Images of County Mayo and Ireland will be seen by an estimated 7.5 million TV viewers across Russia, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as a number of the Russian-speaking CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries like Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan later this year, after scenes for a Russian television show, Dancing Planet, were filmed here last week – courtesy of Tourism Ireland.
A film crew from the state-owned Russian television channel, My Planet, spent eight days, capturing footage at various locations around Mayo and Ireland, for two Irish-themed episodes of the popular programme.
The upcoming series will see presenter and professional dancer/choreographer Aleksandr Pukhov travel to various countries around the world, in a quest to discover more about the culture of each country through music and dance. The two episodes filmed here will air this September.
The crew kicked off their time here in Mount Falcon Hotel in Ballina, where they took in a performance by members of the Sylvan Kelly School of Irish Dancing, before enjoying a private Irish dancing lesson with them.
During their time here, they also filmed the Legend of Gráinne Mhaol Show at the Hotel Westport and interviewed the well-known Cunningham family sean-nós dancers about traditional Irish music and dance. They enjoyed dinner at Sage Restaurant in Westport and an overnight stay at the Hotel Westport.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “We are delighted that My Planet TV chose to film in Mayo and Ireland.
It is a really wonderful opportunity to showcase our rich culture of traditional dance and music, as well as some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland, to a huge audience of potential holidaymakers in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries.
“The publicity value of a TV programme like this is incalculable – it is a really great way of promoting Mayo and Ireland to millions of people in numerous countries, helping to inspire travellers to come and experience the destination for themselves.”
Tourism Ireland research has shown that the Russian market has a limited understanding of what the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination; so a key objective is to begin building awareness in Russia of the many things to see and do on a holiday here.