Rhythm of the Dance
Video Review

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On December 24, 2001 a short version of the Rhythm of the Dance video was aired on N3, a German TV station. Therefore my review only covers this short 60 minute version of the video. The whole video has running time of 95 minutes.

First of all, Rhythm of the Dance (ROTD) is certainly not just a copy of shows like Lord of the Dance or Riverdance. Of course a Lord of the Dance or Riverdance fan would recognize certain elements, but there is also a lot of new stuff to find. More about that later. Unfortunately the quality of the video is rather bad. Especially the sound mixing is not too good. Most of the time the "taps" are either lounder than the music or one can hardly hear them. The camera often doesnīt show what one wants to see, and that are the incredibly fast feet of lead dancer Aisling Holly. Some more close ups of those feet would be better than close ups of her face.

I canīt praise all of the numbers that are on the video either. It takes time to get used to some of the coreography, but that might also have something to do with the qualtiy of the video - as I said, one doesnīt get to see what one wants to see. Besides Irish Dancing there are also elements other dance forms like American Tap, Flamenco or balet. One especially gets to see the three balet dancers quite often. My favourite numbers were "Ceili Time in Ireland" and "Celebrating Rhythms". In "Celebrating Rhythms" the fast footed star of the show, Aisling Holly, shows her talent and I also found the idea of using wooden spoons to create additional rhytmic noises quite interesting.

Speaking of Aisling Holly: this woman is just incredibly fast. The video doesnīt really show her full talent, but one gets a good impression of what this young dancer is able to do with her feet. Unfortunately some of her (and also the other dancers') costumes are rather ugly - a matter of taste of course, but I didnīt like them. Something else that could be improved is the singing in the show. The version of "She moved through the Fair" (LOTD fans know it as "Our Wedding Day") was rather weak (sung by a woman). Maybe Iīve just seen and heard "Our Wedding Day" - sung by Anne Buckley - once too often. The male singer obviously had some problems with the higher notes in "The Great Hunger" - a weak performance. I disliked the singing, but I just loved the tin whistle playing at the end of the show!

There is not much to say about the story. I didnīt see any storyline to be honest, apart from a narration about the great famine in Ireland in the 19th century. According to the official website "the show is an inspiring epic, reliving the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history. It illuminates the influence that they had and still have on Irish society." A more detailed description of each number can be found under the following link: http://www.rhythmofthedance.com/frame-show.html.

All in all Rhythm of the Dance isnīt as bad as it might have sounded. As I already said Iīve only seen a "not so good" shortened video. Iīve also been told that the live-show is quite different compared to the video, with a lot of improvements. By the way, the video can be ordered on their official website. In a final rating it would get 3 out of 5 stars. One should go and see the show if theyīre anywhere near you.

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Further Links:

The official website of ROTD: http://www.rhythmofthedance.com
Tourdaten on the Celtic Cafe website: http://www.celticcafe.com/Schedules/rotdeu.htm
An interview with Aisling Holly on the Celtic Cafe: http://www.celticcafe.com/shows/rotd/aisling.htm
Another review of the show:
http://www.celticcafe.com/ROTD/rhythm.html

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Order the Rhythm of the Dance CD at Amazon.de:

Rhythm of the Dance - CD

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