Rian’ showcases Ó Maonlaí’s musical passion

This past summer Irish rocker Joe Hurley, curated OurLand, a dynamic outdoor celebration of Irish heritage at Lincoln center. Now it’s Liam Ó Maonlaí’s turn to dazzle the big apple with a modern interpretation of his Celtic Roots. Ó Maonlaí, the Dublin born front man for the rock group Hothouse Flowers, has teamed up with choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and Ireland’s renowned dance theater company, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, to create “Rian” – a show where contemporary dance and traditional Irish music meet. “Rian” will make its New York City debut as part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, a month long celebration of artistic expression, with performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College on Nov. 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Ó Maonlaí will also perform an intimate hour-long concert as part of the White Light Festival at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

A man of great musical versatility, Ó Maonlaí is an All-Ireland Bodhran player, an accomplished pianist, he plays guitar, harp, tin whistle, and is one of Ireland’s best Sean Nos Singers. His first solo album, “Rian,” serves as the soundtrack to his latest project with the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre. The Irish word for “imprint” or “trace,” “Rian” is a beautiful showcase of Ó Maonlaí’s passion for playing and singing traditional Irish music. While the sounds of Rian are quite traditional, the sights are far from the costumes and movements normally associated with Irish music.

Ó Maonlaí’s partner in crime on the project is fellow Dublin native, Michael Keegan-Dolan – the artistic director for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, a group that is gaining international recognition for its creative and controversial productions. Sharing the stage with five of Ireland’s top musicians is a multicultural crew of eight dancers who set exciting and contemporary movement to the sounds of harps, bodhrans, fiddles and flutes.

Talent and innovation, Irish music and contemporary dance, it’s a recipe for a memorable evening in New York City.

Get your tickets to Rian at whitelightfestival.org or call 212-721-6500, and as Liam Ó Maonlaí sings in a popular Hothouse Flowers Song “dance for all your worth. Just let that rhythm take you home.”

My picks for the best Irish sounds around town this week: Declan O’Rourke at Stage One in Fairfield, CT on 11/2, Mary Black with Roisin O at City Winery in NYC on 11/6, and The Screaming Orphans at on 11/6 at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC.