A show of Irish dance and illusion is on its way to Sandman Centre.
Celtic Illusion is the work of Anthony Street and his team of dancers and production staff. He created the show following his success on stage in runs of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance — in which he was a principal dancer.
“I never would have thought after seven years in the industry I’d be performing the role Michael Flatley played himself,” he told KTW.
That role lasted four-and-a-half years for Street. Upon the completion of that run, he saw it fit to fulfill another dream of his — his own production.
Coupling his love of dance with his love of magic, Street created Celtic Illusion, in which he serves as both dancer and illusionist.
“All the magic is performed by myself and the lead female dancer. Dancers are involved in a couple of things,” he said.
Street, lead female dancer Georgia May and a host of others will take the Sandman Centre stage on Thursday, Feb. 27, as part of a jam-packed Canadian tour ending in Thunder Bay, Ont. on March 15. The show then returns to Australia in May.
To get to this point, Street, 36, has been working at Celtic Illusion for more than nine years. He has spent his life savings funding the show’s creation, gone into and come out of debt, and built the show up to what it is today.
While the long-term goal is a residency show in Las Vegas, Street has been trying to expand to the U.S. and Canada for years — now successful with a partnership with Annerin Productions’ Jeff Parry, who Street said took a chance with the show.
“I guess it was a risk worth taking — we’ve had to add more shows now and we’re looking at coming back next year,” Street said.
“This is the furthest we’ve come with the show, so it’s a big achievement for us to be performing in Canada for the first time.”
Performers in the show come primarily from the Australian veterans who have been performing it for years, while others come from the U.S. and Canada.
“We put briefs out to all the Irish dance schools and took everyone’s CV and chose from those would suit best,” he said, noting that the show’s challenges require performers to have a certain amount of experience under their belts.
“It really pushes dancers to the limit of what they’re comfortable with,” he said.
Remaining tickets start at $73 and are available online at ticketmaster.ca.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m.