|The cast of National Dance Company of Ireland’s Rhythm of the Dance|
It might not be as grand a pageant as Riverdance or as flashily sexy as that show’s Michael Flatley-led spinoff, Lord of the Dance, to name two of the most popular Irish step dance shows still touring the world since their inception in mid-1990s. Yet, while smaller and more intimate in scale, Rhythm of the Dance, now in its 11th year, is equally fast and furious where Celtic hard-shoe dancing is concerned.
Choreographed by Doireann Carney, a Riverdance alumna, Rhythm of the Dance has just as many taps per second as the bigger cousin shows, if not more. Former headliner Aisling Holly was said to have 40 taps a second compared to the 28 taps a second that got Flatley into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989 as the fastest dancer alive. Why does this matter? Because to love Irish dancing is to love the rat-a-tat of it – dancing that sounds like machine gun fire as triggered by flying feet.