Ipswich: Got To Dance winners bring debut show to Regent
- Credit: Archant
Ex-Pussycat Dolls singer Kimberly Wyatt claimed they were “on another level”, now Sky One Got To Dance winners Prodijig are getting ready to take you to another world.
Feature-length dance debut Footstorm is a love story spanning two worlds; a story of men and monsters, good versus evil and plenty of twists and turns along the way promises choreographer and group leader Alan Kenefick.
Prodijig - Alan, Ciara McGillan, Andy O Reilly, Darren Casey, Dane McKiernan, Christina Havlin and Bobby Hodges - fuse Irish dancing with more modern moves, determined to bring Irish dance into the 21st Century.
Each is a leading competitor in their own right and between them have won every Irish dancing competition, including North American, Great British, All Ireland and World championships; played the lead in shows including Lord of the Dance, Rhythm of the Dance, Riverdance and Celtic Tiger and performed around the world.
“It’s incredibly dramatic, it’s got something for everyone I think... sad moments that may bring a tear to someone’s eye, funny moments, amazing projections on screen, acrobats, it’s just crazy,” says Alan, one of the fastest tappers in the world.
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The lead dancer in Riverdance for more than five years, it was his idea to form Prodijig.
“Doing the same show eight times a week sometimes, I wanted to try something new. As far as Irish dancing, I think I’d gone as far as I possibly could so I used to always work on my own material backstage, rent out a studio to practice on my own. I thought I’d ask six of the best dancers I knew to give it a go because I saw Got To Dance was coming up.
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“We went for the audition, got a standing ovation and everything changed since then pretty much. We all left River Dance, gave up our jobs, moved in together in Belfast and went for it - it was just pure creation and a really exciting time for us.”
Turning down a trip to America to perform on the Ellen show to continue work on Footstorm, translating a minute-and-a-half TV performance into a 90-minute show - especially without exhausting themselves - wasn’t easy.
“The first thing we decided was we’re going to need more dancers, but the biggest thing was I had to write a storyline instead of (performing) mindless dance after mindless dance.
“To see the story unfold every day, seeing people doing something I wrote on my own with a cup of coffee is an incredible thing to see.
“It’s a very dramatic theatrical show about a guy’s journey as he goes through a portal into another world... there are these demon-like creatures and there’s a tribe that lives on the outskirts of this land and they dance almost in their own unique style like Proijig. Basically he meets and falls in love with one of the tribe and helps them rise up and fight off these creatures that have taken over their land.”
Driven to do something different from what you see in other Irish dance shows, every number proved a new challenge.
“We’re really stripping down the dancing, creating a new style and it’s really exciting. We’re trying to appeal to everyone... on Got To Dance, I never thought of myself as a choreographer, I was just someone trying out. We only did three dance numbers in total on Got To Dance but now there’s like 20 in this show and they’re longer and there’re so many styles in the show,” says Alan.
“We have our own music.... I was in London for months working it with a musical director, it’s like a movie unfolding in front of you.
“I want to make sure every number grips you, there’s never a moment where anyone’s bored. I want to make sure everyone’s enthralled by the storyline and fall in love with these characters and hate the evil ones... people won’t have seen anything like it before.”
Footstorm comes to the Ipswich Regent on May 11.