Rhythm of the Dance: Native Songs, Dancing epic coming into Uniontown

Since St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated, a little of Ireland will soon be arriving to Uniontown.

“Rhythm of the Dance” will appear on phase 7 p.m. March 18 at the State Theatre Center for the Arts, 37 E. Main St., Uniontown.

“That is a way to show the entire world about Irish culture,” said band leader Shane Moran.

Moran explained the series underwent a complete revamp three years ago, which makes it today with a successful new format. The lineup now consists of just two female singers, five artists (a number of whom also sing), and between 18 and 20 dancers, Moran explained.

“The most important issue is it is now completely live, there is new outfits, it is more contemporary looking, the collection has shifted and today, behind the artists and point, there is a massive 80-foot screen with a projector,” Moran explained, noting that the projector will display audiences moving images of Ireland, including the well-known cliffs.

“You truly feel as if you’re there,” he explained.

According to this “Rhythm of the Dance” website, the two-hour series uses “contemporary art forms of dance and music” to tell the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history.

“Mixing traditional dancing and music together with the most up to date stage technologies, the series is a million year-old story executed with all of the benefits of the modern day stage series,” the website states.

Along with the revamped arrangement comes new choreography that Moran says is “unbelievable.”

He goes as far as saying that’s the highlight of this series — all of the Irish dance.

“The live music and measures are so complicated,” he said, applauding the dancers that often performing the 90-minute series 5-6 days per week.

“It is insanity,” he added with a laugh.

The five artists, Moran on the four-string Irish banjo included, create a mixture of noises from traditional Irish instruments like the wooden flute and Bodhran — a Irish percussion instrument made of extended goatskin. Additionally, there are accordion and fiddle players.

Because the music is 100% live with the new format, ” Moran explained the audiences have come to be increasingly enthused. He explained the “liveness” of it entails the crowd the most.

“It is real, it is raw, and it is Irish,” he explained. “There’s no artificial stuff.”

Erica Miller, theater director at the State, said they reserved the series there many years ago. She said they’re worried for its recurrence, since it is typically a favorite series.

“It is Irish dance and music, and it is going to be a fun night,” Miller explained, adding that it is a fantastic time of year to enjoy the series, because the famous Irish vacation St. Patrick’s Day is just the day before.

“People love these types of displays, and this is a fantastic way to attract a bit of Irish right here to Uniontown,” Miller explained.

After the series, Moran explained the performers frequently greet audience members, showing them their own tap reveals and instruments, while signing autographs and taking photos.

“It is only a fantastic night of pleasure, and you really feel as if you’re there,” Moran said.

Prices are $35, $36 and $40, and are available online or by calling 724-439-1360.