Celtic Illusion comes to the Port Theatre on March 1. (Photo courtesy Chris Hopkins)

Australian stage production combines Celtic dance and illusions

Celtic Illusion comes to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on first Canadian Tour

An Australian production combining magic and Celtic dance is touring Canada for the first time and on March 1 it makes its Vancouver Island debut at the Port Theatre.

Since 2011 Celtic Illusion has been continuously touring Australia as well as New Zealand and Hong Kong. This February and March producer and lead dancer Anthony Street is presenting his show to new audiences from Victoria to Thunder Bay, Ont. He said it means a lot to finally break into North America. He said his dream is to play Las Vegas.

“It’s a huge step for the show,” said Street, who also choreographs and directs Celtic Illusion. “It’s something I’ve been trying to do since it premiered nine years ago and it’s been a really long road and now we’re here. It’s still quite surreal.”

Celtic Illusion features a cast of 12 dancers and three musicians. Street said the magic is blended into the show, as illusions cause performers to appear, vanish and levitate.

“People shouldn’t expect anything like cutting a person in half. That’s not the kind of magic we’re doing,” Street said. “I’ve mixed the magic with the dancing in a way that it happens effortlessly and has a continuous flow.”

Street said combining the magic and dance is a “bizarre concept” that grew out of his childhood interest in both fields. He said at age eight he was inspired by David Copperfield to take up magic and dreamed of having an illusion show. Six years later he saw Riverdance on TV and took up dancing with the goal of creating his own dance production. Those two ambitions soon merged into one.

“I just thought to myself, ‘I may not get time in my life to do both a magic show and a dance show,’” Street said. “So I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll just put the two together and I’ll achieve my dream in one production.’”

WHAT’S ON … Celtic Illusion comes to the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Sunday, March 1 at 2 and 7 p.m. All seats $73.50. Tickets available at the box office.


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