Belfast Telegraph

No sinking feeling for Titanic dancers

By Andrew Johnston

With 2014 the year of Giro d'Italia, and 2013 the UK City of Culture, Titanicdance may have missed the boat – so to speak.

But after captivating the public's imagination for a century, it's likely the doomed ocean liner's story can stay afloat for another couple of years.

Combining Belfast's most famous export with that other quintessentially Irish enterprise – Irish dancing – is a masterstroke. Belfast's Odyssey Arena hosted the launch of the ambitious production last Saturday, with Derry's Millennium Forum – which commissioned the show – slotted in for Sunday.

Telling any story through dance is a challenge, but Titanicdance has the advantage that the tale of the world's most famous ship is so well known.

Featuring 28 talented dancers and musicians, we were taken from Titanic's beginning in the Harland and Wolff shipyard to its end in the Atlantic Ocean.

Highlights included the 'black gangs' of the boiler room and the dramatic moment when the iceberg hit.

In fact, it was easy to forget we were even supposed to be onboard a boat until the cast hit the floor with a strobe-lit crash.

Musically, it was a mix of traditional Irish dancing fare and Titanic-centric songs. The Odyssey may not have quite had a full complement of 'passengers' on Saturday, but if Titanicdance ever sets sail to the USA, unlike the titular vessel, it is sure not to sink.

Three stars

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