They have called it “Celtic Soul” for a generation now. And who cares if he’s never been the best interview, or even that receptive to his audiences, from the pained look of early American Bandstand performances to more-recent evenings hidden behind sunglasses to hide his closed eyes. This coming weekend, from March 4 through 6, true Van the Man fans in the area will get the next-best thing to a return visit with a series of performances by Deirdre Lowry and Patrick Brown’s American Irish dance company Solas An Lae in a new production of The Celtic Soul of Van Morrison, a multimedia interpretation of Morrison’s career, playing at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
Solas An Lae Dance Company was established in 2005 by Lowry and Brown as a performance extension of Lowry’s School of Irish Dance, which she founded in upstate New York in 1998 at the age of 17. Solas an lae means “light of day” in Gaelic.
Morrison’s career stretches from his cantankerous presence with Them during early “Gloria” and “Mystic Eyes” days; balances the pop tune “Brown-Eyed Girl” with the ever-haunting “TB Sheets,” in which he actually cries on vinyl; soars through years of his own productions and touring bands from Moondance and Tupelo Honey to the wild funk of Wavelength and Into the Music; and has endeared with a steady album-per-year for decades now, incorporating a wide range of musical styles, collaborations and spiritual pursuits and insights over time.
The Celtic Soul of Van Morrison will play at the Center on Friday, Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Center is located just east of Rhinebeck at 661 Route 308, headed towards Pine Plains (as well as the infamous fork in the road). For more information and tickets, call (845) 876-3080 or visit www.centerforperformingarts.org. And be sure to “Listen to the Lion.”