Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reliving Riverdance

I've spent some of this morning watching Riverdance Day on Sky Real Lives. Believe it or not I was at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest when Riverdance made its debut as the interval act. No one remembers anything about that evening apart from Riverdance. I had never seen anything like it. The whole audience was blown away by it. I then went to see it at the Hammersmith Apollo. I doubt whether I will ever see anything at a theatre which is so awe-inspiring. It's odd, as virtually all forms of dance leave me completely cold. This, however, is completely different. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the story, or maybe it's because I was there at its birth, but whatever it is, I'm hooked. If you haven't seen it and get the chance, do go. I promise you won't regret it.

18 comments:

canvas said...

I would rather go see the Michael Clark Company. Sorry, Iain, but Riverdance doesn't do it for me.

http://www.londondance.com/content.asp?CategoryID=574

http://www.michaelclarkcompany.com/cvs_michael.html

dehautenbas said...

Have you been on the cooking sherry, Iain? You're 'avin' a larf.... You'll never make culture minister.

Daisy said...

I saw it at Dublins Gaiety Theatre earlier on in the year. They put on a fantastic show, the story is brilliant, and involved all forms of dance (and singing), especially they had a black man singing one of the songs - what a voice!! The NY scenes were great, all of it, fantastic. Like you I had to be persuaded to go, but I will go back if it ever comes to Ireland again.

John M Ward said...

I have been told similar things about this, though when I saw excerpts I wasn't personally all that taken with it.

I suspect this is just me, though. One dance experience I did find compelling (though I am ssure not in the same way as you found for Riverdance -- this was just sheer quality and originality) was "Still Life at the Penguin Cafe".

I too am not a dance (or song) fan as such, and that is probably the underlying cause of my indifference to much that others seem to find so impressive, enjoyable or whatever.

Paddy Briggs said...

Iain

I think that you should be aware that someone is impersonating you on your blog. So far confined to an ecstatic paean to Riverdance which whilst damaging is not something that you can’t deny later. But what if they declared your conversion and lifelong allegiance to Socialism? That might be trickier…

Alan Douglas said...

So, Iain, was this before or after you invented the internet ?

Oops, sorry, that's another and lesser politician, isn't it !

Alan Douglas

verity said...

"Mrs Merton" always asked her guests, in a sacchariney voice, "Have you seen Riverdance?"

Anonymous said...

Nowhere did it have a greater impact than Ireland -- you need to understand the political and economic context for that too.

Ireland in 1994 was on the brink of transition: Mary Robinson was president, marking the end of the Civil War duopoly, the economy was showing signs of growth, the Catholic church was being hit by a massive crisis.

Riverdance was the emblem of a new cultural confidence - as was the success in the world cup that year too.

It was the sign of an Ireland ready to compete in a globalised world - with its mixture of the old Celtic form with the new internationalised forms.

Nathan Hale said...

Have we seen Riverdance? Have we seen Riverdance?!? For three or four years, PBS did little else but show us Irish dancing.

Chris said...

>I doubt whether I will ever see anything at a theatre which is so awe-inspiring.

Shakespeare, Euripides, Mozart, Verdi, Balanchine, Sooty and Sweep - what do they know?

javelin said...

All forms of dance leave you cold - what even the Chippendales Iain?

Ted said...

Iain

If you ever get asked 'is there one post you fear you'll regret next time you're in ront of a selection committee?', I suspect you might want to remember this one.

Happy Christmas

Anonymous said...

Disneyfied drivel. Pass the sick bag.

GS said...

Anon at 3:46 said "Riverdance was the emblem of a new cultural confidence..."

One's heart goes out to Ireland.

Then again, maybe not.

verity said...

Chris - I love Balanchine!!!

Shakespeare and Euripides, too. And how about that Bach, eh? Speaking of ethnic, let's have a show of hands for all those who have seen Kathikali. One absolutely drowns in it.

But to each his own. I saw a bit of Riverdance on TV, and I liked the number because I like the dance, but a whole show? But I'm glad Michael Flatley made all that money because, to my mind and my taste, the dance is the most absorbing art form.

grumpy granny said...

Riverdance was such a great hit because of the novelty value - something completely different. Grandad & I both enjoyed it.

However, if you want something really inspiring, exciting and different, try to get tickets for a Cirque du Soleil performance if they ever come your way.

scotch said...

It is of course with great regret that we shall never see RiverDance Part Two - Use Of The Arms".

Happy Christmas Iain

Rupert Tube said...

Re: Riverdance Part Two: Use of the Arms.

Anyone remember the Private Eye cartoon? A line of girls dancing on tiptoe in the "West Belfast School of Dance". One of them has her arms stretched out like an aeroplane.

Dancing mistress: "Decommission the arms, please, Siobhan."