As many of you know, expandance celebrated 5 years in existence last week. To celebrate, I flew home to Ireland from my current digs in NYC in order to be with Laurie and Alicia, and to meet with a couple of venues we may perform in in 2012. (More on that soon!) It was lovely to be back in Dun Laoghaire and to be able to catch a performance and a ballet class at Dance Ireland while in Dublin.
One of the highlights of the trip turned out to be my visit to Alicia's Over 60s expandancers Ré Órga at the George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow. Alicia speaks highly of this group - it's been going strong now with over 25 regulars in attendance for over a year - and I was looking forward to meeting them. What I didn't expect was their overwhelming welcome, nor their joyous and obviously solid rapport as a group.
I spoke with many of the dancers over their tea break and without exception they thought Alicia was 'full of enthusiasm' and great to work with, and enjoyed their weekly classes with her. I was also delighted to see them rehearse a couple of their fabulous, and quite beautiful performance pieces.
Ladies: It was so lovely to meet you, after writing blog posts about you, hearing about you all for so long, and working with Alicia and GB Shaw on the administration required to get this programme off the ground. Thank you for such a generous welcome, and for your commitment to expandance!
p.s. did you notice the new name? After months (and months!) of deliberation, Alicia, along with our Over 60's group has decided on a name: Ré Órga - literally translated from Irish it means "Golden Age" - but as our very own Donnacha MacAodhagáin explains, it's more than that: 'Ré is a lovely word - doesn't just mean an age, or period of time, but is an old Irish word for the moon, too - which they used to measure time, long long ago....'