A seat at the ballet, a chat with the man behind the vision…


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Shaun Dougherty is a musician, a teacher, a composer and guitarist, he holds a B.M. from the Berklee College of Music in Commercial Arranging and Performance Guitar. In all he can boast twenty-seven years’ experience in recording, teaching music and performing in both Las Vegas and Boston and now he has written and released a contemporary ballet, and a vampire ballet to boot, entitled “Irene

Shaun contacted us recently to introduce himself and his work;
Hello my name is Shaun Dougherty and I had the world premiere of my original Vampire ballet ‘Irene’ at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE and everyone loved it! Now we need to make a promo video to shop it around and have it performed again in other schools, theatres, colleges, dance studios and states! In supporting this project, you are helping to bring a new audience to ballet and with that, supporting the Arts!

The ballet ‘Irene’ is described, on Shaun’s website as, “A story of love and loss, and not every ending is what it seems
Shaun also told us that the premiere performance on February 21st, 2014, at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE, was regarded as a “critical success…

We would like to pass on the following request from Shaun and we, at RVL, are proud to be able to support this innovative and exceptional artist;

Please visit the link below for all the details and how to make a tax deductible donation today!
Thank you for your time
Shaun Dougherty


For further information about the artist please visit www.shaundougherty.com


We took the opportunity, recently, to catch up with Shaun and find out a little more about the ballet and about the man himself.

RVL: Good evening Shaun, thank you for sparing us a little time, how are you?

SD: Hello Tim, I’m actually great! I’m in a very exciting part of my life right now as a composer.

RVL: From your website bio we read that you have been involved in the music industry, teaching and playing, for some 27 years. How did you get started in the business?

SD: My parents are both musicians. My mother is classically trained playing the pipe organ and my father is a hard core Be-Bop Jazz guitarist. It just kinda happened. I asked my dad one day to show me how ‘White Wedding’ by Billy Idol was played. He showed me in about 5 seconds then asked if I wanted to start lessons and I of course said yes.

"Irene" - A Vampire Ballet

“Irene” – A Vampire Ballet

RVL: …and what is your favourite facet of the work that you do?

SD: I love that it’s all music. I love what I do for fun and for money. It’s all the same. Teaching is great, composing is great, but being on stage is the best for me.

RVL: Who were, or are, your musical influences?

SD: My parents and my sister. My sister is a great singer, she did the rock thing for 12 years touring the world and now she is doing a very cool Country/Blues/Rockabilly thing. The Cure, Concrete Blonde, NIN, Ministry, Bowie, Miyavi, George Benson. I’m all over the place.
RVL: Turning to your latest project now, the ballet “Irene”, “the original vampire ballet”, what drew you to combine the horror/vampire genre with ballet?

SD: I grew up loving Anne Rice and before that any Peter Cushing vampire movies. I have a lot of dancer friends and somehow the idea just hit me to do a Vampire ballet. All of the Arts are suffering with a lack of attendance. The next generation of fans will not get to see Ballet, Opera or Symphony if we do not expose people to these amazing art forms. I have watched as ‘Twilight’ has caused a new generation of kids to fall in love with vampires. So, in writing a contemporary Vampire themed ballet, I am hoping to bring in a new younger audience to see how beautiful, powerful and sensual ballet is!!!


RVL: …and what was the most difficult thing about melding the art form with the subject matter?

SD: That is the best part! I wrote the story and wrote all the music. Then I met with the choreographer Alex Buckner, we had 1 meeting and talked through the story and that was all. He did all the choreography on his own! it was the easiest part. Alex is brilliant. It’s that simple.

RVL: Are ‘vampires’ something you’ve been interested in for a long time, or was it an interest born from the idea for “Irene”?

SD: I loved Vampires since I was a kid. I think I saw a Vampire movie with Peter Cushing on a Saturday morning once, it was in black and white but the draw was immediate. The passion and sensuality captured me but, I didn’t really understand what that was until I was a little older.

RVL: We are very glad you found us at RVL and asked us to become involved in promoting the project, were you aware, during the writing, development and pre-production of the project, that there was a global community that identify as “modern vampires”?

SD: Thank you very much for helping me spread the word! I know there is a global community which is why I am now reaching out. I have lived in Miami, Boston, Las Vegas and back here in Delaware and have traveled many more places. I can always see the ‘community members’ *smiles*

RVL: After you have raised the necessary funds required to keep “Irene” going and growing there will be other projects you will want to tackle, without giving anything away, what other interests do you want to combine with the music? (feel free to be evasive here in the interests of piquing people’s curiosity LOL)

SD: There has never been a sequel to a ballet…….

RVL: Well, we would like to thank you again, both for your time today and for choosing to contact RVL. We wish you every success with “Irene”… perhaps the show will make it to Chicago one day and we can enjoy the beauty.

SD: Thank you, with people and companies like RVL supporting the arts and simply posting stories like mine, we can continue to keep the arts alive!!!!…..Well, alive is a relative term… *smiles darkly*

copyright Shaun Dougherty and RVL 2014


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