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Emerald Elegance

Sixteen dancers in the elegant attire of the Titanic era waltzed around the central fountain of Belfast Castle under a sunny sky. Visitors to the beautiful public gardens watched as Ballroom Blitz Northern Ireland performed the graceful movements to the music of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The harbor, where great oceangoing vessels were built and launched, lay spread out below. The glittering dress and tiaras of the ladies, along with the white ties of the gentlemen, convinced one small visitor that these were "the princes and princesses of the castle."

Ballroom Blitz preserves the dance of various eras, performing in live events and several films. Choreographer Deborah Worseley, and her able supporters, learned about "Dancing Joy" through the International Council of Dance (CID), and crafted several dances to different sections of the symphony.

Film student Sophie Donnelly helped arrange many of the logistics for the day's shoot, and worked tirelessly to assist the crew. Mike Ferrete joined the crew for the week, flying in from Switzerland, and Tinko Tinev doubled as our crew driver and production assistant. In such a huge site, communications were a challenge. Small basic cell phones allowed the Director and Director of Photography to issue directions to the cast and crew three stories below. Despite the many challenges, the cast members danced with aplomb, managing to look coolly elegant despite the sun and heat.

The Cellar Restaurant, in the Castle, provided much-needed refreshment, and smoothly served guests who watched the filming from the al fresco tables flanking the iconic stairway that curves from the building to the ground.

The crew chose to reserve the Chichester Room, a sun-lit ballroom, for the final shooting sequence. Despite having danced hard all day, the group gladly promenaded through their formations as our camera team circled them, in the tradition of genuine artistes.

Visitors from many nations who were visiting the castle were deeply moved by the entire experience. Their cooperation allowed us to shoot even during their touring. It was an honor to meet such interesting families and individuals from every corner of the globe. Altogether, a day of graciousness and loveliness.

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