Meet Aisling Sage!
Aisling joined us in Mexico as our newest violinist, and she absolutely *nailed* it. With very little rehearsal time, the pressure was on her to come in and throw down, and that's exactly what she did. I watched her onstage during her first Lord of the Dance performance; she looked like she'd been doing it a million years. Absolute pro.
Her backstory is fascinating too. When you're touring on the road -- spending hours on the Lordbus, at the airport, or backstage at a venue -- you get time to chat with someone. She started playing the violin when she was six, beginning with classical violin and shortly afterwards moving into traditional Irish music with Ballinspittle Comhaltas Branch. She competed in both genres for years and won many prizes, including a high achievers award for exceptional results in a classical violin exam. Aisling went on to complete all of her ABRSM exams, with distinctions in all.
Are you starting to get the sense that she's a typical Team Lord overachiever? Because she is.
In Cork's Coláiste Stiofán Naofa, she studied music *and* management, where she achieved the top result in her year. And during this time, she also made her debut on saxophone, playing with many bands in different venues.
(Seriously, have you ever tried to play a violin? I tried when I was a kid, and it sounded like a prehistoric marsupial being tortured. Meanwhile, Aisling can rock the violin and decided to pick up another instrument *for fun.* Oh, and now she's also currently learning the Uilleann pipes between tours. Like, what?)
It gets better. Aisling then attended the Cork School of Music to study a BMus with classical violin as her main instrument. After a year, she deferred the rest of her degree to move to Orlando, Florida to be a Raglan Road fiddle player in Disneyworld.
This takes some serious courage. You have to have not only enormous talent but self-belief to move to another country and work in one of the great live entertainment epicenters of the western world.
She did this for two *years.*
After Disney, she moved home and took up the life of a touring musician -- which is when she got the offer to join Team Lord. As it turns out, that was her lifelong ambition. This really is yet another Follow Your Dream story!
If there's one blatant common theme to all of the backstories in this troupe, it's this: they're *all* overachievers. And something about Lord of the Dance attracts overachievers. I personally believe it's the ethos of the brand: because this is an incredibly high-octane show that *celebrates* the individual instead of rendering the individual anonymous, and it's a show that pulls the highest level of performance from the most talented performers in this genre, it's an experience that appeals to those people who stare at the tallest mountain and grin at the thought of conquering that challenge.
Tonight, Aisling takes the stage with our resident violin dervish, Giada Cunningham. It's a sold-out arena here in Vienna, and we've got our livestreaming broadcast kit with us once again. It's going to be amazing watching the entire building clapping along and partying as Giada and Aisling blow the roof off the place. Because the simple truth is this:
Lord of the Dance is back.