"Riverdance" is a theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish step dancing, notable for its rapid leg movements while body and arms are kept largely stationary.
"Riverdance" was first performed during the interval of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest on
April 30. This first performance featured Irish Dancing Champion Jean Butler, Michael Flatleyand the Celtic choral group Anúnawith a score written by Bill Whelan. Whelan also composed "Timedance" - an early version of "Riverdance" for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Planxty. Flatley choreographed for himself and Jean Butler choreographed her solo and the troupe. A video of the Eurovision interval performance was released by the Irish broadcaster Radio Telefís Éireannunder the title "Riverdance for Rwanda" with all proceeds going to the Rwanda Appeal Disasters Joint Appeal Committee [ [http://www.celticcafe.com/archive/Shows/riverdance/rwanda.htm Riverdance for Rwanda August 19, 1994. RTE GUIDE] ] . Many of the dance troupe featured in this performance subsequently went on to dance principal roles in later productions of "Riverdance the Show". Riverdance is produced and directed by husband and wife, John McColgan and Moya Doherty, controlled through their production company Abhann Productions based in Dublin.
1994, tickets were sold in Dublinfor the first full-length show of "Riverdance", which opened at the Point Theatreon February 9, 1995. The show ran for five weeks and was a sell-out.
Michael Flatley left the show reportedly over creative differences with the producers before the show's first run in London. Irish dancer Colin Dunne stepped into the role of lead dancer and went on to perform in subsequent productions before leaving the show in 1998.
After successful runs in other cities in Europe, Riverdance traveled to
New York Cityto perform at the legendary Radio City Music Hallin March 1996. This was the first time the show was performed in America. To the relief of the producers, the show was a success. Anúna left the show in September of that year.
In 2000, Riverdance was on Broadway for a year at the
Gershwin Theatrewith an all-new show, featuring dance leads Pat Roddy and Eileen Martin and singers Brian Kennedyand Tsidii Le Loka.
"Riverdance" continues to be performed all over the world, albeit in a diminished format and in smaller venues than hitherto. Current productions are geared towards smaller theatres, whereas past productions have been performed in large theatres and arenas. Thus, sets have been simplified and some numbers contain fewer performers than in past productions (such as those seen on the Live from Radio City and Live from Arena Geneva DVDs). For example, current touring productions of the show have 20 dancers in the finale, Heartland, where as 24 were used in the original Dublin show and 32 were used in the arena shows. Each production company is named after an Irish
river. Currently performing companies are the Boyne touring in North America, Corrib in Europe, and Foyle in Ireland.
Dance Numbers and Songs Performed
* Riverdance Show #4 (Not Yet Produced)
A 4th show has not yet been planned for production at this time. This has been confirmed by Detroit Public TV recently VIA E-Mail from the network.
*Music of Ireland
* [http://www.riverdance.com/ Official Website]
* [http://www.riverdancevideos.com Riverdance Videos]
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