Brian Beacom

THE STORY of the Titanic is legend, encompassing incredible sadness at the loss of wasted human life, and anger, that the disaster could have been avoided.

We’ve seen films featuring the sinking of the world’s most famous ship, including James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster.

But now prepare yourself for the theatre dance show.

TitanicDance is an “Irish musical dance sensation” that tells the story of the liner, from its creation in a Belfast shipyard to its tragic end in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912.

The show, featuring a cast of 30 world class Irish dancers and live musicians took Irish audiences by storm when it opened at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast in 2014.

Now, it’s coming to Glasgow’s SECC.

“This is not just an Irish dance show; it’s an emotional journey of hope, aspiration, love, heartbreak and sadness that will mesmerise audiences everywhere,” said a spokesman for TitanicDance

TitanicDance features the very best Irish dancers.

Lead dancer, Raymond Sweeeny (who is also a producer and Creative Director) for example, began dancing at the age of nine and has won World Championships medals.

At 16, he began his professional career with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, his first performance being the prestigious Feet of Flames show in London’s Hyde Park.

Raymond then went on to spend the next six years performing with Lord of the Dance in Las Vegas.

He explains how TitanicDance came about.

“It was in 2012 on the 100th year anniversary of the tragic events of the Titanic that I came up with the idea to do the show.

“Creating my own production was something I always dreamed of doing so I got a team together and started choreographing the show with Louise Hayden and James Keegan in a little prefab in my dad’s work yard.

“It took many long hours of hard work, determination and a lot of patience but it was all worth it as the end result exceeded our expectations.”

Raymond believes the show has the power to transform.

“TitanicDance has it all,” he maintains. “Live Irish music, song and dance and a story line that will have you on the edge of your seat and possibly in tears.”

He adds; “Audiences across the globe deserve to see this production. You will not be disappointed.”

There are some who wonder how the story of a hunk of metal being floated on the ocean - which then sank - can prove to be the stuff of romance, in film or on the live stage.

But the HMS Titanic has enduring appeal, a story of self-sacrifice, compassion and courage.

Belfast’s Titanic exhibition is now a major tourist attraction.

“I couldn’t believe no one had thought of telling the story that way before,” says Raymond of the theatre concept.

“Maybe they just didn’t know how to fit the numerous intricacies of the Titanic story - the shovelling of coal, the different classes, the sinking and so on - through dance.”

TitanicDance, which has already been performed in the US and China, tells the story via projection, costumes and true detail of the voyage, merging with both music and dance.

The romantic storyline will follow the essence of James Cameron’s film. Why would it wish to deny the appeal of first-class girl meets third-class boy storyline.

However, the theatre show features a different ending.

“We’re telling our story in an easy-to-follow manner, differentiating classes through light, colour, costumes and music,” says Raymond.

“There’ll be a mixture of Irish dancing styles and four sung numbers on show.”

He adds; “Telling this story, a story with so many possibilities, in the form of dance is both exciting and unique.

“But it’s not just about the dance - it’s about projecting a whole spectrum of emotions through music too.

“We feel like we’ve created something that’s not just your everyday Irish dance, but has a universal appeal.”

*TitanicDance, the SECC, September 23.