RTE Television

Dance Off

The international search to bring the world's best Irish dancers together for an innovative new performance is the subject of a new irish language series called Dance Off.

Dance Off follows the making of NOCTÚ - an Irish Dance play- from auditions and boot camp, to the creative development and rehearsal of this new show. The series comes to a climax when 13 Irish dancers from Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Canada and Hungary take to the stage for the world premier of NOCTÚ.

Choreographer and director, former Riverdance Principal Dancer - Breandan de Gallai recruits Dearbhla Lennon, another Riverdance Principal, to help him find and train up the dancers. Over the course of the series he also pulls in some professional favours from actors, cheerleaders and comedians to teach the dancers how use their voices and their whole bodies on stage. For some of the cast it is a life changing opportunity, for others the demands of the show are overwhelming.

NOCTÚ * is a totally new departure for the Irish dance show genre. Described as an Irish dance play, NOCTÚ strives to tell the story of Irish dance from the viewpoint of the dancer using movement, narrative, parody, comedy and pathos. The show pushes the boundaries of Irish dance and allows the audience to see behind the scenes and get under the skin of those who negotiate the politics, the struggles, the highs and the lows, the joy and the pain of being an Irish dancer.


Programme 1

The hard task of finding new talent for his new Dance Show - Breandán de Gallaí and Dearbhla Lennon begin Dublin Auditions, with actor, Tony Devlin. Irish Dancers from America, New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic, Austria and Ireland turn up with the hope of winning a place at the DANCE OFF Boot Camp.

Programme 2

At the Belfast auditions Irish dancers from Hungry, America, England, Scotland and the North attepmt to impress Breandán, Dearbhla and Tony Devlin.

But Breandán still hasn't found what he's looking for and casts the net wider to Aix-en-Provence and with the help of his former River Dance partner, Joanne Doyle, fills the last places for the DANCE OFF boot camp

Programme 3

Dance Off bootcamp kicks off this week. The chosen dancers hope to be able to make it through the next five days to reach the final cast of 12 for the new Irish Dance Stage show, brainchild of Breandán de Gallaí.

Together with Dearbhla Lennon, Breandán has the hard job of choosing the best of the 39 hopefuls a task which is not helped when some of the best World Championship dancers go home early due to personal circumstances.

Programme 4

With only 3 days left of the DANCE OFF Boot Camp, Breandán de Gallaí challenges the dancers to show off their acting skills on the streets of Belfast's Cornmarket! And they have to come to terms with a very different style of dance.

Time is running out - can Breandán find his final 12 for the cast of the new Irish dance stage show?

Programme 5

It's four weeks to go to the opening night of Breandán's new Irish Dance stage show with a difference. The final cast face highs and lows. Dancers eat, sleep and breathe the new dance routines and scenes until they get it perfect.

A fitness coach is brought on board to whip some into shape - it's not only the Irish dance steps that are being stripped back and for their upcoming photo shoot they've got to look fit as well!

With three lead roles up for grabs, the dancers do their best to impress the judges. And Dearbhla Lennon keeps the dancers on their toes.

Programme 6

It's show time. With only one day left before the opening night of the show at Lisburn's Civic Theatre, the dancers see the venue for the first time. After all the searching for the talent and the rehearsal, the time for Breandán de Gallaí's new Irish Dance show to go on has finally arrived.

Along the way the project is beset with problems - performance issues, costumes, lights, sound, injury both for the dancers and even Breandán himself. But tonight the audience will be taking their seats and if the show is to have a future it hangs on this one performance - no pressure ! Will NOCTÚ bring the house down or will it be curtains for Breandan's dream!

Dance Off
  • RTÉ One, Monday, 7.30pm