Radio City Music Hall
Backstage Interview with Colin Dunne, Lead Dancer and Producer
Present: Julie O’Laughlin, Artist Liason
Saturday; March 11th, 2000
Interviewed by: Marcia Bitting and Caitlín Reinold
Photos courtesy of Dancing On Dangerous Ground website
Colin, what prompted you to do the show based on this particular story and when did that come about?
Colin Dunne (CD): I’ve visualized doing a dance piece for some time, of course being busy with Riverdance, I put it in the back of my mind. When time came for me to leave, I left the show in June of 1998, I welcomed the time to reflect and think. Jean (Butler) and I kept in touch (Jean left RD in 1996) and it was during one of our phone calls that she said that she wanted to do a show …"Let’s do a show!" So I said, yes.
We wanted to do a love story. The problem was finding a story to do a show around. I wanted to keep it Irish, but without the usual leprechauns and fairies kind of thing. Friends and colleagues kept steering us towards Irish Mythology...The Fiannaiocht thus the story of Diarmuid and Grania came about.
I’ve always wanted to do something around a bar scene, I’ve visualized it…something very modern, but with a very Irish dance base as well as a wedding scene. (Both of which are presently included in DODG as: Meeting in a Late-Night Bar and At The Wedding of Finn and Grania)
What made you decide on Solas to do the music?
CD: Seamus, myself and Jean have been friends for a long time. It was during one of our conversations, in a restaurant in Ireland, that I told him about the show we were planning. Right away, Seamus said, "I’ll do it, let ME do it!" (Colin laughed) So we accepted. We had gotten some demos from other people and groups, but having been familiar with Seamus’ work up until that time…we went to Seamus.
Did Seamus and Solas collaborate with you on the music or did they have total freedom at composing?
CD: Yes, Seamus did it. We did meet and worked closely together mostly to achieve the proper tone of the pieces…they did it all.
What changes have been made since the London opening?
CD: Maire Clerkin (Dance Associate in the show) helped tremendously with dance expression as well as our drama coach, Caroline Hadley (Assistant to the Director) and, of course, there’s Jeremy Sturt, our FABULOUS Director!
Julie O’Laughlin added that there have been some set changes also, such as the omission of one of the floating stage floors, thus making the show easier to transport and aid to the setup in most other venues. The lighting too is brighter, but without losing the effect.
What is the next stop after Canada? Is Germany, Japan, Australia on the tour schedule?
CD: Yes, most definitely.
Julie O’Laughlin: We don’t have the exact dates as of yet. We will go westward across Canada, then down the West Coast to South America…back up across US to Europe. Not all venues have been confirmed.
CD: I would very much like to end our eighteen-month tour in Dublin, Ireland.
Will there be a CD or Video available?
CD: Most definitely! The video is still in the post-production stages.
Julie O’Laughlin: We took quite a bit of film shooting in London.
Have you visited your website…read the comments on the message board?
CD: Not personally since we’ve not had time, but the staff has kept us up to date with printouts. On that, I DO have to say, and please let them know this, how much we appreciate all the good wishes and support, that they, the fans…those that have seen the show, have shown and expressed to us…they’ve kept us going! It’s meant a great deal to us. Thank you!
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Last updated on October 24, 2000