'Celtic Nights' to celebrate Irish migration, influences in dance, song

“Celtic Nights: A Journey of Hope,” a festive celebration of Irish music, dance and journey to a New World, comes to SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12.

Celtic Nights troupeSixteen of Ireland’s most accomplished singers, dancers and musicians make up the ensemble, which arrived in the United States last month and is on a 17-city tour from Texas to Maine.

“We were fortunate to arrange the only performance of Celtic Nights in Upstate New York,” said John Shaffer, director of arts programming at SUNY Oswego. “We’re offering it five days before St. Patrick’s Day—for those inclined to wear the green a little early.”

One of the notable Irish productions created since the international phenomenon of Riverdance in 1994, “Celtic Nights” tells the story of Irish emigration across the Atlantic, and traces the Celtic roots of North American music forms such as Appalachian folk and bluegrass.

The story unfolds through the lilting melodies and plaintive lyrics of the rich Celtic heritage, punctuated by the hypnotic rhythm of dancing feet.

Talented performers include Derek Moloney, who won Ireland’s televised “Search for a Tenor” contest and has performed in his home country with ensembles as diverse as Opera Ireland and The Chieftains.

Also on the tour are uilleann piper Stevie O’Connor, fiddler Ben Gunnery and seven accomplished Irish step-dancers.

Those who attend the Oswego performance will have an opportunity to greet the performers, and to view the skills of aspiring dancers from two area studios—the Butler Sheehan Academy of Irish Dance and the Kinlough Academy of Irish Dance—showcasing their work before the show and during intermission.

Shaffer said the Artswego Performing Arts Series aimed to make one of the major Irish touring productions affordable for all ages. Tickets for “Celtic Nights: Journey of Hope” cost $30 ($25 for seniors age 60 and over, youths 17 and under and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $7 for SUNY Oswego students). Tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

Parking for this event is included in the cost of the ticket, and available in Lot E-6 in front of Culkin Hall and Lot E-18 south of Hart and Funnelle residence halls.

Patrons with disabilities needing assistance should call 312-2141 prior to the performance.

PHOTO CAPTION: ‘Journey of Hope’—SUNY Oswego’s Artswego Performing Arts Series will present “Celtic Nights: A Journey of Hope,” celebrating Irish heritage and migrants’ determination to carve out a place in a New World at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

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(Posted: Feb 27, 2013)

Tags: dance, celtic nights, artswego