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Riverdance - The Show


30th of April 1994 - Dublin, Ireland: 300 million people are sitting in front of their TVs and are watching the Grand Prix d'Eurovision. This day is the birthday of Riverdance. Together with a handfull of Irish dancers and the group Anúna, Michael Flatley and Jean Butler fascinate the European audience. The original number was 7 minutes long, but due to the huge success producer Moya Doherty, director John McColgan and composer Bill Whelan created a two hour show full of Irish Dance and Irish music.

On the 9th Febuary 1995, after many TV appearances of the 7 minute piece,  Riverdance - The Show premiered in the Point Theatre in Dublin. Right away the show broke all records regarding the ticket sales. After Dublin Riverdance went to London with ten scheduled shows - the run was extended to 150 shows because of the huge demand. Riverdance - The Show does not only concentrate on Irish Dance, there is also Flamenco, Russian ballet and of course a lot of singing.

After Michael Flatley left the show, Colin Dunne danced the lead role and he did not disappoint his audience. March 1996 Riverdance first came to the United States. Just like in Europe, Riverdance was a huge success in the USA too. Sold out shows every night and record breaking ticket and merchandise sales. In July 1997 Riverdance opened its first German Tour in Oberhausen - now it´s the best known and probably most popular show in Germany.

At the moment there are three touring dance companies: The Liffey (Europe, Asia), The Lagan (America) and The Shannon (formerly "The Lee", Broadway New York City) - all named after Irish rivers. All three companies are still fascinating hundreds of thounsands of people all over the planet - more than 7 years after it was born. That is certainly a record too.

There is no story with real characters like in other shows (e.g. Gaelforce Dance). The first act plays in the home country of the Irish peoples and act two tells the story of Irish emmigrants, driven out of their own country by famine and terror, and their encounters with new cultures. Since the first show in Dublin and now there have been many changes, especially if you compare the new video (filmed at Radio City Music Hall with Colin Dunne) and the old video (with Michael Flatley). Not only the videos are different. The Shannon company presents a different show than The Lagan and The Liffey.  In the  "Content" section you will get a listing of the two current versions of Riverdance.

Two CDs of the Show are available - RD on Broadway and Riverdance - The Show.


All images used by kind permission of Riverdance.

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Photos of the show (c) Marnix:


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