Emerald Storm, a toe-tapping spectacular that combines not only Irish dance as we know it but ballet, modern, and jazz dancing certainly kept us on our toes with an everchanging panoply of visual and musical scenes. The story revolves around Emerald Storm, a club famous for Irish dancing that is doing fine until a troupe of edgy urban dancers muscle in and try to take over introducing a bit of rap for good measure. There’s a touch of West Side Story rival gangs about it and a pair of star-crossed-lovers who get married, separate and then find each again. All told in dance, but the story is explained by the MC of the club who as well as singing outlines the plot. With an amazing variety of musical genres from Ed Sheeran to REM, rap and hip hop as well as Irish music, we were constantly surprised at how you could bend the choreography of traditional hard shoe Irish dancing to the rhythms of a different master.
The set is simple, and the costumes are great with a punk feel and a world away from the stylised dress of traditional Irish dance. But that’s where it ends as the dancers have the Irish in their soul, their footwork is phenomenal, and they never miss a tap. We loved the solo by one of the ‘urban’ dancers whose technical expertise was spellbinding. There was also a lovely solo from one of the girls who performed a very graceful ballet sequence that turned down the pace of the show just at the right moment.
There is a talent night at the Emerald Storm and a shy girl comes out of her shell and proves to be an entertaining and glamorous vocalist. In a variety of sparkling evening dresses, she duets with the MC and this makes another facet of the show. We enjoyed our evening in the bar of the Emerald Storm so to speak and along with everyone else at the end stood to join in with a good old-fashioned clap along and sing song which was a great end to a great evening.