BWW Interview: Amy-Mae Dolan Talks RIVERDANCE's 20th Anniversary Tour

BWW Interview: Amy-Mae Dolan Talks RIVERDANCE's 20th Anniversary Tour
Amy-Mae Dolan

Riverdance, the internationally acclaimed dance phenomenon returns to Houston with, RIVERDANCE - THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR from March 9 to 11. To get the inside scoop on the long-running fan favorite, we sat down with Lead Dancer Any-Mae Dolan and chatted about the show.

How did you come to be a part of RIVERDANCE's 20th Anniversary Tour?

In the summer of 2016 I completed the Riverdance summer school in Dublin, which was an extraordinary week. I learned so much, and my passion and love for Irishdance and Riverdance grew an incredible amount. The week increased my ambition to one day perform in RIVERDANCE - the show I loved my entire life. After the summer school, my lifelong dream came true when I was asked to join the Riverdance team.

I joined the 20th-anniversary tour starting out in China in November 2016, which was an incredible experience. I continued with the 20th-anniversary tour, traveling across Europe, and I am absolutely delighted to be currently touring North America. I am having an amazing time - the audiences in America are fantastic.

How did you prepare for this tour?

When I was initially trained for the show I had a very intense week of rehearsals in Dublin with our amazing Dance Captain and Associate Director Padraic Moyles. They were fantastic at making sure I was completely ready to join the troupe and very comfortable with all the choreography so I could put my best performance possible on stage and really fit into the team.

In preparation for this tour, I really wanted my body to be in the best shape possible, so I can avoid injury whilst on tour. As well as attending the gym almost every day, I did Pilates twice a week, which helped me feel very strong and flexible. I also practiced elements from the show every day. I broke down each of my performances, improving them piece by piece to make sure I was beginning this tour as the best I've ever been.

On tour, to maintain my fitness and strength, I workout nearly every day, stretch a lot, and I am continuously thinking of ways to make my performance better. Each night onstage is an opportunity for me to improve. We have an incredible physical and massage therapist on the road with us, making sure we stay injury free.

BWW Interview: Amy-Mae Dolan Talks RIVERDANCE's 20th Anniversary Tour
Amy-Mae Dolan performs "Riverdance" with
the company of RIVERDANCE - THE 20TH

RIVERDANCE is an international phenomenon. What is it like sharing this piece of traditional Irish culture across the globe?

RIVERDANCE is the best dance production in the world! It is truly an honor to be a part of RIVERDANCE. It is the optimum accomplishment for all Irish dancers. It has been my ambition for as long as I can remember to get to perform to the sensational music every night alongside many inspirational dancers. We are very lucky to get the opportunity to improve every night and bring the best show we can possibly do to a new audience. The show is an ambassador for Irish Culture, and that is something I am very grateful and proud to be a part of. It feels amazing to be able to bring my Irish culture around the world and deliver it to many audiences, showing them how fantastic it really is.

What is your favorite aspect or part of the 20th Anniversary performance?

I really do love all elements of the show and each for different reasons. As a female lead, I get to perform many numbers throughout the show that illustrate elegance, independence, and fierce empowerment. One of my favorite numbers to perform is the iconic number "Riverdance." It is the number that captivated the world as the interval act at the 1994 Eurovision song contest. The spectacular music composed by Bill Whelan is simply magical. The energy it creates throughout the dancers on stage and audience is incredible. The number includes the famous chorus line of over 20 dancers performing in perfect unison. We finish this number every night to deafening cheers and applause. I love seeing the smiles on peoples faces and I get such joy performing this number. It feels really special to perform the number that began the amazing show that is RIVERDANCE.

Thinking about your entire career with RIVERDANCE, what is your favorite RIVERDANCE memory?

It is extremely hard to pick a favorite memory with RIVERDANCE because I have been given so many amazing opportunities with the show.

My first show as a Principal (lead) dancer would have to be one of my favorites. I have always dreamed of joining the cast of RIVERDANCE and to one day go on to perform the lead role. I've never been so excited as I was that night. The support I received from everyone is what I remember most about that day. The cast, management team, crew, my friends, and family were all so encouraging and helped me through that first show that was definitely a little daunting. I was initially so scared to play the role I had looked up to my whole life. I had admired all the girls before me so much and had placed them so high in my mind I doubted my potential to live up to them. It was the most amazing feeling at the end of the show to know I had pulled it off, and I couldn't wait to try and improve my performance.

BWW Interview: Amy-Mae Dolan Talks RIVERDANCE's 20th Anniversary Tour
Amy-Mae Dolan Performs "Countess."

Outside of dancing, what other form or forms of art do you like to create or be a part of?

Outside of dancing I love listening to music and watching other dance forms. In the show, we have a flamenco dancer, Russian folk dancers, and American tap dancers whom I love to learn small pieces of their dance form from. It's a challenge for me, and it helps me improve my performance. I am very interested in Science, and currently, on tour, I am learning human anatomy. I love keeping myself busy on travel days on the bus by learning about the human body as much as I can.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to break into performing as a profession?

Keep working hard and really listen to the advice people around you are giving you. Get as much experience as you possibly can in some of the smaller productions, jump at every opportunity you get to perform, and learn from it as much as you can. Remember all the basics you've been taught. For dancers, that is technique. This will always stand by you. Most importantly, try to improve with every performance, practice, and audition. Just aim to get better and better. Show those you are auditioning for how much it means to you, how strong your passion is, how hard you are willing to work, and that you will give everything you have to each performance.

RIVERDANCE - THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR dances into Houston as part of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center from March 9 - 11, 2018. For tickets and more information, please visit or call (800) 982-2787.

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From This Author David Clarke

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