Boston and Beyond..
It seems fitting we finished the first leg of our world tour in Boston, the Irish capital of America! When not performing at the beautiful Wang Theatre, we enjoyed eating everything in site at Quincy Market, spending all our money on Newbury Street and checking out the centuries old history of the city.
One of our first Boston outings was Freedom trail, a walk through Boston’s Back Bay area marked in the pavement with a line of red brick. The trail took us through some of the most notable buildings and landmarks to colour Boston’s vibrant history. It’s here we saw the graves of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Elizabeth Foster Goose, a Bostonian woman believed to be famed children’s author, Mother Goose. The trail also took us through Boston Common, the oldest public park in North America, and past the site of the first ever public school.
Boston is home to Harvard, one of the most prestigious Universities in the world. I had planned on visiting Cambridge, home of the Harvard campus, during my time in Boston, but didn’t plan on getting a guided tour from one of its students. By chance, an old Irish Dancing friend from home was in the audience one evening. After chatting at the stage door, I learned she was now a Harvard PhD student; I couldn’t refuse her offer to show me a “behind the scenes” tour of the campus.
I met Sarah (now officially the smartest person I know), a few days later in Harvard Square. She showed me the freshman-dining hall (a building straight out of Harry Potter), the main Library (the quietest place on earth) and both the Harvard School of Business and Law. I learned that Harvard has one of the most extensive libraries in the world buried deep beneath the campus, and for the last few years, Harvard has had an Irish Dancing Club. I always knew Irish Dancers were smart!
The cast taught two classes in Boston, to two very different audiences. The first was a press call where we taught local media celebrities a few steps from the show. For some of them, it was about trying to get through the choreography, while others took it seriously and wanted to nail every step; for all of us, it was a good laugh.
The second class was our final, and biggest, outreach program to date. We had almost 500 kids attend. Like always, we think they learned more than a few steps from the show during our morning session. We couldn’t have done this one without the help of the Boston Irish Cultural Centre’s amazing venue, so thank you once again to them. Click here to see pictures from the class.
The cast is now taking a well-deserved rest, either at home or on holiday. Some are currently in London for the World Irish Dancing Championships. Two of our cast members, Ceili Moore and Fred Nguyen, are competing for the title, so we wish them both the best of luck. I can see from checking my Facebook feed, they have a Heartbeat of Home cheering section including non-Irish dancers Curtis, Clare, Kieran, Renako, Vanessa and Tenisha. Seeing this continued post-tour support makes me proud to be a part of this great family.
This is the end for now, but I look forward to filling you in on the exciting second leg of our world tour. Until then…
All photos ©Ryan McCaffery.