What is it about Irish music that makes you just want to get up and dance?
No Surrender is a relatively new addition to Lord of the Dance, introduced in 2014 with Dangerous Games. Like Siamsa before it, it's a feel-good party piece with no leads in it; essentially, for a few minutes, we press the pause button on the plot and let rip with some lighthearted, high-octane Irish dance.
It's also the one number in the show where the dancers have quite a bit of freedom; while the choreographed hardshoe rhythm patterns are the same, if you look closely at what's happening further upstage -- especially if you've seen the show multiple times -- you'll notice that no two No Surrender performances are exactly the same.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, No Surrender is a favorite with the fans as well as the troupe. And why not? It's a number that just screams FUN. For a show as dramaturgically intense as Dangerous Games -- a show that focuses very heavily on the theme of a dream becoming a nightmare -- it's important to show what Planet Ireland is all about, and thus why it's worth fighting for.
Filmed live onstage by Katrina Costello as she performed it, this is an incredibly fun romp through pure joy. It's not uncommon to hear the audience clapping along, or to see people dancing in their chairs (or even the aisles themselves). Lord of the Dance is designed to uplift spirits, inspire, and fill people with happiness; if we achieve that, then we've done our jobs.