Culture & Events

Dance, illusion combine at Claudelands

A teenage New Zealand dancer features in a unique show blending Irish dance and illusion.
Wellington’s Samantha Tait, 19, is among the cast performing Celtic Illusion, which is held at Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena this Sunday, 2 September.
It’s the second season the show has toured New Zealand, with a sell-out season in 2016.
Tait always held big dreams about becoming a professional show dancer and is over the moon to join this international spectacular.

“I feel very lucky to have been picked for the show,” she says. “It’s a dream come true and I’m extremely excited to learn and be a part of Celtic Illusion.”

Sam has danced her whole life, since she could walk, starting with ballet and ‘Wee Bops’ (mini aerobics) and moving to jazz, hip hop and other forms. A choreographer for her school dance competitions over four years and her love to exercise in all kinds of dance whenever she could kept her focussed and passionate about achieving her dreams.

Sam has achieved five NZ National titles, travelled to Australian competitions six times and placed highly, competed at World Championships held in Dublin, London and Glasgow. In 2017, Sam placed second at the Australian International Oireachtas – a major Irish dancing event on the Australian dance calendar – and she also competed at this year’s World Championships.

“It’s a dream come true and I’m extremely excited to learn and be a part of Celtic Illusion.”

Celtic Illusion’s hallmark individuality, is the creative and seamless fusion of two spellbinding art forms never before seen together on stage – electrifying contemporary Irish dance and awe inspiring grand Illusion with mind-blowing magical elements, incredible choreography, heart-racing music and a sensory experience like no other, audiences will be kept on the edge of their seats and left wanting more.

Showcasing a stellar cast of champion and internationally-acclaimed dancers, including performers from Rhythms of Ireland, the world-renowned Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, Celtic Illusion offers some of the fastest taps in the world as the dancer’s thunderous rhythm fills the stage in perfect unison. The show is led by Anthony Street, who has performed leading roles in The Rhythms of Ireland and Michael Flatley’s widely-acclaimed Lord of the Dance including the role Flatley originally performed.

Celtic Illusion also offers an incredible soundtrack composed by a stellar team, including Angela Little who co-composed the soundtrack Baz Luhrman’s film Australia, as well as Steve Skinner who has arranged and produced for artists such as Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder and the Broadway musical Rent.

  • Celtic Illusion, Sunday 2 September 5pm – Claudelands Arena, tickets from Ticketek.

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