After nearly 17 years of thrilling a North American audience, Riverdance is near the end of their tour across the US. Producers of the internationally acclaimed show made the decision to close the US tour “while we are still on top”, said Merle Frimark, a media representative with the production.
There is no denying that the show is still on top. No words can describe the sheer talent and commitment involved in both performers and producers of Riverdance. The show’s senior executive producer, Julian Erskine said “It’s certainly emotional to be saying goodbye”.
For any member of the audience of any age it is thrilling to take in the speed, rhythm and energy of the performers. For Erskine he says, “To be at the back of a hall with the audience jumping to their feet at the end of the show after all these years, it’s just so gratifying and just so pleasing.”
Padraic Moyles, one of the principal dancers with the tour has been a major part of the production since 1997. His love for dancing led him to find the love of his life while in the show, fellow dancer, Niamh O’ Conner. Padraic claims American audiences are special and that their final tour “will be as much of a joy for those on stage as it will be for anyone seated in the audience.”
Riverdance opened at Dublin’s Point Theatre in 1995. In March 2010, it played New York’s Radio City to celebrate its 15th anniversary and bid farewell to the historic venue. Riverdance have record breaking sold out performances here.
The entire cast includes six principal dancers, 18 troupe dancers, a live five-piece band, a flamenco dancer, and two American tap dancers, one of whom is also a baritone soloist. A scene in which they perform is based on the mid 19th Century where hunger & famine & ambition drove the Irish out of their home island and across the Atlantic to a new world, America. With that strong connection it will be a change to no longer to perform in this ‘New World.’
As Padraic says, “Anyone who joins the show from here on out and doesn’t get the opportunity to perform it in America will be missing something. I hope that someday, whether it’s ten years from now, it does come back so that people get to experience that reaction again.”
The show continues in Philadelphia this weekend and the US tour will run until June 2012, before hopping and stepping its way towards Ireland and Australia.
Broadway In Chicago - RIVERDANCE