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'Carol of the King' dance production preserves holiday spirit

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, 12:03 a.m.
“Carol of the King, the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular”
Submitted
“Carol of the King, the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular”
Fiddle players in Two Step Productions’ “Carol of the King, the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular.”
Submitted
Fiddle players in Two Step Productions’ “Carol of the King, the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular.”

Connor Sheridan says “Carol of the King” is about preserving the Christmas spirit.

Sheridan, of Brick, N.J., portrays the leading role of King Solomon in the touring production of “Carol of the King, the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular,” coming to Greensburg’s Palace Theatre for an afternoon performance Dec. 2.

The show was created by the same production company, Two Step Productions, which annually performs its “Rhythm in the Night, the Irish Dance Spectacular” during tours in the spring.

New dance direction

Its holiday offering is a new direction for the company that features a troupe of 20 that includes two fiddle players and professional Irish dancers performing traditional hard-shoe rhythms and soft-shoe jigs to a new orchestral soundtrack.

“The music is gorgeous,” says Sheridan, who started Irish dancing as a teen in New Jersey.

He competed in regional and world championships and has been featured in “Irish Dancing Magazine.” He competed in the World Championships in 2013 and ranked within the top 50 in the world. He danced in his first tour with “Rhythm in the Night” in 2016.

In the legend of “Carol of the King,” his character, King Solomon, and his kingdom are preparing for the Christmas season celebration when they encounter the dark sorceress Circe and her ghostly legion known as The Frost. She places the king under her spell in an attempt to steal the throne and do away with Christmas.

Saving Christmas

Fortunately for King Solomon, members of his kingdom come to his rescue to free him and restore the celebration of Christmas to the land.

Sheridan says that being on the road for a tour that doesn’t wind down until Dec. 22 can be grueling for the troupe. All of the dancers have individual diet and exercise routines to keep their bodies fit and their muscles stretched.

Besides his role in the show, Sheridan serves as a mentor for other troupe members, leading rehearsals and assisting with choreography.

“The challenge is to stay fit and keep your body conditioned,” he says. “It’s basically living to work.”

After the holidays, Sheridan will start preparing for his next role, playing the lead in Two Step Productions’ next “Rhythm of the Night” show in the spring.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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