The Legend of the Knight at the Celtic Cafe


Ceol Chiarrai Productions, already highly regarded for their touring shows To Dance on the Moon and Spirit of Ireland, are at it again! "Legend of the Night" is a new Irish dance "children's show," with music and songs by Eric Cunningham, and the story and production devised by Bryan Carr. The twenty All-Ireland and World champion dancers range in age from 7 to 16, and the production will likely be performed only during school holiday time.

The show is comprised of 20 dancers from the famed Nolan School of Dancing in Limerick. The choreography is by the Nolan family (Rose and Tony are the parents of former Lord of the Dance Lords Cian and Daire) and Legend of the Knight is sure to delight all those lucky Irish dance fans in Taiwan when it tours there from the 6th of August to September 1st. (See Related Links at the bottom of the page.)

Legend of the Knight brings to life the many wonderful stories that have been handed down from parent to child for centuries past and for centuries to come in the green and mystical land of Ireland. The premiere on home soil will be in Killarney on September 8th, 2002, at the National Events Centre.

Click here for some biographical information -- with more to be added shortly.

 

THE STORY

We find ourselves listening to the sound of a lone flute. An old man's voice can be heard telling us his story. This is the story of The Legend of the Knight, about a young boy called Mawn. His only wish is to be a knight. Along with his best friend Cormac they continuously pretend to be Knights, guarding their own Settlement. He also has set his eyes on Emer and wishes to one day marry her. But Ireland, his island home, is in turmoil. The Murrough have made their way across the seas from Ghal and have pillaged and plundered Mawn's homeland. The most dangerous of them all is their fearless leader Morann, who possesses evil powers of sorcery.

The Inevitable happens and the Murrough attacks Mawn's peaceful settlement. Mawn must act now if he is to save his people. He defents his settlement from the Murrough and guards off Morann. Morann looks dejected but during the battle he has set about to steal Emer from Mawn. Mawn is helpless to reach Emer as Morann has cast a spell and the Murrough disappear taking Emer with them.

Mawn, along with his friend Cormac, bid farewell to their settlement and set out on a journey to find the Murrough and win back Emer. As they enter the enchanted forest they get a sense that they are being followed closely. To their delight they find four Fairies dancing about them, who sprinkle stardust on Mawn and Cormac and bestow upon Mawn the gift of wisdom.

Mawn and Cormac lie down to sleep, but Mawn's sleep is disturbed. Morann appears as if in a dream with Emer. Again Mawn tries to reach Emer, but to no avail. Morann draws his sword and brings it crashing down on Mawn - Cormac shakes Mawn out of a hellish nightmare that he was having as he slept.

Further on their journey they encounter the Shadow Giant but Mawn slays the Giant with his sword while stirring music helps his plight.

As they near a Castle on the hills of Rathowen they hear merriment and laughter coming from inside its walls. A beautiful, haunting song fills the air and Mawn bounds into the banqueting hall to great applause as now the news of his deeds and bravery have travelled throughout Ireland. A great banquet ensues but Morann has cast his evil powers again and has appeared at the banquet under the guise of Emer. To great delight Mawn "sees" his love and they dance together. Suddenly with a flash of light Emer is replaced by Morann and in an instant vanishes leaving Mawn once again searching for his love and ever adding to the legend of the Knight.

Haunting Irish music opens the continuing story of Mawn and his adventures. Since leaving the Castle in his search for Emer, Mawn has lost Cormac. As he delves deeper and deeper into the unknown, in the stillness of night while calling out for Cormac, he finds himself in the centre of a Witches' Cauldron; he is surrounded by several witches who are beating out a constant and spellbinding rhythm. He attempts to escape but cannot move. Soon he realises that these witches wish to help him and they in turn bring Cormac back to Mawn. Before sending the boys on their way, the Witches entice Mawn to drink a strength potion. At first he is hesitant but agrees and drinks heartily. Immediately he is full of boundless strength and rushes off to find Morann.

Back on their travels again, the two boys come to the shores of Lough Erris. They rest a while to take some water and agai,n as if in a dream, Mawn's mother appears to the boys and tells of the story behind the troubled Swans. For these swans were once the children of Lir, who was a Celtic god and the father of the sea god Manannan.Their stepmother had cast a spell on them and turned them into swans to wander the lakes and seas of Ireland for 900 years.The Swans hear their mournful lament and out of the mist they appear and lay about Mawn's mother.

As the song ends, Mawn's mother disappears and the swans rise and dance about the boys. The boys join in and at once they are full of happiness, but in return Mawn can also see the hurt and pain in the swans' eyes and he knows why. As they continue to dance, the group are joined by even more swans and the wondrous Swan dance continues. As the boys take their leave the Swans give to Mawn as gratitude the gift of 900 years of Knowledge.

Across Lake Erris and at the other end of the enchanted forest, Morann, along with his two goons and Emer are moving ever closer to the hill at Tara where they will lie in wait for Mawn. However Morann first sets about to win Emer over by playing a silly game with his two goons. He beckons her to dance and commands his goons to mimic her. At first she is reluctant but joins in and begins to laugh and enjoy herself and once again she comes under Morann's spell.

Mawn knows that there is only one more power he needs to fight Morann. They journey to the Land of Skatha (Shadows). Like before in the Castle at Rathowen, music that is fast and pure beckons them to Skatha, for there waiting for them is the woman-warrior named Skatha and her band of female warriors. Skatha already knows what Mawn is looking for and passes to him the power of fastest feet. Mawn and Cormac are treated to a spectacle in the strength and power of feet that Skatha and her companions posses. Mawn is now ready to face Morann. Skatha bids Mawn and Cormac to take some rest and gain as much strength as possible. As the group settle down for the night one of Skatha's guards sings a sleep lullaby.

As dawn breaks over the plains of Tara, Mawn and Cormac come face to face with Morann his goons and Emer, who is put under a spell. The Duel commences slowly Mawn gets the better of Morann. However Morann has other ideas and now the Goons also attack Mawn. Cormac up until this event has faltered when faced with danger and evil.. .until now. He jumps in and together Mawn and Cormac fight and fight until Morann and his Goons are defeated.

Suddenly out of the mist a hooded figure appears, a god-like creature. Mawn and Cormac are not sure if is it more danger and evil. From beneath his cloak this figure draws a magical Sword and with one wave banishes Morann and the Murrough people for all eternity. Another wave and Emer awakens from her spell and falls into the arms of Mawn. Mawn's mother appears and they are all together once again.

This old man now beckons Mawn to kneel and as he places the sword on Mawn's left and right shoulder, the voice of the old man is heard once again. While we hear the voice we see the old man hand Mawn the sword, and we see now that this old man and this young boy are really one and the same person. With a heavy heart Mawn stands alone and watches the old man disappear into the mist… the voice continues and tells of how his life unfolded after that and how his name and all he had done to save his land from evil were whispered to children around a fire on cold wintry nights, passed on from generation to generation. As Mawn thrusts the air with the sword and the lights go out, the voice fades off by explaining that the story that was passed from generation to generation was about the legend of the Knight.

With great gusto and excitement the company dance with merriment and joy as they await the arrival of their Knight Mawn and his Lady Emer for the crowning finale dance. Cormac too has found a new love, and when Mawn and Emer enter, the complete ensemble dance with joy and happiness -- leaving us in the knowledge that all is well once again in the world. A gallant Knight has defeated evil.

Story - Mr. Bryan Carr
copyright 2002 Ceol Chiarrai

Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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