Each summer for the last 11 years the Dominic Graham School of Irish Dance has toured performing at some of the largest Celtic Music events in Europe.
This summer however was particularly eventful for many reasons.
The school performed at three of the most prestigious and largest Celtic Festivals, first up was Celtica in the stunning setting of the Aosta Valley in Italy.
Speaking to the Times, Dominic explained: “We were honoured to be invited to perform for the fourth time at this unique and beautiful festival and especially this year as they were celebrating their 20th year.
“Our show on the final night ended in our performance of Greenlands which is the anthem of this festival, the emotion of the cast led by Katy Gault the soloist brought the huge audience with them.
“Riccardo Taraglio the Artistic director said ‘Thank you for a most beautiful show, it was an unforgettable gift on our festivals 20th year’.
“A week later it was off to Ortigueira in Spain which is Europe’s largest free Celtic Music event.
“This was our fifth appearance and this year our show was called Latidos (Heartbeats), with a cast of 45 dancers, six musicians and a presenter, the school performed to a record crowd and the show was streamed live also to a record audience.
“ The festival director Alberto Bilbao said ‘a stunning show of Irish Dance and music, this school is one of Europe’s finest’.
“Harry C the musical director of the show and one of Europe’s most respected Celtic musicians said ‘it was both exhilarating and unforgettable they were amazing and so professional for many so young’.”
A few weeks later the school embarked on its third international tour this time to Asturias in Spain for the Interceltic event in Tapia de Casariego.
Dominic continued: “This was our first appearance at this international Celtic festival and it certainly will not be our last.
Set on the stunning and yet very homelike coastline of north Spain the school with a cast of 30 dancers and four musicians performed its show called The Causeway Reels to a capacity crowd.
“This tour featured dancers from the school who were performing at their first international event and I could not have been more proud of them all especially our first timers.
“Brian Breathnaid our presenter said ‘these children are brilliant, to dance in front of that huge crowd for the first time with that professionalism was great to be part of’.
“So on August 9 we returned home after six weeks of exhausting yet hugely successful tours that involved over 100 people and months of very hard work.”
However, it isn’t quite over yet. This September in the Riverside the school will perform its 17th yearly show from Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th. The show entitled Lets Dance brings all the elements that make a DGS show a must see, great Irish dance and great entertainment.
This year the show will feature Harry C from Spain, Harry is the lead violinist with Milladoiro who have been described as the Spanish Chieftains.
Tickets are available by ringing the Riverside Box office on 02870 123123 or booking online at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk. Tickets as usual are selling fast.
* Finally, the founder and director of the school Dominic Graham was honoured to become an international delegate for international Celtic Festivals this summer as well as agreeing to work with a Spanish television production company on a number of projects.
Dominic added: “I am very honoured and pleased about what has happened and it allows me to further festival dance and DGS to new audiences”.
The first project is a documentary for Spanish television which will tell the story of DGS and its Spanish connections, production will start soon.
Quite a summer for this ground breaking school of Irish Dance.
Watch this space for more DGS news!