Called “one of the most exciting dancers to ever step on the world stage,” Joel Hanna is a world-renowned dancer and choreographer known for his athletic and boundary-breaking mixture of tap dance, musical percussion, Irish dance, and martial arts. Hanna has lived something of an entertainment fairy tale, performing for dignitaries from Queen Elizabeth II to United Nations diplomats at the opening of the World Youth Assembly.
A darling to theatre critics, Joel has been praised for his panache and bravado on stage. His choreography in Pastures of Plenty, a tribute commissioned by the Woody Guthrie Foundation, was selected by the New York Times as its Pick of the Year in 2012. As a performer, he has shared the stage with legends such as Pete Seeger, Andrea Bocelli, Charles “Cholly” Atkins, Will Millar, Jimmy Slyde, Jeni LeGon, Dianne Walker, Jason Samuels Smith, and Dave Eggar.
Joel received his first big break in 1997 when he joined Riverdance: The Show, performing throughout Britain and North America. During this time he was selected to be the subject of a documentary, coproduced by the CBC and Riverdance Company, called The Badboy and the Hometown Girl. After two seasons, Joel joined the original stars of Riverdance, Colin Dunne and Jean Butler, to perform in their production Dancing on Dangerous Ground in London’s West End, Radio City Music Hall, and the Royal Variety Performance.
For four years, Joel choreographed and starred in the critically acclaimed production Fire of Dance, performing as the original lead soloist on more than 200 stages a year. Joel went on to create Revolution: Sweat, Dance, Rock & Roll in 2007, which debuted in New York City at the world-famous Joyce Theater during its 25th anniversary season. Joel went on to become the headliner act for Choreography On the Edge to sold-out audiences in historic Woodstock, New York for three years and was a soloist at the Jacob’s Pillow Concert Series for two years in a row.