A day in the life at Expo: Riverdancer

Q and A

Name: Morgan Bullock

Age: 22

Nationality: American

Can you explain your role and your involvement in Expo 2020 Dubai? 

My involvement in Expo 2020 Dubai is as an Irish dancer with the theatrical stage show Riverdance. Riverdance is a Grammy Award-winning music-and-dance performance inspired by Irish traditions and heritage. This year, the show celebrates its 25th year, and to mark the occasion, will present a bespoke Middle Eastern influenced show at Jubilee Park at Expo 2020. There will be 23 shows across the month of November, in addition to pop-ups and masterclasses.

What does a typical day for you entail? 

A typical day for me starts with a shower and breakfast, followed by hair and make-up. Depending on the schedule, I’d walk to the stage for warm-ups before our show that takes place on the Jubilee Stage in the Expo Site. If I am scheduled to do a masterclass that day, I would go to that location to meet attendees. In the masterclasses, which last 30 minutes, we take participants through some of the steps. The masterclasses are free to attend and anyone can join; beginners and more experienced dancers alike. If I have any free time during the day, I use this to relax and explore Expo 2020 and Dubai. It’s an amazing city and I am loving every moment of being here.

What’s your favourite part of your role and why?

My favourite part of being an Irish troupe member with Riverdance is the connection that we share as dancers, musicians and crew. No matter where you are, in Ireland, England, the US or Dubai, the Riverdance family is such an amazing thing to be a part of. Of course, dancing with Riverdance is a dream come true for me, and seeing how all the dancers came together to produce such a wonderful representation of an Irish cultural phenomenon has made me happy and proud to be a part of it

مسودة تلقائية
DUBAI, 03 November 2021. Riverdance VIP Opening at Jubilee Stage, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Omar Marques/Expo 2020 Dubai)

What does Expo 2020 and its theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, mean to you?

Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ is a special connection to me as a teacher in America. I try to teach my students the important message that we are one world, irrespective of where we come from or where we live. Differences are to be embraced – especially differences in culture. These differences are an important part of the world’s social fabric and can bring us together in our efforts to better understand the world in which we live. One thing I have learnt in the last two years is how one of us affects us all, and there is no hard, dividing line of separation. Being in a closely-knit group, such as Riverdance, reinforces this belief.

Expo 2020’s three subthemes are Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – which of these most relate to your role at Expo and why/how?

I think the subtheme of Mobility relates most to my role at Expo 2020. My existence as part of the cast of Riverdance is proof that the exchange of ideas is beneficial. Most people who are not familiar with Riverdance would not know that one of the messages of the show is multiculturalism. Our cast members are from Ireland, England, Australia, Canada, America, Spain, Russia and beyond.

Do you have any amusing or heart-warming anecdotes to share from your experiences so far at Expo 2020?

One moment that was particularly heart-warming for me was when, after a show, a few cast members and I were sitting out on our balcony in the Expo Village. We took the time to reflect on how fortunate we all were to be in such a beautiful place doing what we love. All three of us there, at that moment, come from very different cultural backgrounds, but we are united by our shared passion for dancing.

Which Expo 2020 pavilions, attractions or events have you visited so far? Do you have any favourites and what has impressed you the most?

I have been able to visit many of the Expo 2020 pavilions, including Mexico, Australia, Moldova, India, Belgium, Chad, and, of course, the Ireland Pavilion! I love listening to the traditional Irish music in the Ireland Pavilion. The performers are constantly changing, meaning there is always something new for visitors to hear when they visit. I also enjoyed watching some performers at the Australian Pavilion one night after our show; the energy was great and it was fun to kick back with the cast for an evening.

What else are you looking forward to at Expo 2020?

I am enjoying every moment of every day here at Expo 2020, particularly when I am on stage in front of the crowds at Jubilee Park. I look forward to meeting new fans of Riverdance through the masterclasses and bringing the magic of the show to as many people as possible. I also look forward to further exploring the Expo site and city of Dubai more and soaking in the city’s atmosphere.