The Trinity Irish Dance Company, founded in 1990 by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mark Howard, will make its first-ever appearance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center Monday at 8 p.m.
Often referred to as the birthplace of progressive Irish dance, the Trinity Irish Dance Company is known for its signature high-flying, quick-footed and athletic style of dance set to contemporary Irish music.
According to SPAC president and CEO Elizabeth Sobol, the success of last year's Argentinian music festival with Che Malambo convinced her to add Howard's company to the 2018 schedule.
"Due to the overwhelming response from our audiences, we are expanding our program offerings with a continued focus on world music and dance ensembles," said Sobol. "We are so excited to bring the aerial grace and awe-inspiring precision of the Trinity Irish Dance Company for a performance that is unlike anything that's ever been seen on the SPAC stage."
The Trinity Irish Dance Company has received critical acclaim around the world, with sold-out tours in Europe and Asia as well as performances in major U.S. venues such as the Kennedy Center, New York's Joyce Theater and UCLA's Royce Hall. The company has also appeared in feature films by Disney and Universal, and has made six appearances on the "Tonight Show."
Howard was born in Yorkshire, England, and raised in Chicago. He began dancing at the age of 8, and by 10 was competing at the North American Nationals and the Irish World Championships of Dance.
He was named one of Irish American Magazine's "Top 100 Irishmen" in 1994 and 2001, and in 1991 Howard gained national attention for his PBS special, "Green Fire and Ice." His 1993 PBS film "World Stage" earned him his Emmy Award, and he served as Tom Hanks' personal dance coach in the 2002 film "Road to Perdition."
At 7 p.m. Monday, Howard will participate in a pre-performance talk along with Trinity Irish Dance Company Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Hoy. At 7:15 p.m., SPAC will present its performance project "Youth in Motion," made up of 80 Capital Region youngsters. Led by the award-winning National Dance Institute and presented in partnership with the Capital District and Saratoga Regional YMCAs, SPAC's Performance Project is a two-week dance course designed to teach children dance skills while also instilling in them a belief in their own abilities and capacity to achieve success.
Tickets for the Trinity Irish Dance Company performance are $57-$27. For information, visit www.spac.org.