Step lively
by Cheryl A. Rice
November 20, 2008 01:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"What we are trying to achieve in Solas An Lae is to find a path away from the obvious and try to create an ambiguity in performance, pushing the limits of tradition and preparing our dancers for the stage," said Deirdre Lowry, founder of Solas An Lae, the Irish dance troupe that will be performing at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck this Saturday, November 22. Students will be slapping the boards beginning at 11 a.m.

Lowry moved to Red Hook with her parents as a teenager, but was already deeply involved in Irish dance lessons. Both she and her brother had been taking lessons since the age of six or seven, and Lowry said that her mother continued to get them to lessons in New York City, making the two-hour drive from northern Dutchess County three or four days a week after school: "Needless to say, I didn't have much of a social life!"

When Lowry was 17, she said that families in the neighborhood began asking her to give lessons herself. While involved in the dance program at Bard, continuing her own lessons - and, oh, yes, high school - she began to give Irish dance lessons in her parents' garage on the weekends. Within a year, Lowry had a hundred students and was teaching five days a week.

In 2006, she secured an old chocolate factory in Red Hook, and after renovations, Solas An Lae - the name she'd chosen for her school, Gaelic for "Light of Day" - finally had a permanent home. Co-director Patrick Brown came on board in 2003. The performance at the Center will feature ten dancers.

Tickets for the Solas An Lae performance at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck are $9 for adults and $7 for kids. The show is a part of CPAR's Saturday Morning Family Series. On the day of the show, if tickets remain, they will be on sale an hour before the performance, at the box office only, at the discounted rates of $8 and $6. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at (845) 876-3080. For more information on Solas An Lae, check out the troupe's website at, or call (845) 876-5694.

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