I can still remember very well the first night of Riverdance. It was 1995, at the annual Eurovision and Irish dance was about to be revolutionized forever! An audience in the venue and in living rooms around Ireland and Europe were stunned and seduced by the talent of two Irish dancers and their troop. Nobody had seen Irish dance performed like this before. It had moved from the traditional sometimes even rigid and strict dance with hands tucked neatly by sides into something glamorous and stylish and innovative. Jean Butler and Michael Flatley were young and vibrant and were surrounded by a team of young glamorous dancers in a production that would not only amaze Irish people but change the style of Irish dance forever. As the sounds and lyrics of “Cloudsong” began shivers ran down my spine. Riverdance was truly born that night.
Now, twenty five years later, Riverdance is still going strong. Those who weren't even born when it made it's debut, are now part of the troop. Riverdance continues to tells the story of people moving to new places and changing over time, taking their dances and their stories with them. The show has been experienced live by over 25 million people worldwide. There have been over 11,000 performances in over 467 venues in 46 countries across 6 continents. That's some dancing!
Last night our students from our Summer Dublin programmes gathered on a very sunny evening near the pretty St. Stephen's green park in anticipation of the night. We had the best turnout ever and the cheers and claps throughout the performance told it's own tale too! Our students over the last decade have enjoyed this production at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. From what I’ve been reading the Gaiety is one of the smaller stages they have performed on. Each year there will be a subtle difference to the costumes or choreography and of course the team but it never seems to disappoint. Once again our Dublin Summer students seemed to love this show and I was delighted to be a part of the energy present among the group.
Long may Riverdance last!