Great dancing and music is coming to On Stage at Kingsborough.
For the first time, on Saturday, May 20, the arts presenter is bringing The StepCrew to its venue for its spring season.
Cara Butler, co-creator and principal Irish dancer for The StepCrew, explained how the performance will bring a diverse group of world class dancers and performers.
“It’s a dance show based on three percussive styles,” she explained. “It’s Irish step dancing, tap dancing and a very unique form [called] Ottawa Valley Step Dancing. It’s a cross between Irish and tap. It started about 100 years ago in the Ottawa Valley in Canada. Lumber is a massive industry in Canada and after work, the lumberjacks would put a wooden board down, get their fiddles out and just start free style dancing to Irish music. What emerged from that was a very raw and organic style which differs from Irish dancing where the feet and the legs are more structured.”
Attendees that have been to shows of its kind, she said, can expect a unique experience. “It is Irish based as far as the music,” Butler explained. “There’s a traditional theme that goes through the show, but we have elements of jazz and folk music, and there’s rock and roll in there. It’s extremely high energy and between the three styles of dance, our full band, bass, drums, guitars, piano, three fiddle players and our amazing singer from Scotland we are sure to get Brooklyn pumped.”
“Our vocalist is known for a very unique style of singing called puirt, which literally means mouth music and is made specifically for dancing,” she added. “Our show is completely live. It’s not tracked at all and every performance is different and unique in its own way.”
The show is especially important for Butler as it is a homecoming for the New York native since she learned to dance in Bay Ridge. “Donny Golden was my teacher, he teaches out of Bay Ridge and he’s celebrating his 45th year of teaching,” she said, noting that her instructor taught out of the Bay Ridge Manor. “It’s like coming home for me because I took classes there and Donny Golden has his annual competition there. Our parents would drive myself and my sister Jean Butler, who was the original lead dancer in Riverdance, to Brooklyn and we would have classes at the Bay Ridge Manor.”
The StepCrew, which is performing in Brooklyn for the first time, is excited about the upcoming show. “I’ve heard such wonderful things about the venue,” Butler said. “It takes a while to get these things off the ground but when it does, it’s great that it finally happens and to see it come to life.”
The group, which has performed all over the states, and countries such as Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Scotland, is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary. “It’s pretty much the same group and we are a family,” she said.
“We have found that our audiences — whatever their ethnic origins — flock to our Irish dance and music programs,” said Executive Director of On Stage at Kingsborough Anna Becker. “We presented The National Dance Company of Ireland’s ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ and Michael Londra’s ‘Celtic Fire’ for instance, and we had very enthusiastic, sold-out houses. The StepCrew represents one of the finest and most exhilarating Celtic music and Step Dance companies and we are honored and excited to present them.”
Attendees can expect to be part of a crowd that includes all ages and races. “We love bringing together a diverse crowd because there’s something for everyone in our show,” Butler said. “They love seeing the different styles side by side and different music. Every number is different from the last and you leave feeling energized and entertained.”
“The StepCrew has an extremely broad appeal,” added Becker. “We expect to attract step dance enthusiasts, Celtic music lovers, family audiences and then audience members that simply love to attend a joyous, high energy, spectacular show.”
The StepCrew will perform at On Stage At Kingsborough on Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m. at 2001 Oriental Boulevard. Tickets start at $32. For more information, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.