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24th August 2013 | 8pm. Doors 7:30pm

To close out the summer, the New Century will present its sometimes-annual, sold-out spectacular of Irish Traditional music and dance, THE BIG REEL (No. 1)! Featuring some of the hardest-working traditional performers in Maryland and DC, the New Century’s summer performance will showcase historical choreography alongside unique new pieces created by New Century members, and traditional music gleaned from more than two centuries of printed collections.

Headlining the show will be the New Century’s directors, composer and arranger Peter Brice (button accordion, ballad-singing) and principal choreographer Kate Bole (step dance). Tenor banjoist Bob Smith, pianist Donna Long, and bodhrán player Myron Bretholz, will join them, presenting selections of their individual work. The cast features choreographers Lizzy Demaree, Joe Duffey, Catherine Marafino, and Phil Stacy, with dancers Denise Daniele, Lynne Haslbeck, Katie Kilner, Rebecca Marklin, Maggie McNamara, Caitlin Ward, and Sean Wilkes!

The New Century’s music and dance studios are comprised of local traditional artists who learned to play and dance in Maryland and Washington, DC. These musicians and dancers exude a locally-emergent style of Irish Traditional music that combines the musical influence of Billy McComiskey and Brendan Mulvihill with the step-dance legacy left to us by Peggy O’Neill.

Entrenched in tradition, at the heart of the New Century is its mission to empower traditional performers, and raise the visibility of the traditional arts in America. “The New Century’s performance ensemble is a laboratory for new ideas,” says company director Peter Brice, “But we aren't experimenting on traditional music and dance—we're testing new platforms for traditional artists to pursue their creativity at the highest level.”

The Big Reel (No. 1) is co-sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and The Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, in conjunction with the New Century.