Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Dance and music extravaganza Heartbeat Of Home has returned to the UK for a special limited West End run until 13 October 2019.
“We are thrilled that Heartbeat of Home is heading to the West End this Autumn,” show director John McColgan said announcing the run earlier this year. “This is a show that fuses together Irish dance with flamenco, tap dancing, tango, salsa and hip hop. We want audiences to come out of the show energized and uplifted by this multicultural dance and music spectacle. We can’t wait to be back in London!”
Watch the official London teaser trailer below, and continue reading for all you need to know about Heartbeat of Home:
What is Heartbeat of Home?
From the producers of the world-renowned Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home propels the art-form into the contemporary sphere. Blending together various dance styles from around the world, it celebrates the spread of the Irish communities across the globe. A vibrant mixture of dance and music – with the gifted performers ever-firmly at the forefront – the high-octane dance action unfolds to transportive on-stage visuals and an ever-present live band.
Heartbeat Of Home welcomes performers to the stage for a modern take on traditional music and dance. It blends together Irish, Latin, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban and contemporary dance, accompanied by a live six-piece playing music by award-winning Irish composer Brian Byrne. All is surrounded by state of the art video projections.
The ensemble includes dancers from across the globe, including Ireland, the USA, Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, Argentina and Spain.
The show is produced by Moya Doherty, conceived and directed by John McColgan, with concept and lyrics by Irish writer Joseph O’Connor. Choreography comes from David Bolger.
Who stars in Heartbeat of Home?
Heartbeat of Home features a cast of 34, spread across the dancers, the band, and the particularly powerful vocals of stage performer Lauren Azania.
Irish dancers Bobby Hodges and Maggie Darlington lead the impressive array of performers, which includes a full Irish dance troupe alongside international dancers delivering the truly cross-cultural flavour of the show.
Ahead of the London run, Associate Director Padraic Moyles and dancers Bobby Hodges and Kayla Lomas-Kirton spoke to Ticketmaster about Heartbeat Of Home’s West End residency at London’s Piccadilly Theatre. Watch the interview below:
What can audiences expect from Heartbeat of Home?
Opening with a powerful monologue introducing the celebratory theme of the show, Heartbeat of Home immediately launches into an array of unquestionably impressive dance action. The initial traditional Irish choreography is quickly integrated with various international styles, not least the Latin influence of Pablo Egea and Rocio Montoya and the edgier street-dance of an exceptional trio.
Flanked by the consistently impressive live band – each of whom are offered their own moment in the spotlight – the dancers deliver with flawless enthusiasm. Individual moments are met with mesmerised murmurs from the audience, as bodies twist and turn around others. A brilliantly (and entirely deliberately) cheesy routine atop a skyscraper girder sits next to a poignant pairing of the show’s solo vocal performer Lauren Azania and the beautiful contortion of the international dancers.
Much like the ever-changing tone – from jubilant to thoughtful and back again – the setting morphs to match the on-stage action. Latin streets switch to Asian skylines, and soaring seafaring turns to the migration of Irish citizens across the United States in search of their manifest destiny. The story takes a step back to allow the dance to shine, but the thread of cultural togetherness pulls Heartbeat of Home together. It may be a simple message, but it’s one that seems ever-poignant in a volatile landscape.
But nothing can distract from the sheer ability of the performers on stage; the band and the dancers. Matching their skill with enthusiasm, the cast ensure Heartbeat of Home is not only for lovers of dance; those new to the art-form will find much to admire. It’s a true celebration of culture, of identity, and of the power of dance.
What are the critics saying?
“Incredibly enjoyable” ★★★★★ – Theatre Weekly
“An enthusiastic and energetic production from start to finish” ★★★★★ – LondonTheatre1
“You will leave the theatre wanting to join the troupe” ★★★★★ – London Theatre Reviews
“Beautiful, compelling and dazzling” ★★★★ –The Upcoming
“The performance was incredible” – Summer Monteys-Fullam
“Exuberant choreography” – Penny Smith
“Go see it. It’s amazing!” – Chizzy Akudolu
“A spectacular dance show” – West End Producer
Heartbeat of Home running time
Heartbeat of Home’s running time is 1 hour 50 minutes, including one interval.
Tickets for Heartbeat Of Home at London’s Picadilly Theatre are available through Ticketmaster.co.uk