Encore performances planned of 'Celtic Throne' Irish dance show at Edmond's Armstrong Auditorium
EDMOND – Additional dates have been added to the new production "Celtic Throne—The Royal Journey of Irish Dance" at Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S Bryant Road.
Fresh off tours of Branson, Missouri, and Rapid City, South Dakota, Armstrong Auditorium will host two encore performances of "Celtic Throne" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 18.
As previously reported, "Celtic Throne" is a new Irish dance production from Herbert W. Armstrong College and Armstrong Dance that boasts an original score from Golden Globe-nominated composer Brian Byrne ("Heartbeat of Home").
"It's very strange that there's an Irish dance troupe in the middle of Oklahoma ... and I'm an Irishman living in Oklahoma," Byrne told me in a recent interview.
"I loved the coincidence of that. I love the fact that I'm an honorary Oklahoman now, and I just thought it was so bizarre that there was an Irish dance troupe looking for Irish music in Oklahoma - and it worked out."
"Celtic Throne—The Royal Journey of Irish Dance" explores the ancient origins of Irish step dance and celebrates the millennia-long journey of a music- and dance-loving people as they migrate from the ancient Near East to Ireland, Scotland, England and the United States. "Celtic Throne" is Armstrong College’s largest production to date.
“'Celtic Throne' combines Byrne’s powerful, cinematic musical score with hard- and soft-shoe Irish dancing, all set against epic imagery of Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, scenes from the British Empire and traditional America. This show is a stonking celebration of the British Isles and the United States. It is guaranteed to leave audiences thrilled and inspired,” said co-director Brad Macdonald in a statement. “Bring the entire family for an unforgettable experience!”
Born in Ireland, Byrne is an award-winning film and television composer, songwriter and producer whose wife is lyricist Kasey Jones, a native Oklahoman. The couple lives in Purcell. Byrne composed music for Heartbeat of Home and has collaborated with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Bono, Barbara Streisand, Josh Groban, Sinead O’Connor, Kelly Clarkson, Sarah McLachlan and more.
He earned a Golden Globe nod for writing the music to the song "Lay Your Head Down" for the 2011 period drama "Albert Nobbs"; he shared the nomination with Glenn Close, who not only penned the lyrics but also garnered Golden Globe and Oscar nods for playing the lead role.
Although he is now a U.S. citizen, Byrne said he often get the chance to write Irish music.
"It just keeps coming back to me, kind of like the gift that keeps on giving. I'm a film composer and I'm a jazz musician and I produce records. I've written for Barbra Streisand and Kelly Clarkson, and I've worked with Pink and Katy Perry - a lot of people that are non-Irish. My film projects, some of them are from Ireland, but a lot of them are L.A. or U.K. But I keep getting asked to write Irish music," he said.
"When you're a film composer, you have to kind of be versatile depending on what the project is, but coming from Ireland, I've worked with traditional musicians all my life. I did my undergrad in Scotland and played with a ton of Scottish and Irish and Celtic musicians there. So, it's in my DNA, and I love doing it because it's such joyous music - even the sad music, there's a joy. There's something you get with the beautiful kind of melodic associations with Irish music. And I take writing it very seriously: I do my homework and study jigs and reels and trace the history."
The Armstrong Dance troupe is comprised of more than 30 Irish dancers from around the world, including Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States, ranging in age from 22 to 4 years old. The troupe is comprised of students from the Carey Academy in England and the Maguire Academy in America, some of whom have competed with great success in top Irish dance competitions, including Worlds, All Irelands, Great Britain and North American Nationals.
Tickets to "Celtic Throne—The Royal Journey of Irish Dance" range from $20 to $45 for adults and $15 for children 17 and younger, and reservations are required. For tickets, visit ArmstrongAuditorium.org or call 405-285-1010.
For more information, go to CelticThrone.