We did it! Thanks to you, the OG Troupe's #DanceForHope fundraiser raised 102% of its target goal. So, as a reward, here's a little something special.
Raise your hand if you love the original 1996 Lord of the Dance video.
...Wow, that's a lot of hands that just went up.
Now -- raise your hand if you would've loved to have seen more behind-the-scenes stories from the legendary journey of the OG Troupe.
...Blimey, that's still a lot of hands.
Isn't it amazing how there's so little information out there about that first journey? Today we take the flow of information for granted -- especially over the course of this last year, when we've livestreamed the whole experience backstage and cut performance videos *literally on the road* while touring. Every single night, you can interact, live, with members of the *amazing* current troupe. It's an astonishing time to be a #LordOfTheDance fan.
But back in 1996? Social media didn't exist. MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube were all nearly a decade away. The only way to get any information about the show was on the Lord of the Dance website's Visitors' Book, where fans could share reports of live performances they'd attended. Some of the hardcore fans, such as Ann Keller and James Stevens (as well as the author of this ongoing production journal) used to meticulously compile press appearances across multiple continents and physically mail VHS tapes to each other.
In general, though, the one massive gap that's been missing from the Lord of the Dance canon is the story of the OG Troupe's journey, told by the troupe members themselves. That journey is frankly legendary: a threadbare show on a tiny budget, created and choreographed by a man who literally bankrupted himself to prove a point as an artist, with the finest Irish dancers in the world pushed beyond any limits anyone had imagined. The *authenticity* of it was a magic that was irresistible; here was a bunch of kids from rural Ireland and rural UK, some of them not even old enough to operate a motor vehicle, who pulled together a billion-dollar dance show in only ten weeks and went on a mad crusade around the world, doing things that no one else on the planet was physically capable of doing, outselling massive touring acts like the Rolling Stones and U2, appearing on the Oscars, selling out Wembley for 21 nights in a row (a record which still stands to this day), and becoming the biggest touring act on the planet.
If it sounds like the plot of some unbelievable Disney movie, that's because it practically is. Except it's *real.*
For twenty-four years, you've had to let your imagination guess as to what that journey was like. Now, finally, we're bringing you the actual stories from the OG Troupe themselves.
These are the people who lived it. They are the ones who went on that stage and made it happen. And these are their recollections.
First up: OG Troupe dancers Caroline Greene-Parfery and Kerrie Connolly Mcateer!
Do us a favor: if you like this video and want to see more OG Troupe Stories, let us know in the comments below. These men and women are legends in the #IrishDance world, and we hope you're just as keen to hear their stories as we are.