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‘Heartbeat of Home’ thrills audiences with cross-cultural dance extravaganza

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Heartbeat of Home

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If you love Riverdance, “Heartbeat of Home” is all that and more. Following its World Premiere engagement and a sold out run in Ireland and China, the troupe is now appearing at the Fisher Theatre courtesy of Broadway In Detroit. After an exclusive interview with featured Irish dancer Jason O’Neill, we couldn’t wait to see this new program. It’s amazing.

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If you aren’t Irish and don’t get what all the fuss is about – here’s your big chance to be blown away by a performance that is simply breathtaking. Yes, it features Irish dancing and traditional Celtic music. But for “Heartbeat of Home,” that’s just where things start to heat up.

This show features dynamic components of traditional Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban music and dance. The fusion of these forms is remarkable. Even though the cultures and dance forms are distinctive, there is a shared athleticism – a challenge to make the impossible look easy – that pulls these dancers together in a vibrant, living mosaic.

The show doesn’t have a “story” in the dramatic sense. But the overall theme that pieces these colorful numbers together is one fundamental to all people – the yearning for home – whether that is defined as a country, a patch of earth, a shared culture, or simply those we love most dearly.

There is no sufficient way to describe how incredible these dancers are. All of them. Their technical proficiency and sheer gymnastic flamboyance brought a steady stream of gasps from the audience. And the elegance, beauty and wit of the different numbers played out as a constant source of delight – accompanied by music that ranges from primitive to other-worldly.

The world-class cast of 37 includes a ten-piece band that could be touring on their own merit. Everyone in the band seems to play multiple instruments and millions of styles. (And if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll even dance for you at the end of the evening.) Their cross-cultural, electrifying sound was written by award-winning, Golden-Globe-nominated, composer Brian Byrne. The joyous, heart-stopping, foot-stomping, and high-energy production also features high-definition, cutting-edge projection technology.

Produced by Moya Doherty, conceived and directed by John McColgan with lyrics and narrative by award-winning Irish writer Joseph O’Connor, “Heartbeat of Home” showcases world-class dancers from Ireland, USA, Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, Mexico and Spain and choreography by David Bolger.

The “Heartbeat of Home creative team also includes John Carey (Irish Dance Choreography), Alan Farquharson (Set Design), David Torpey/Image Now (Projection Design), Monica Ennis and Niamh O’Connor (Costumes Styling), Peter Canning (Lighting Design), Ciaran Byrne (Sound Design) and Padraic Moyles (Assistant Director).

Catch “Heartbeat of Home” while it’s in our hometown. The show appears at the Fisher Theatre through March 23, 2014. Tickets range from $35 to $85 and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online or at the Fisher Theatre box office. “Heartbeat of Home” performances take place Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with Thursday and Sunday matinees at 1 p.m., and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. The Fisher Theatre is located at 3011 West Grand Blvd., in Detroit and free parking in the adjacent structure is included in the price of the ticket.

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