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Follow Your Dream, Day #447: Celtic Dream -- the Supercut

How about another #LordOfTheDance supercut -- this time, Celtic Dream?

Lord of the Dance is generally regarded as a very masculine show; there's so much testosterone coming off the stage that even the spotlights are growing beards. But it's also a show with some breathtaking femininity; in the first act, after the explosive Cry of the Celts -- where both masculine and feminine energies are displayed onstage -- and the subsequent introduction of Erin the Goddess, we are taken into the Celtic Dream.

It begins with the haunting wind-up doll sequence, with the Little Spirit bringing life to her latest creation: a female dancer, learning to move, coming to life, finding her place in the larger dance. There is a tremendous amount of symbology in this scene; Planet Ireland, and everything in it, is the Little Spirit's creation, and we see the Little Spirit show up both in this number and the next number. Through the Little Spirit, we as the audience are given permission to feel the sense of wonder at this creation and let the magic take hold.

The really interesting part about this supercut, however, is Bernadette Flynn. In every commercial video release of the full classic show, the character of Saoirse is played by Bernadette. As a result, in this supercut video, you see her grow and evolve as a performer over time.

Saoirse is an extremely difficult role to portray. Celtic Dream literally sets the stage to depict her as a character archetype -- the "Good Girl" -- in this monomyth dressed as a dance drama, but what does that even mean? How do you portray a "good girl" in a way which is genuine? And how do you continue to portray that authentically as you yourself grow up, change, and experience life?

We have written this before and will do so again: Bernadette Flynn is one of the most astonishing #IrishDance professionals of all time. And if you add up all of her performances in Lord of the Dance -- live, commercial video, TV, internet -- we are fairly certain she holds the record as the most-viewed female #IrishDancer in history.

Lord of the Dance is a study in sharp contrasts, most notably good versus evil and love versus lust. It is in these contrasts, writ large, that the energy of the show shines through and tells the story without a single word spoken. And this number, Celtic Dream, shows Planet Ireland as a beautiful and peaceful place -- a sharp contrast to what comes later.

Planet Ireland arises: 2021.


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