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Genre: Adult Contemporary
Price: Under $100,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
Riverdance became a smash hit theatrical show in the mid 1990’s, when it originated as a short interval piece included in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The performance, which is a modern rendition of traditional Irish stepdancing, enamored and delighted audiences from the very start, and continues to do so today.
Featuring dancers Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, accompanied by Anuna, the Celtic choral group, and the RTE Concert Orchestra, Riverdance brought down the house with a standing ovation at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. The BBC then commissioned another performance for its Royal Variety Show in the same year. The show’s recording hit the charts in the same year, and stayed there for the summer of 1994, for a record total of eighteen weeks at number one. The show’s full-length performance opened in the following year, enjoying a
five-week run with consistent sell-out ticket sales and featuring Michael Flatley.
Riverdance came to the United States in March of 1996, with an eight-week sell out performance at Radio City Music Hall. Additional sell-out performances followed in Belfast, Cork, and the Hammersmith. The original season had expected to end in 1996, but was extended to 1997, and included a total of 400 shows to more than 1.3 million people. In 2000, Riverdance came to Broadway and the Gershwin Theater hosted a new version of the show, with the addition of singers and new dance leaders.
Michael Flatley eventually left the show, purportedly over creative differences, and was replaced by Colin Dunne, and then by Joseph Moriarty, who remained with the show until 2011. After fifteen years of performances, Riverdance launched a final tour, with stops in Ipswich, Southend-on-Sea, Bradford, Blackpool, Bristol, London, Manchester, Oxford, Southampton, Nottingham Australia, and Israel. Riverdance continues to perform, but with reduced productions and usually in smaller venues.
Riverdance continues to delight fans and audiences around the world, but with reduced productions and usually in smaller venues. It’s legacy is unquestionably enduring; in 2013, more than 1500 dancers from nearly fifty countries performed Riverdance on a bridge overlooking the River Liffey, in Ireland.
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