I wrote an entry about this Irish song and dance phenomena Titanicdance a few days ago. Now, Producer, Creative Director and Lead Dancer Raymond Sweeney, took time to answer this interview. I am currently
listening to the soundtrack while transcribing our online conversation. You have to see this show. This is the best thing that happened to the stage since Riverdance and Celtic Tiger. Please don’t forget to visit their Indiegogo campaign and hopefull take part as one of the show’s backers. This is music and dance arrange in a way that will captivate both young and old fans of Celtic music.
1. Hi Raymond, you are from Donegal which is known as a place that gave birth to global artists.What’s the story behind Titanicdance?
It was in 2012 on the 100th year anniversary of the tragic events of the Titanic that I came up with the idea to do the show. Creating my own production was something I always dreamed of doing so I got a team together and started choreographing the show with Louise Hayden & James Keegan in a little prefab in my dad’s work yard. It took many long hours of hard work, determination and a lot of patience but it was all worth it as the end result exceeded our expectations.
2. You joined Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance at 16. What were the challenges of being in a big and famous troupe at a young age?
Being from a small village in Donegal and heading into the unknown was exciting but scary at such a young age. It was a huge challenge trying to meet the standard required for such a large production and as well as the dancing there was a lot to learn about performing on stage. The other thing I found challenging was being away from home at such a young age and getting used to my new independence. It was a great experience.
3. I think Titanicdance will strike a universal chord as the story (Titanic) itself is still a phenomenal success brought about by books and of course Hollywood.
This is so true and is the reason why we think we have something special.
4. What’s the training ritual of your dancers before a big event?
Well it takes many weeks/months preparing for a big show as first and foremost fitness is very important as well as learning routines etc.. The choreography of Titanicdance is of a very high standard and therefore plenty of training is required to get it perfect for show time.
5. How do you handle the responsibilities of leading 30 top Irish dancers?
I’m fortunate enough to have the experience of being a cast member and touring in a big dance production for over 15 years and therefore I know how to find the right balance to treat cast members in a firm but fair way in order to get the best results. I have a lot of friends that I have work along side and toured with previously and that are now in my cast, now being Creative Director and having to direct them and call the shots isn’t always easy but I do it in a manor that they still so me respect.
6. How is it like working with producer David McLaughlin? You must be great pals right now.
David and the whole team have been great. Everyone really believes in this production and works endlessly to make sure it will become a huge success. I have a great relationship with David and it is growing stronger and stronger..!!
7. What do you hope to achieve this Titanicdance?
I hope to achieve everything possible with Titanicdance. It’s always been my dream to have a touring show and I am so honored to be in the position I’m in at the moment and I will continue to strive to meet my goals because I believe this show can be a huge success.
8. Your message to the readers?