Ciara Sexton is a five time World Champion dancer and has been performing across the world thrilling audiences since her competitive career. She has performed in some of the world’s most famous productions including alongside Michael Flatley as lead dancer in Lord of the Dance. Most recently she has performed lead role ‘Heartbeat of Home’ from the producers of Riverdance and has been on the Take The Floor choreography team since the first production in 2012.
We caught up with Ciara to hear about her experience so far with Take The Floor and asked her what it takes to work on a show like this…
You have been part of Take the Floor for the past 2 years, what were your past experiences like and are you excited about this year?
Take the Floor is the most rewarding project I have ever been a part of. In the past two years the cast members have shone not only onstage dancing, but also in rehearsals working as a team and forming great working relationships with one another. The project isn’t just about learning to dance routines, it is about learning how to work and support one another in different environments and situations.
The cast from our first two projects really took this onboard and it warms my heart that many of our second year’s participants were repeat members from year one, they enjoyed it just as much as I did! Opening our entry numbers this year means lots of new dancers all hungry for that show and touring experience. I am excited to be a part of their first taste of professional show dancing.
How do you think this year will differ from previous years?
We have a new location, a change in choreographers, different costumes and some fantastic new ideas built from our two years previous experience. I cannot wait to start work in Limerick!
You constantly have to come up with new choreography for the show, is it difficult sometimes to have to think of new ideas?
Never with Beoga’s music have I found it difficult to be inspired and create. They are such a beautiful band and their songs and tunes speak to me in many ways. Our producers Shane and Paula have been working tirelessly to ensure that the themes and sounds of the songs match the suggestions of the choreography whilst also taking into consideration the costumes, lighting and where numbers may be in the running order to take the show through it’s appropriate highs and lows. It is a big job!!
Is there anything you can tell us about this year’s choreography?
I am choreographing to my favourite piece of music in the world, Soggy’s. It’s a very lady like Slip Jig and my first time working with this music. I am collaborating with Michael Ryan on this piece and I have some very lovely moments in mind for the ladies in our cast. Don’t worry guys, I haven’t forgotten about you! ‘The Incident’ is a men only dance that is full of energy, lots of yelling and will be danced barefoot!
Have you seen the cast members for this year’s production and what are your hopes from them?
Yes I have and they seem like a lovely bunch so they do! I am looking forward to meeting them and seeing what they have to offer. My hopes are of course that they have an incredible experience and can use their time and new found show land knowledge to go on into touring productions. Blaine Donovan from TTF year one works alongside me in Heartbeat of Home, and is just one of our members to have achieved his personal dreams of performing and touring in a full scale Irish dance production. It’s fantastic to think that one day I could be working with TTF 2014 cast members for a major company, project or show.
What do you think makes Take The Floor different from other dance shows around? A dance show built in 10 days with cast members that have never met? Need I say anymore?! It is an original idea that has been built upon, moulded and changed according to audience reaction and feedback. It gets better every year and I believe that this year will be our best performances yet.
Do you think the music from Beoga will have a part to play in certain choreography ideas and the way in which dances will change and develop?
Absolutely. I always choreograph to the music and listen for its changes and pauses. I feel that musical moments need to be acknowledged in the choreography whether id be working on a ‘Vanishing Lake’ for competitive irish dance or ‘A Lovely Madness for Take the Floor’. And how lucky we are to have such a talented band that when it comes to live rehearsals, play exactly as the CD recording we have been rehearsing to.
Why would you encourage people to come and see Take The Floor?
It’s a night of personal achievement for every person on the stage, you meet the dancers, connect with them as an audience member and they take you on a high energy journey through their past ten days. The detail, scale of production and knowledge that this has all been put together in ten days always floor me… Even though I am apart of it to witness it all! Through Beogas melodies and the choreographic staging of these cast members you will be inspired, entertained, and leave with those toes tapping! I guarantee it.
Take The Floor will play the University Concert Hall on August 7th, Wexford Opera House on August 8th and Millennium Forum in Derry on August 9th. Book your tickets by clicking the image below!