CHRIS NAISH - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - CHOREOGRAPHER
Chris is a performer, teacher & choreographer from Bristol UK. He began learning multiple styles of dance from the age of 4 but was soon hooked on the high-energy and rhythm of ‘Irish dance’.
After many years of dancing on the ‘feis’ circuit for Sean Eireann McMahon dance school in Bristol, Chris retired from competitive dancing at the age of 19 after becoming All-Ireland, European, National & Regional Champion (As well as being part of a World Champion Figure Team). He graduated with a distinction in Performing Arts at Filton College in Bristol before joining Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the dance’ at the age of 20 where he then toured for 4 years. Highlights include being picked for corporate performances with Michael Flatley and performing at prestigious venues in over 40 countries. His professional dance career continued with other high profile companies including 5 years in ‘Riverdance’ & most recently as a featured dancer on Celtic Woman’s ’10 Yr Anniversary World Tour’.
In 2010, Chris branched away from what had become the typical Irish Dance show experience and co-created an experimental street level project called ‘Sneaky Steppers’, a public ambush crew that would break into several styles of spontaneous dance for unsuspecting audiences. Notable achievements there include co-organising a Flash mob in Sydney Central Station with Tourism Ireland, which was a viral success on You Tube. (15 Million Views).
When taking breaks from the touring shows, he spent his time living in ‘New York City’ and began to choreograph for various dance projects and collaborations including dance crew ‘Hammerstep’. He was also invited to be a choreographer for ‘Studio2Stage’ in New Jersey for a cast of more than 80 dancers. Chris has since been asked to teach performance workshops in his own unique ‘Irish Fusion’ style at festivals and studios worldwide.
On his return to the UK, Chris launched his latest project ‘Fusion Fighters’ on St Patrick’s Day 2013. It quickly established itself through performance workshops, video projects, performances & online charity campaigns. Recent campaigns in 2016 alone have collectively received over 20 Million views, earning them a fast growing community of followers and interest across social media. Their professional dance crew also gained national exposure on a 30-minute documentary series called ‘Jigs & Wigs shown on BBC1, BBC2 & BBC4. Highlights of their performances in Trafalgar Square to 15,000 people and The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow at the '2016 World Irish Dance Championships 2016' & many more can be found on their YouTube page.
The next step for the Fusion Fighters crew is to showcase their latest work at festivals and events across Europe in 2017 including 'Move It Dance, London', The 'Irish Folk Festival, Germany' and at ‘Fusion Dance Fest 2017, Limerick'. There are also plans in motion to launch a new campaign and documentary dubbed 'Dancers Create Not Hate', that will take place across all 6 Continents and involve around 1000 dancers. With plans to make 'Fusion Dance Fest' in Limerick an annual event and to expand it over to the United States in 2018, it's safe to say his growing online community will have lots to look forward to and to get involved with. Not to mention Chris will certainly have enough to keep himself busy..