The performance features live music, and Regional Championship and Top Ten World Finalist Irish dancers from Santa Fe and Los Alamos. Also starring Michael Patrick Gallagher, former World Champion and lead of Riverdance.
Gallagher’s updated work for Belisama, ‘Donegal Slip’ revisits a choice piece of new-traditional Irish dance set to Beoga’s melodic accordion and triangle sounds. “I had worked with the same piece of music for a show I did back in Ireland called ‘The Rising Step,’ so it was interesting for me to revisit it with new dancers, a new perspective, and a new energy for Belisama,” said Gallagher, who has danced with Riverdance, Ragus, and most recently in the PBS series ‘Celtic Woman.’
The company also presents its award-winning choreography, ‘Gillie,’ newly updated for the 2012 World Championships in Wexford, Ireland. Belisama is proud to announce that every one of the company’s dancers to attend the Championships placed Top Ten in global rankings! The company will also perform ‘Belisama Stomp’ choreographed by Sean Curran, an original cast member of ‘STOMP’ and modern dance director in New York City. And, a sean-nós (‘old style’) Irish dance choreographed by Boston-based performer Kieran Jordan, a major figure in introducing the genre to the US. An Irish jazz dance set to an original Glenn Miller & The Andrews Sisters score rounds out the repertoire, with an exciting feature of Gallagher dancing live onstage.
Belisama Irish Dance Company presents current interpretations of traditional Irish dance. “We take elements of what makes modern dance successful and bring them into Irish dancing. Belisama has a sense of originality drawn from what other forms of dance do so well, but adapted to the high-energy, crowd-pleasing and entertaining Irish style,” said Artistic Director Adrienne Bellis. Each piece of choreography is set to contemporary Celtic and original scores and live music, another special focus for Bellis: “I am always looking for music that the audience will relate to and enjoy. Great dancing has to have great music, and Irish music is fabulous—an instant expression of delight that brings so much cheerfulness to movement. I love sharing that with people.”
The Belisama Irish Dance Company features thirteen local dancers from Santa Fe and Los Alamos, including four past and present National and Regional Champions. Most recently, the company performed with Lúnasa at The Lensic in Santa Fe in November of 2012. Belisama Dance School is home to eighty-five dancers from Santa Fe, Los Alamos, White Rock, and Rio Rancho and boasts alumni studying at Princeton and Stanford.
Adrienne Bellis, Artistic Director of Belisama Irish Dance, is also the Belisama Dance School Founder and Director. With training in jazz dance and music performance, Bellis was first introduced to Irish dance in California at the Claddagh School of Irish Dance, and is a National Champion as part of an eight hand ceili team. Her students have performed with artists such as Trinity Irish Dance Company, Lúnasa, Natalie MacMaster, Gaelic Storm, and Eileen Ivers, and are recognized as national and regional champions as well as up-and-coming choreographers. Bellis is also a professional singer.
Belisama (bel-i-SAH-ma) is a Celtic goddess recognized in Romano-Gaulish inscriptions which equate her with Roman goddess Minerva. The name translates as ‘summer bright;’ Belisama’s consort Belenus is God of the Sun, and she shares many attributes with him. Belisama is also associated with wisdom, healing, forge, and craft.