RIVERDANCE: A Heart-Stomping, Pure Spectacle
“When we opened RIVERDANCE and had it’s US premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York in March 1996, we never thought for one minute that our show would still be running 15 years later,” said producer Moya Doherty. “
Doherty recently announced that the United States touring production of the internationally-acclaimed worldwide phenomenon will close in June, 2012. RIVERDANCE, part of the Broadway Season, will play in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater FOR THE VERY LAST TIME, May 11 through 13 for five performances only! While the touring production in the U.S. will close on June 17, 2012, productions of RIVERDANCE will continue to tour the world. Show and tour information can be found at www.riverdance.com
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!); RIVERDANCE had its world premiere at the Point Theatre, Dublin, in February 1995.
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.
“Our story begins in the evocation of the Riverwoman, it moves through the dawn of history as the river moves through the land. As the power of the river grows, as the barren earth becomes fertile, as men and women grow in their sense of themselves, our story rises until it floods the world in a vital, joyous riot of celebration.”
There are numerous highlights of this touring cast: “Thunderstorm” is the brute power of elemental forces featuring several male dancers in a sophisticated ‘thunderous’ presentation.“Firedance”- In ancient Ireland fire and pride and beauty come out of the south, from the land of the sun. The power of the sun invests itself in the passion of the dancer beautifully executed by Riverdance Flamenco soloist, MaRita Martinez-Rey “Harbour of the New World – Trading Taps”- 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. Tappers Jason E. Bernard and Benjamin Mapp joyously fulfill this portion of the show much to the audiences’ delight.
RIVERDANCE played at the Merriam Theater, 300 Broad St. Philadelphia through May 15th. Visit www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway for more upcoming events.
Photo Credits: www.riverdance.com