Belinda Murphy’s Gaelic Rhythm show is a high-energy extravaganza that combines the old and the new in Irish dance. It features six dancers, three male and three female, who collectively hold the titles of Leinster, All-Ireland and World Champions. Gaelic Rhythm represents some of the finest professional dancers to come out of Ireland in recent years, they are a vastly experienced dance troop and have performed and toured extensively around Ireland, Europe and the USA.

The hour-long show combines elements of ancient Ireland and modern Ireland, with traditional Irish dance styles, known as Sean-Nos representing the old and the contemporary style of dance that Belinda created in Riverdance representing the new. Belinda loves working with and choreographing all styles of dance and her Gaelic Rhythm show is no different. The female dancers perform elegant lively, traditional soft shoe dances while also joining with the male cast to perform strong, percussive, bold dances that embody Gaelic Rhythm and are synonymous with Irish Dancing worldwide. Contemporary Irish dance also crosses over into many other styles of dance and Belinda also draws on modern American dance, jazz and tap influences in her choreography.

The Gaelic Rhythm show is a full sensory experience. From the feel of the beat, the sound of the shoes striking the stage, the seductive beauty of the dance, the color and vibrancy of the costumes, the show brings the very essence of Celtic dance. Gaelic Rhythm dancers are clad in a variety of costumes that convey the theme of old and new. They perform their traditional dance numbers in brightly colored Irish dancing costumes, each adorned with hand-embroidered Celtic imagery, replicas of Ireland’s priceless 8th Century Book of Kells and of Celtic stone crosses. Copies of the famous Tara Brooch are worn on the shoulder of the girl’s costumes pinning the flowing shawl which falls down over the back of the dancer. When performing the more contemporary style Irish dance, the dancers wear a sleek, more modern style of costume, befitting a Riverdance or Lord of the Dance show. All the dancers shoes are handmade by an Irish artisan shoemaker, who supplies them with both their hard shoes (treble shoes) and soft shoes (poms). The dancers use the percussive sound of the hard shoe with the rhythmic beat of the bodhran to create their thunderous sound.

Gaelic Rhythm creator Belinda Murphy is an internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer. She has studied dance both in Ireland and the US and is a qualified dance teacher and adjudicator. Belinda has choreographed the annual Christmas Pantomime in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin for five years and the 2004 Pantomime at the Cork Opera House. She has also choreographed a number of musicals, including “La Cage Aux Folles”, “High Society” and “Cabaret”. In 2003 she was nominated for “Best Choreography” in the Theatre and Musical Awards for her work on the show “Magical Rhythms of Ireland”. One of Belinda’s most memorable achievements to date is the choreographing and performing in the original Riverdance at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and subsequently at the Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium. Her choreography can also be seen on screen in the hit series: “The Tudors” “Camelot” and “The Vikings” and in the movies “Love\Hate”, “Leap Year” and “Albert Nobbs” starring Glen Close. Belinda has been the Stage Director and Choreographer for Celtic Thunder shows since their inception in 2007 and has overseen all their numerous appearances in Radio City Music Hall, New York and international tours. She has created this brand new Gaelic Rhythm dance show especially for the Celtic Thunder Cruise 2014.

Gaelic Rhythm – Dance Classes

In addition to creating the wonderful Gaelic Rhythm show for the cruise, Belinda will hold Irish dance classes on the cruise. One of the fun things to do on the Celtic Thunder cruise is the Ceili night, a traditional Irish folk dance, not unlike barn dances in the US. The Ceili night is a good Irish “hooley” (party), filled with “craic” (fun), music and dance. Belinda will teach the Ceili steps to those who wish to join in. Join in and learn how to dance traditional Irish set dances “Walls of Limerick” and “Siege of Ennis”, to do the Ceili swing and dance some new Irish set dances that Belinda has created especially for the cruise “Dancing at the Crossroads” and “Gent’s Choice”. Complete your dance class with Belinda and you will receive a Ceili Dance Certificate and have your photo taken with the Celtic Rhythm dancers. On Ceili Night the Gaelic Rhythm dancers will be dancing alongside you and helping with the steps. They’ll also be talent spotting for hidden Ceili stars, and will choose their partner to come dance with them! A traditional Irish band will play the music for the Ceili on the night.