Trinity Irish Dance Company to Launch 17-City US Tour

The company will tour to Malibu, CA; Tucson, AZ; Chicago, IL; and more.

By: Feb. 09, 2024
Trinity Irish Dance Company to Launch 17-City US Tour
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Fresh off a month-long tour of Japan, Trinity Irish Dance Company is set to tour the US! TIDC is the birthplace of progressive Irish dance. Founded by Mark Howard in 1990, TIDC pushes the boundaries of a traditional form through a performing arts lens and is considered a performing arts treasure by critics and enthusiasts worldwide. TIDC is on a mission to save the integrity of Irish dance from the overly commercialized productions that have become synonymous with the form. The strength of this mission brings dancers and musicians together from around the world.   This season, Artistic Director and recent inductee into the Chicago Irish American Hall of Fame Mark Howard, Associate Artistic Director Chelsea, and their company of elite performing artists are presenting more new works this season than ever before in the company’s more than 30-year long history.  

JIG, a Trinity Irish Dance Company production

Celebrating its premiere season with an 8-city tour this February, “JIG” is a groundbreaking, alternative approach to an immersive theater experience is centered around a live band in a unique space that celebrates the thrill of connection through vibrations, rhythm and movement.  Howard’s lifelong mission is to elevate communities through what he calls the “power and grace of Irish dance” has informed more than thirty years of pioneering work. He describes his latest creation, JIG: “At a time when the world needs healing, I see the dancers and musicians of JIG as movement and sound doctors always searching for something real, something with humanity in it.  They are powerful and determined connectors that surround audiences with a unique force field of positive energy, emphasizing the critical importance of savoring the joyful moments.” 

The TIDC band is fronted by Killarney, Ireland’s singer /songwriter Brendan O’Shea and is comprised of All-Ireland fiddle and bodhran champion Jake James, Chris Devlin (guitar/vocals), and Steven Rutledge (percussionist/vocals). In JIG, this eclectic and dynamic quartet accompany nine awe-inspiring, virtuosic dancers including TIDC’s Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Hoy, solo world champions Ali Doughty and Maggie Darlington (longstanding lead dancer for Riverdance), and two of Mexico’s most accomplished Irish dancers: Francisco Lemus and Sergio Tellez.  The cast is rounded out by percussive powerhouses Maddie Cabral, Courtney D’Angelo, Lydia Fredrick, and Anna Gorman.  

O'Shea is grateful for the opportunity to embark on a new venture. “Howard has always looked for imaginative ways to break the fourth wall. The band and I are thrilled for the opportunity to be part of TIDC transformative experiences.  At the heart of the show lives a sentiment that both Howard and I grew up hearing from our resilient Irish mothers, ‘Things will turn out’.“

‘Taking the Mick’ - world premiere

The premiere of ‘JIG’ is only part of this season’s creative outpouring from this cutting-edge, non-for-profit company. This March, TIDC will celebrate the world premiere of a groundbreaking new piece called ‘Taking the Mick’ at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. Choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Mark Howard and Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Hoy, ‘Taking the Mick’ is a full company work that takes the virtuosity and versatility of TIDC’s artists to a new level through multi-genre vignettes of rapid fire footwork, theatrics, and twisted traditions. With a vaudevillian era narrative that dances amongst the madness between Irish immigrant insecurities, social mobility, one-upmanship and assimilation into American culture, ‘Taking the Mick’, blends commentary and innovation through movement that is at once whimsical and fierce. Theatrical props will be designed by the much-celebrated Michael Curry Design, known for his notable work from Katy Perry to The Lion King on Broadway.  Howard describes, “We’ve created an alternative universe set to a backdrop of 1945 Bing Crosby meets 1972 Irish Folk group, Planxty, that blurs the lines between movement genres, time and space. A gaggle of hapless yet brilliant, good natured, and unruly characters deliver their unique brand of whimsical percussive prowess.”  ‘Taking the Mick’ and TIDC’s diverse repertoire that celebrates the company’s evolution and range will be shared across the country this spring, with performances in Chicago, Chandler, Detroit, Burlington, Newark, and Fairfax. They will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on March 17th.


TIDC has sold out tours in Europe and Asia and distinguished venues throughout North America, including Washington’s Kennedy Center, NYC’s Joyce Theater, LA’s Royce Hall, and Tokyo’s Orchard Hall to name a few. TIDC was recently acknowledged as the most toured foreign dance company in Japan's history. A dance legacy that is rooted in tradition yet forward-looking and ever evolving, TIDC celebrates Founding Artistic Director Mark Howard’s unique vision to fuse vibrant Irish traditions with ever-evolving American innovation. Through a combination of hard-driving percussive power and aerial grace and rep that consistently presents males and females on equal footing, TIDC sends a clear message of female empowerment.

“The women of TIDC don’t only get to make noise,” says Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Hoy. “We’re expected to make noise."

In many ways the Company’s journey started when Howard’s creative success led to him becoming a regular guest on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson from 1989 until Carson’s retirement in 1991. Over the years he accumulated a multitude of national and international television credits including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS This Morning, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Today Show, Live with Regis, Good Morning America, Martha and CONAN, to name a few. From PBS and Network specials, to extensive film work for Disney, Touchstone, Universal, and Dream Works, Howard has worked with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ron Howard, and Sam Mendez. Howard’s body work in the arts has led to numerous Choreographer’s Fellowships awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been named three times as one of Irish American Magazine’s “Top 100 Irish-Americans,” and most recently, his global impact on the form was recognized with an induction into the Chicago  Irish American Hall of Fame, joining recent Arts & Humanities inductees including Bill Murray and Conan O’Brien. Howard continues to choreograph new dances and shows, as well as expand his independent career to work in theater, television, concert, and film. The feature film screenplay SOLES, which focuses on Howard and Trinity is currently in the works. 


    ‘JIG, a Trinity Irish Dance Company’
Feb 2: Anchorage, AK - Atwood Concert Hall
Feb 3: Fairbanks, AK - Hering Auditorium
Feb 6: Malibu, CA - Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts- Smothers Theatre
Feb 9: San Luis Obsipo, CA - Cal Poly Arts
Feb 10: Tucson, AZ - Fox Tucson Theatre
Feb 16 + 17: Ketchum, ID - Argyros Performing Arts Center
Feb 24: Germantown, TN - Germantown Performing Arts Center
Feb 28: Amherst, MA - UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

Trinity Irish Dance Company (Main Repertoire Company)
March 3: Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre - World Premiere of ‘Taking the Mick’
March 9: Chandler, AZ - Chandler Center for the Arts
March 15: Detroit, MI - Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
March 16: Burlington, VT - The Flynn
March 17: Newark, NJ - New Jersey Performing Arts Center
March 24: Fairfax, VA - George Mason Center for the Arts


Photo credit: Lois Greenfield