Cork Midsummer Festival
Cork Independent, 22nd June 2012
The Cork Midsummer Festival opened last night on a real high with an exquisite dance and music hybrid show incorporating Irish traditional music and modern contemporary dance.
‘Rian’ takes its title from Liam Ó Maonlaí's 2005 solo album, which in Irish means ‘mark’ or ‘trace’. The show by the acclaimed company Fabulous Beast received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Cork Opera House.
The music, which moved from sean nós singing, jigs and reels to African rhythms was written and performed by Liam Ó Maonlaí and five musicians, while the eight dancers hailed from all over the world.
Together with choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan they created a wonderful, joyful experience which mixed narrative and physical theatre, with dance and song. The show climaxed with an encore that featured audience members dancing on the stage alongside dancers and musicians.
Ó Maonlaí’s album ‘Rian’ was inspired by Seán Ó Riada’s legendary recording, ‘Ó Riada sa Gaiety’ and this production combines ‘Rian’ as part of a live score with new material.
Brian Hayes Curtin, Cork Independent