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Artist Q&A: Suzanne Cleary

Former riverdancers and Britain’s Got Talent alumni, Up and Over It, will be hopping onto our stage thiis May with Into the Water, a foot-stomping, hand-tapping show set in a magical wasteland, where anything is possible and friendship is everything. In anticipation of the show, we caught up with co-founder and dance Suzanne Cleary:

– What’s your background?

I have Irish danced since the day I could walk! Competition was mainly what we practised for but on some occasions we had a chance to display our skills at some events and parties. I was hooked and from then on realised the stage is where I wanted to be if it would have me. Putting competition aside and heading off to Hammersmith Apollo like a deer in headlights at the age of seventeen to join the line of a new stage production called Riverdance that was taking the World by storm. That’s where Peter and I met and instantly connected. Twenty years on still dancing together with our own production Up & Over it creating and performing new and exciting ways to present folk and percussive dance.

– What work do you most enjoying doing?

We perform in many different environments from cabaret to outdoor festivals; circus to online videos but my heart will always be in theatre. It’s the toughest work to create but the most rewarding. To create a specific environment and see how it can affect people is the best feeling. I remember the first theatre shows that I saw as a child and would love to know that our work has the same influence on those kids that come to see our show.

– What food, drink, song inspires you?

We are very much influenced by music of the 80’s and the movies that we watched as children such as E.T, The Goonies and The never-ending story. Incorporating toys and games of our childhood is entertaining to see the reactions of the parents reminiscing and the children quizzing them on the items we are using. They are mostly blown away at the fact we used vynals and tapes! And of course digestive biscuits were a huge part of the 80’s so they have to make an appearance!

– Favourite or most inspirational performance?

Anything that Alexander Ekman has choreographed. Especially for the Nederlands Dans Theatre

– What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

Don’t take yourself too serious. Fooling and joking around have created some of the best performances.

See the full details of Into the Water here >>>


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