many champions. The new piece will feature twenty eight young dancers drawn from Irish dance schools from both An Comhdháil and An Comisiúin. These include dancers from the Coyle, Cullen, Dunne, Evans, Guthrie, Harkin, Hegarty, Heraghty, McLaughlin, McNelis and Cunningham schools along with dancers from Scoil Rince McConomy-Bradley, Scoil Rince Naomh Colmcille, St. Patrick’s School and also from the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster.

Breandan de Gallai’s new commission has been made possible by the support of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion Traditional Arts Project Award.

If you remember the truly spectacular dancers that were the highlight of Norway’s Eurovision song contest win of two years ago you will be recalling the dancers from the now internationally famous Frikar Dance Company. Frikar members will be onstage in the Forum with some of their gravity defying dance from Norway known as Halling.

It’s a style of dance that some people say has influenced Hip Hop dancing but the fact is it’s an old dance form from Norway.

There will be dancers and musicians from Quebec in Canada with an exciting percussive form of music and movement.

Elegant couple dancing from Sweden, and from Donegal will offer contract and similarities and from the depths of west Kerry comes Seamus Begley and the West Kerry Set Dancers to raise the dust form the floor of the Forum.

The fiddle trio from Donegal, Fidil, will combine with Swedish fiddle players and dancers to explore some common links between Scandinavian rhythms and music from closer to home. Dancing to Fidil’s music with be Ann Connaghan and Connie McKElvey from Glenties

Another commissioned piece on the night will be a 20 minute composition by Chris Stout, the fiddle player from Shetland entitled Sail/Seol and receiving its world premiere at NAFCo.

Chris has assembled a star studded band to perform the new piece that includes Zoe Conway, Nollaig Ni Chathasaigh, Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Catriona MacKay, Joe Csibi among others.

Set dancing, solo dancing, lilting, couple dancing, acrobatic high kicking from Norway, joie de vivre from Quebec and a surprise or two from Scotland and Ireland is promised at the Fiddle & Feet concert on Thursday 28th in the Millennium Forum. It looks set to be one of the NAFCo highlights.