The Magic Of The Dance
ROSARIA SGUEGLIA (Youth Editorial Group) talks to Cardiffian Peter Harding, star and artistic director of The Magic Of The Dance, which is celebrating its tenth world tour anniversary and is at the New Theatre in August.
Tell us a bit about the show
This is a typical love story set in Dublin at the beginning of the 20th Century. A boy meets a girl, they fall in love. Unfortunately they are separated by the demons of deprivation and starvation that are threatening Ireland.
It's a typical love story played by remarkable dancers. Are there different dancing styles?
Here we have traditional Irish dancing combined with modern. It’s faster, more complex than what you have ever seen before, it’s challenging and hard, but also very enjoyable. It’s great.
I think I read something about Irish Dancing being “an expressive dance” that allows artists to express feelings and moods, entering an intimate dialogue with the music. Is that what we can expect from the show?
Yes, it is not just dancing, there are performance elements as well. It is different.
Having been the artistic director since 2005, do you also look after the performance elements?
Basically I looked after the show, artistically. I make sure that everything works well, that all the costumes and lights are collected and I help with the choreography; I have to make sure that we all are following the same line.
We know you are also a fabulous dancer, you joined the Riverdance company when you were only 17. What made you decide that what you wanted to do with your life was dance?
I have always wanted to dance, even when I was very young. When I was three or something I knew I wanted to dance, I don’t know why. My parents sent me to tap lessons first and then when I was 10 they sent me to the Irish Dance School because my grandfather was Irish.
In 2002 you joined the Magic Of The Dance. What has made you stay in the same company for so long?
After Riverside I ended up in Broadway. And then somebody asked me to join The Magic Of The Dance, and when I did everything was so exciting and the steps were so energetic. I absolutely loved it, so I started as a core role, then lead and then artistic director. I think I also like the continuous changing and evolving of this show: there are always new members, different venues etc.
So many international venues too. Why do you think the Magic Of The Dance has reached a terrific worldwide consent?
I think because it’s a smaller show that offers different styles of dance and that intrigues people. Also there’s always ‘show,‘ there are lots of pyrotechnical effects and it is very interesting.
I am sure Welsh people will be very impressed. Being from Llanishen, what is it like to play in Cardiff?
It is terrific to play in Cardiff again. Being Welsh I love to entertain my people.
Finally, after Cardiff where are you going next?
After Cardiff we complete the UK tour. We go to Worthing, Eastbourne and our last show in the UK is going to be in Canterbury, but then we are going to Barcelona, Holland, Germany and onwards.