By: Alison Silveira
The music and dance spectacular, Heartbeat of Home, had its North American premier in January and the audience was very receptive to it. Conceived by the producers behind Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home features Irish, Latin, and Afro-Cuban dancers and musicians that rock the stage with their immense talent. From the very first dramatic toe tap, you will be drawn into a mesmerizing theatrical dream voyage.
World-class performers take you on a perilous, yet exhilarating journey as they travel through time and space over sea and through the desert. Different cultures are explored and Irish dancing is fused with Afro-Cuban and Latin styles. The mélange of converging styles may seem incongruent, but the brilliant choreography by David Bolger and John Carey blend them beautifully in an utterly seamless fashion.
The Irish dancers are strong and are masters of their craft, each dancing in perfect unison. Displaying their athleticism, they leap on and off the stage in a graceful manner. Featured Irish dancer, Bobby Hodges possesses pure star quality and strength in the effortless way he dominates the stage. The iconic photograph of New York City construction workers sitting atop a girder with no safety harnesses is brought to life. The Irish hard shoe performers precariously dance on the edge of the girder. Each one tries to outdo the other, which provides for great comic relief.
Universal themes of love, heartbreak, and separation are explored through song and dance. Flamenco dancer, Rocio Montoya, dances with pure passion, poise, and intensity that will leave you breathless. Lead vocal soloist, Lucia Evans has a melodic and powerful voice, which adds emotional richness. The enthusiastic orchestra deserves to be recognized, as they are onstage with the dancers from beginning to end. The entertaining musicians display energetic showmanship and encourage lively audience participation.
Heartbeat of Home is a visual spectacle that will take you on an epic journey you will never forget!
Produced by Moya Doherty
Conceived and directed by John McClogan
Composed by Brian Byrne
Lyrics by Joseph O'Connor
Choreography by David Bolger and John Carey
Heartbeat of Home plays at the Ed Mirvish Theatre until March 2, 2014.
Photos: © Heartbeat of Home