RIVERDANCE, the fast-paced dance show of the Irish is back! Celebrating 25 years, the 25th Anniversary show will return to where it all began for RIVERDANCE in North America! RIVERDANCE will be performing at Radio City Music Hall for the first time in 10 years for a limited engagement for eight historic shows. So, don’t count on the luck of the Irish and buy your tickets now! These tickets are going to sell faster than a Michael flatly dance off! RIVERDANCE, the original stage spectacular is celebrated the world over for its Grammy award-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance.
“RIVERDANCE is as much a phenomenon as a show.” – New York Post
“A RIVERDANCE to Love! Exciting! Hypnotic! Thrilling!” – THE GLOBE AND MAIL
The story of RIVERDANCE is the story of Ireland itself, beginning with the fiery creation of the world, “Our ancestors knew fear and joy and fire, worked wood and stone and water to make a place they could call home.” Followed by the primal forces of Ireland as a land, the rivers, the life. Moving straight into the people of Ireland and The Countess Cathleen, sensual, nurturing, independent and fierce, the power of women as they celebrate themselves, as they challenge men in a dance of empowerment. We have a break in the dance as a lone piper mourns Cú Chulainn, the implacable Bronze Age warrior, the great hero of Celtic myth. Then the myth of Mad Sweeney, Suibhne or Shivna, who has haunted Ireland since medieval times. Driven by forces inside himself, outside himself, a man dances desperately in the power of the moon. The powers are cruel and arbitrary, female and savage. But war, famine and slavery shattered the ancient bonds between people and place and from the mid-19th century, hunger and famine and ambition drove the Irish out of their home island, across the Atlantic to a New World. Lover parted from lover, families and communities were torn apart. The music and dance that forged a sense of identity are now exposed to new and unfamiliar cultures. From the darkness a lone voice sings and is then joined by other immigrants, reflecting the universal yearning of the dispossessed wherever they make their home. The wealth of the poor is in song, dance and story. Under the street lamps in the new cities, the dancers perform with pride in their heritage, curious to see what other traditions bring, struggling to bridge the gap between old dreams and new realities. And then something new – a tune from another place, another lifetime, which can turn and haunt the heart and inspire the dances from a distant homeland. The Irish meet the Russians and finally also the South American peoples, in the cauldron of the big city, the pulsing energy of the streets is reflected in the fiery Latin dance rhythms.
Ultimately the story of RIVERDANCE is one of homecoming, the river flows full circle from sea to sky to mountain and back home. Collecting, gathering, arriving enriched, fulfilled, ready to start its journey once more. Always the child of the emigrant feels the tug of the home place; always that child feels the urge to return. What she or he brings there is a sustaining knowledge: we are who we once were, we are who we have become. With newfound confidence and pride, the child of the emigrant carries treasured memories home to their birthplace. A long journey ends under a native sky, a new and richer journey has taken its place. We are one kind. We are one people now, our voices blended, our music a great world in which we can feel everywhere at home. Ní neart go chur le chéile, together we are strong.
First performed as an interval act for the 1994 Eurovision song contest featuring Irish dancing champions Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, With a score composed by Bill Whelan and husband and wife production team Moya Doherty and John McColgan they developed RIVERDANCE into a stage show that became a global phenomenon, touring for twenty-five years and performing live to an audience of over 27.5 million people. The song “RIVERDANCE” was released as a single featuring Anúna and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and entered the Irish Singles Chart at No. 1 and the show finally opened in Dublin to a sold out five week show in 1995. By April 1995, video release of RIVERDANCE went straight to No. 1 in the Irish charts and by June 1995, UK video release of RIVERDANCE went straight to the No. 2 position in the UK charts, moving to No. 1 the following week. Then over the Irish sea and into London on the 3rd of October, RIVERDANCE opened for another six-week sell-out run at The Apollo. By overwhelming public demand, the run was extended twice, making a box office record of 151 sold out shows at the venue. Finally, like in the story RIVERDANCE travelled to the United States for the first time in March 1996 and on 13 March, the show opened at the legendary Radio City Music Hall for the first of eight sold-out performances over five days. After that the show toured almost continuously between the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland until the opening of the special Olympics in 2003. Since then, the show has been down scaled to a smaller cast and ensemble in order to tour the world, playing smaller venues than before. On 21 July 2013, a record was set when a line of 1,693 dancers from 44 countries danced to RIVERDANCE on a bridge overlooking the River Liffey, led by Jean Butler and Padraic Moyles.
The show is approximately 2 hours long, including interval.
“RIVERDANCE is back, ready to pump your spirits with high-stepping, quicksilver dancing, set your feet tapping with infectious rhythms and maybe even prompt a gentle tear with the soulful laments of uilleann pipes in Bill Whelan’s familiar score.”
– Michael Crabb Reviewing The 20th Anniversary Show Tour, The Star. Canada.
“RIVERDANCE is the No. 1 dance show of the world” – SHENZHEN DAILY
“Delightful! Energetic! Sexy!” – TORONTO STAR
“The show is quite simply incredible” – THE WASHINGTON TIMES