The definition of traction is: the action of drawing or pulling something over a surface, especially a road or track. Over the next few days many vehicles will struggle for traction as icy surfaces make that grip difficult.
Through use, the word ‘traction’ has evolved. Now we have the understanding of something that gets a grip and builds momentum. A fine example is the traction that Micheal Keegan-Dolan’s interpretation of Swan Lake has gained since it was first staged back in 2016.
Following a critically acclaimed international tour that included Dublin Theatre Festival; Sadler’s Wells, London and Sydney Opera House the show is now to be staged in Killinkere Leisure Centre tonight (Tuesday, March 6) and Wednesday, March 7.
Padraic McIntyre of Ramor Theatre explained the choice of Killinkere: “I saw it last year and I knew we had to stage it. It’s just such a wonderful show. The stage in the Ramor is not big enough to accommodate Swan Lake, so we had to think outside of the box so to speak. That’s why we are putting it on in Killinkere. I have spoken to Micheal and he’s probably more excited about it being here than when he staged it in The Abbey.”
This production by Longford’s Michael Keegan-Dolan and his new company Teac Damsa, is set in the familiar landscape of the Midlands of Ireland. Starring Mikel Murfi it is an extraordinary adaptation of the classic story interwoven with story-telling, song and live Irish folk music with a Nordic twist. It is sad, funny and dark. If audience reaction is anything to go by, it is also unmissable.
Featuring a cast of 13, including the remarkable Mikel Murfi, this show is rooted in a place where ancient Irish mythology and modern Ireland meet. The Dublin based band Slow Moving Clouds has created a score that combines Nordic and Irish traditional music with minimalist and experimental influences.
All these individual ingredients blend together to produce a Swan Lake that is very much of our time. . The presentation is different to the ballet. Here Swan Lake is much more than just a play; it’s a theatrical spectacle that will leave you speechless.
Despite having a couple of shows of his own on the road Mikel Murfi is front and centre in Swan Lake: “We have been on tour for a couple of weeks now. We are like a rock band, we are hitting the venues and going very well, we’re looking forward to being in Cavan,” he told the Celt in a break from his busy schedule.
In the last 12 months Murfi has taken two one-man shows to Cavan audiences. ‘I Hear You and Rejoice’ and ‘The Man in Women’s Shoes’ both made lasting impressions on local audiences. For Swan Lake it’s a much bigger production: “We put it together in August/September of 2016 and it appeared in the Dublin Theatre Festival in October. Then we went straight to Sadlers Wells. It is one of the world’s leading dance venues. It has been booking very heavily internationally since then. We have played Stuttgart, Sydney, Moscow. After the Cavan show we will be playing Wellington in New Zealand, Toronto in Canada and Korea.”
The demand for the show is on a global scale. For Mikel that appeal is down to a couple of factors: “I have never been in a show where I would have been so comfortable and easy with everyone in the show. In every job there are always tensions. We deal with personalities as much as the work. This job is exceptional in that everyone gets along so well. That is the culture of Micheal Keegan-Dolan. He has put together a really talented bunch of people from all over the world who he felt would gel together.”
Mikel says that the enthusiasm of audiences across the world for the show is very heartening: “One of the things audiences find so impressive is the way the show works. That is why people are ringing ahead to their friends and saying, ‘You must get to this’. It is very strange, very bleak, very uplifting – it is an amalgam of things.”
Swan Lake comes to Ramor Theatre offsite at the Killinkere Leisure Centre on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday, March 7 at 8pm.