Dance allows communication between cultures: Riverdance troupe member

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/6/10 7:26:02

Dance is a universal language and a way of communicating between cultures, former member of the Riverdance company Shane McAvinchey said in an interview with Xinhua.

McAvinchey, who toured with Riverdance between 2000 and 2004 and was part of its flying squad for another five years, was in Spain's northeastern city of Barcelona teaching a workshop at the Nuala Irish Dancers School.

"It's a cross cultural learning from each other and all forms of dance are a great way to communicate," he said.

Riverdance itself shows how different cultures can interact through dancing as apart from Irish dancing, it also includes flamenco, Russian folk dancing and US tap dancing.

McAvinchey explained that you can dance in any language and it is not just about learning the steps but also learning about the music, culture, history and other aspects related to the country, in this case Ireland.

He co-directs with Riverdance alumni Paula Goulding the Irish Dance Festival to be held in Carlingford Aug. 6 to 13.

McAvinchey visited China as part of the Riverdance flying squad and performed at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in 2009. The show, which this year celebrated its 30th anniversary, has become the most watched television show in the world bringing together every year more than 700 million viewers.

"We did not really know how big it was and they told us it was live," he recalled. "That was amazing -- there was about 30 dancers that went over, we did two days of rehearsals to get it perfect, everything had to be perfect."

Irish dance is taught in China today, but McAvinchey especially remembers an anecdote during a visit to Shanghai: "A girl named Ariel Wang came to our show, who taught Irish dance at a school for the blind. We went to see her students at the Shanghai School for the Blind which was a humbling experience."

Are dancers born or made? "Both," he said, "It happens that people are born with a natural talent but at the same time it takes work and anybody can work to do it," he added.

Posted in: DANCE

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