The Scenes

Act 1 Scene 1

Instrumental & Dance - Slow Air March & Reels

A haunting melody traces the history of old Ireland through the ancestry of our forefathers amidst the landscape of the Irish rebellion.

The tune develops into an Irish March that reverberates through the country’s turbulent past, culminating in a crescendo of dancers performing to traditional Irish Reels, reflecting the victory of the country’s independence.

Act 1 Scene 2

Instrumental - Jigs & Reels

This scene leads a spirited instrumental of the accordion, the fiddle, the bódhran, the guitar and the piano. As the musicians gain momentum into a steady jig, the backing instruments deepen the power of the fiddle and the explosive reel delivers the full band’s instrumental range. Even at this early stage in the performance, it is not uncommon to see members of the audience dancing in the isles as they get swept up in the infectious energy of traditional Irish Music.

Act 1 Scene 3

Dance - Hornpipe & Reel

Dance competitions or feiseannas, as they are called in Ireland, have for centuries formed a popular part in Irish culture. This scene captures the essence of these competitions and dancers perform a succession of slow dance movements to highlight the complexities of Irish Dancing. This is performed to a slow Hornpipe, a dance typically only mastered by those more experienced Irish Dancers. As the piece comes to a close, the focus shifts to a succession of reels as a group of dancers gather on stage for a vigorous dance-off which has grown to become a Celtic Steps audience favourite.

Act 1 Scene 4

Song - Castle Gardens

Between 1801 and 1921, at least 8 million Irish men, women and children emigrated in search of a better life. With harvests failing and employment prospects dismal, it was perhaps Ireland’s greatest time of hardship and thus has been widely documented by many writers, playwrights, singers and storytellers the world over. The song Castle Gardens, so called after America’s very first Immigration Centre in Manhattan, depicts the plight of Irish emigration and for many Irish, the deep sorrow at having to leave a country they would never see again. A beautiful song with stirring sentiments.

Act 1 Scene 5

Instrumental - Tin Whistle Solo

The tin whistle, or feadóg stáin, is Ireland’s simplest form of instrument. The six-holed woodwind instrument sees every school child in the country attempting to play it, however its magic lies in the mastery of its player, of whom there are very few. An all-time favourite part of the Show, this scene lays bare the power and mastery of the mighty tin whistle through a variety of jigs and reels including the upbeat tempo of the tune, Three Little Steps right through to the mystical reel of the Queen of Ragoon.

Act 1 Scene 6

Dance - Emma’s Waltz & The Brush Dance

Specifically chosen to highlight the perfect marriage between music and dance, this part of the show sees dance perfecting the inclination and warmth of this medium tempo masterpiece.
The piece is quickly followed by an old-time favourite, the Irish Brush Dance performed by a Sean Nós Dancer, (one who revives the old Irish style of dance). This scene pays homage to a simpler time when the brush was passed around from house to house in search of the King or Queen of the Brush Dance. A sensational spectacle of old-style Irish Dancing at its very best.

Act 1 Scene 7

Song - Follow The Heron Home

“By night and day we’ll sport and we’ll play, and delight as the dawn dances over the bay…”

A song with poetry at its core, ‘Follow The Heron Home’ sings of the welcome return of the brighter spring days after the long winter months and on a deeper level reminds us all that after darkness, comes light. A sentimental and beautifully written song, filled with hope.

Act 1 Scene 8

Instrumental - Banjo Solo

This scene gives provenance to the four-string tenor banjo, an instrument popularly played as a melody in traditional Irish Music. Originally brought to Ireland by returned emigrants from the United States, its music again displays the colourful history of our nation and the influence our travels have had on both Irish culture and music. Sean Murphy, the Musical Director displays the musicality of the instrument with a series of lively frisky numbers, synonymous with the banjo.

Act 1 Scene 9 -Part 1

Dance - Reels & Light Dance

Although Irish Dancing is popularly known for its hard shoe dancing style, dancing with soft shoes or pumps is a sensational sight to behold. This style of dancing is quite athletic in its formation and is the first style of dancing taught to children when learning the technique of Irish Dancing. Our female Irish Dancers glide with grace and elegance across the stage in a light shoe jig to show the contrast between the two styles.

Act 1 Scene 9 – Part 2

Dance - A cappella & First Half Finale

The set then moves to an Irish Dance A cappella performed by one of our World Champion male Irish Dancers. One of the spellbinding moments of the entire show, viewers can experience first-hand the raw artistry and technicality of Irish dancing in an explosive exploration of modern freestyle dancing. The finale sees our female and male dancers return to the stage for a fastpaced and powerful number that displays the sheer exhilarant and forcible nature of the art form – a thrilling end to the first half of the show.

Act 2 Scene 1

Instrumental - The Foggy Dew

The second half of the show commences with a haunting instrumental performance by the Celtic Steps Band. With the flute taking centre stage, this iconic Irish Folk Tune comes to life, evoking a sense of nostalgia and enchantment. Transport yourself to the lush green landscapes of Ireland as you immerse yourself in the rich sounds of Celtic tradition with the stirring rhythms of ‘The Foggy Dew’.

Act 2 Scene 2

Dance - The Slip Jigs

Experience the mesmerising beauty of Irish Dancing with The Slip Jigs, performed by the talented Celtic Steps female dancers. Witness their graceful and delicate movements in the enchanting art of soft shoe dancing, perfectly synchronized to the airs of Slip Jigs.

A captivating journey into the art of Irish culture.

 

Act 2 Scene 3

Song - On Raglan Road

‘On Raglan Road’ is one of the best-known Irish Songs of our time. First written as a poem by the celebrated Irish Poet, Patrick Kavanagh in 1986, it depicts the beginning of his love affair with his wife Hilda whom he first met on Raglan Road, in Dublin’s Ballsbridge, a marriage which was to end years later, many argue due to the age gap between the Poet and his much younger lover. Many times during the course of the poem, the Writer explores the notion that his love is likely not be returned and in time may cause him great pain.

Act 2 Scene 4

Bodhráns Battle Off

Thought to have evolved in the 19th century from the tambourine, the bodhrán was declared by many to be the native drum of the Celts and was possibly used originally for the dying of wool in ancient times. Whatever the exact origins are, there can be no doubt that the bodhrán is an instrument that holds its roots firmly in traditional Irish Music, however it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the one-sided shallow drum began gaining wide recognition as an actual musical instrument used within the genre. The drum is struck either with the bare hand or with a lathe-turned piece of wood called a bone, tipper, beater, or cipín.

Act 2 Scene 5

Instrumental - Button Accordion Solo

This scene places the rich and reedy bellows of the button accordion centre stage as we showcase the dynamic range of the traditional Irish instrument, taking it from a soft mellow Hornpipe to a fast-paced set of Irish Reels in a matter of minutes. Complimented by the bodhrán, tin whistle and the guitar, this scene exhibits world-class accordion playing, giving the audience a unique insight into its much loved and celebrated harmonic style.

Act 2 Scene 6

Dance - The Kerry Polka

Before the time of ballrooms, theatres or dance halls, villagers in the more rural parts of Kerry would gather at the crossroads to dance the night away. It was here, under the light of the moon, that one of our county’s favourite dance sets, The Kerry Polka Set, was born. This part of the show invites you to step back in time to enjoy the flavour of a traditional Irish folk dance accompanied by the customary tunes of the fiddle and button accordion. A thrilling light-hearted display of traditional Irish Music and Dance, still as good today as it was back then.

Act 2 Scene 7

Instrumental - The Kerry Slides

You have not experienced the exhilaration and energy of traditional Irish Music until you have witnessed the Kerry Slides, famous for their fast-paced musicality and vibrant energy. This scene in the Show pays homage to the famous Irish Céilí Culture and the good old days, where each town or village would gather together for an Irish Music Session in the local pub. Get ready to get those toes tapping.

Act 2 Scene 8

Song - Where The Blarney Roses Grow

The Irish Sing Song is often one of the most anticipated aspects of Irish culture when one is visiting the country of Éire and this part of the show pays tribute to this custom. ‘Where the Blarney Roses Grow’ is a buoyant Irish folk tune and a favourite of many Pub Sing Songs across Ireland and typically in the South. With its catchy chorus, it’s the perfect number for a sing-along and is guaranteed to take you on a cultural music journey which spans the length and breadth of our great island.

Act 2 Scene 9

Dance - King Of The Fairies / Sean Nós Jigs/ Reels

Scene 8 brings the world of Irish Dance & Music together again for an explosive finale to a spectacular evening of Irish Song, Music and Dance as the Celtic Steps Dance Troop perform to ‘The King of the Fairies’, an old Irish folk tune. This thrilling manifestation of Irish Music sees the dance troop manoeuvre slow and intricate air clicks before advancing to an adrenalin of trebles and shuffles against a backdrop of spine-tingling fiddle solos as the audience is reintroduced to the talented musicians, singers and dancers that combine to create Celtic Steps The Show.
A cultural crescendo to a magical evening and a unique Irish experience to treasure forever.