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Friday, Nov. 24, 2006


Celtic thunder in step with modern

Trinity Irish Dance Company's monthlong tour of Japan draws to a close on Nov. 28, 29 and 30 in Tokyo before a final date in Hamamatsu City on Dec. 1.

News photo
Trinity Irish Dance Company's tour of Japan ends Dec. 1.

In addition to performing a mixture of modern and classic dances from its recent repertoire, the quick-footed troupe will perform "The Black Rose," inspired loosely by taiko drum rhythms, and "The Mist," a relatively new piece in the company's repertoire in which the dancers come to resemble human sculptures.

Inspired by ancient Celtic myths and innovative modern dance techniques, the productions of the company's Artistic Director Mark Howard have more in common with ballet or modern dance than blockbuster hits such as Michael Flatley's "Riverdance."

Howard, born in England to Irish parents and raised in Chicago, is also the founder of the Windy City-based Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, which provides most of the company with its 22 members, aged in their late teens and early twenties. Not all the members have an Irish-American background -- in the past, some have come from as far afield as Eastern Europe. This diversity has no doubt helped the company incorporate a variety of elements, from jazz to tap.

Trinity Irish Dance Company performs Nov. 28-29 (7 p.m.) and 30 (2 p.m., 7 p.m.) at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo. Tickets are 6,000-10,000 yen yen (tel. [03-5721-4621). It then performs at Actcity Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture on Dec. 1 (7 p.m.). Tickets are 5,500-8,500 yen yen (tel. [054] 261-7011).

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