The show that started it all, “Riverdance”, has been performing in the United States since March, 1996 when it had its US premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Since then, the show has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe. While the touring production in the US will close on June 17, 2012, productions of “Riverdance” will continue to tour the world.
From Los Angeles to Louisville, Seattle to Boston, Chicago to Chattanooga or Memphis to Miami, the power of “Riverdance” - its music and more than 50 stomping feet - has captured the hearts of millions.
“When we opened “Riverdance” in New York in March 1996 we never thought for one minute that our show would still be running 15 years later,” said Moya Doherty. “Three years ago we embarked on our farewell tour, saying good-bye to every city in North America we have ever played in over the years, and next June 17th in our 16th year this current production of “Riverdance” will end and we will say our final good-bye. It has been a source of immense pride for me as Producer that America took “Riverdance” to its heart to such an amazing extent and I would like to pay tribute to every dancer, musician, singer and all the crew and staff who served “Riverdance” so well over the years.“
Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, to date, “Riverdance” has played over 10,000 performances, been seen live by more than 22 million people in over 350 venues throughout 40 countries across 4 continents. They have traveled well over 600,000 miles (or to the moon and back!), played to a worldwide television audience of 2 billion; sold over 3 million copies of the Grammy® Award-winning CD (certified Platinum in the US) and over 10 million videos making it one of the best-selling entertainment videos in the world! “Riverdance” had its world premiere at the Point Theatre, Dublin, in February 1995, where it opened to unanimous critical acclaim.
What began as a seven-minute dance segment on the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest (televised to over 300 million people throughout Europe) and then quickly turned into a full-scale production has become much more than an international theatrical success. “I believe “Riverdance” has been basically a pathfinder,” said Niall O’Dowd, founder of IrishCentral. Along with the peace process in Northern Ireland and the economic miracle in Ireland proper, the show “has been a hugely important part of a transformation of the image of Ireland in the last 20 years.”
In a flash, “Riverdance” became Ireland’s greatest ambassador and the thirst began. “Riverdance” changed the face of Irish dance and despite its imitators, has remained on top and was voted the #1 Variety/Family Entertainment Show in the US (1998).
There have been many milestones along the way including the distinction of being the largest Western musical to play China; a record-breaking line of 100 Irish dancers mesmerizing 85,000 people at the 2004 Special Olympics in Dublin; a 15th Anniversary celebration at Radio City Music Hall; dancing in Red Square and on the Great Wall of China; two standing room only engagements in South Africa and much more.
Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland in the past decade, nothing can compare to the energy, the sensuality, and the spectacle of “Riverdance”. An innovative and exciting blend of dance, music, and song, “Riverdance” draws on Irish traditions, and the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music to the present day capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. This extraordinarily unique show features an international company all performing to the magic of Bill Whelan’s music.
For more information visit riverdance.com
Here's a clip of the show: