A Celtic celebration


JUST a spring and a skip away, lovers of Irish dancing will be entertained with the touring Celtica, in Invercargill on Sunday.

Under the direction of choreographer and lead performer Anthony Street, Celtica: A New Era of Irish Heritage will be performed by a group of 15.

The second-to-last stop on the tour, the group of mostly Kiwi dancers will perform at the Civic Theatre.

Street said it was exciting to be in New Zealand for the third time.

The group started the South Island leg of the tour in Blenheim on Tuesday.

“So far, so good with five shows left.”

The last time he was in New Zealand was for his illusion and dance show, Celtic Illusion, which toured twice.

“This show, Celtica, is a rendition of Celtic Illusion. We’ve taken the magic out and we’re focusing on the skill and talent of the performers.”

Spectators could expect variety.

“It’s a high-energy, fast-paced contemporary Irish dance show… I’ve raised the bar by incorporating elements of other dance styles like contemporary and jazz.”

He said it was also influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson, and, of course, Michael Flatley.

“It’s not your average, typical traditional show. It’s quite modern.”

With only three of the group being from outside New Zealand, that skill had been largely sourced from across the country.

People watching the show had been surprised to learn they were mainly Kiwis, he said.

“When we tell them they are local, they are quite shocked.

“They’re all quite proud as well, it’s an exciting moment for local talent to be touring right now, especially during a worldwide pandemic.”

He said Irish dancing was popular in New Zealand, but there was a very small community.

“Everyone knows everyone, we’ve got a lot of the champion dancers that are here and well-known.”

Invercargill had been on his touring list for the past few visits, and he was looking forward to returning.

While he normally concluded his visits in the city, this tour would end in Dunedin.

Tickets can be bought from the Ticketek website.