Sault Ste. Marie news: Celtic Illusion dance troupe is coming to Northern Ontario

GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie is organizing her first non-sporting event since the start of the pandemic.

Celtic Illusion organizers say audiences have been particularly excited ahead of their arrival in northern Ontario, as spectators look forward to a return to live performances.

Anthony Street, director and producer of Celtic Illusion, said the concept of fusing traditional Irish dancing with magic is something he’s been thinking about for a long time.

“I was into magic first and dreamed of having a big illusion show like David Copperfield, who I looked up to,” said Street, who is also the show’s lead dancer.

“When I started Irish dancing lessons I also had a big dream of having a big dance show like Michael Flatley. And I just thought maybe I wouldn’t have time to produce these two shows, so I thought I should put the two together.

Among the performers joining Street on stage is Montreal dancer Natasha Woytiuk, who said audiences were thrilled to be able to see a live performance.

“It was quite a special experience,” Woytiuk said.

“We’ve had kids dancing in the aisles, in their seats, watching us, and it’s so special for us to be back on stage and seeing that reaction from the audience.”

The pandemic has brought a lot of downtime for performers, and Woytiuk said dancers are doing their best to stay in shape.

“You can’t just take two years off completely and come back and expect to be at your best,” she said.

“I think most of us did our best to keep up with our training individually or do small projects at home as best we could.”

Street said getting on stage in front of cheering spectators was worth it in the end.

“Just getting on stage in front of a live audience making everyone so happy is so rewarding,” he said. “It’s worth the hard work.”

After the Sault Ste. Marie, Celtic Illusion will tour Southern Ontario before returning to Northern Ontario for a performance on April 22 in Sudbury.

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