Trinity Irish Dance to Perform as Part of KeyBank Dance Series

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: January 16, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Trinity Irish Dance at 8 p.m. on Feb 23 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. There will be a pre-performance talk at 7 p.m. The performance is sponsored by KeyBank.

Trinity Irish Dance quickly dispels whatever notions one may have about Irish dance. Founded in 1990 by Artistic Director Mark Howard as a means of providing professional career opportunities to students who formerly had no outlet for their dance training beyond the competitive circuit, this innovative nonprofit company is constantly searching for original means of expression while maintaining a high regard for old traditions. Trinity, a uniquely Irish-American company, was the birthplace of progressive Irish dance, which opened new avenues of artistic expression that led to commercial productions such as "Riverdance."

A majority of the company's dancers came through the ranks of the prestigious Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, the Chicago/Milwaukee- based school that has garnered an unprecedented number of team world titles for the United States at the World Championships of Irish Dance. Many of them have danced together since they were children; building an instinctual bond that allows them to take risks no other company would dare attempt. Their years of rigorous training are evident in every perfectly paced spin, leap and click, making them a lethal powerhouse of speed and sound that has electrified audiences around the world.

Not content to be simply the world's best, however, Howard has moved outside the framework of ethnicity, expanding the company's range and repertoire in a host of imaginative and new directions. By using Irish dance as an instrument and a metaphor, Trinity crosses both cultural and disciplinary boundaries in important ways. The result is a thoroughly fresh and engaging artistic vision that goes beyond the source without losing touch with its essence.

Trinity Irish Dance, made up of dancers between the ages of 18 and 28, has performed to great critical and popular acclaim on stages throughout the world, with sold-out tours in Europe and Asia and appearances in numerous distinguished U.S. venues. The company has appeared in feature films by Disney, Dream Works, Touchstone and Universal including "Backdraft" and "The Road to Perdition" and on countless national television programs including "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "CBS This Morning," "Live with Regis" and "Good Morning America."

Trinity has won two Emmy Awards for their appearance on the PBS television specials "One Step Beyond" and "World Stage," and was featured in the ABC special "Dignity of Children," hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

Trinity holds a unique place in the dance world, offering both a highly skilled presentation of traditional Irish step dance and a brilliantly engaging interpretation of contemporary world vision.

Tickets for Trinity Irish Dance are $18 general admission, students $10. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS. Students (of any school) must present valid student ID at the Center Box Office to receive discount.