Riverdance

May 31st, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I have always had a weakness for the Irish. I think it is their accents. At my university hostel there was a girl called Karen Quinn, who was Irish, and half the hostel had a crush on her – pretty much all due to her lilting accent.

So when I got offered review tickets to see the Irish dance sensation Riverdance, I didn’t need any persuasion to go. They are performing at the until 3 June, and then in Chch 5 to 10 June.¬†The performance consists of 19 scenes in two acts, making it a compact two hour show (including interval).

There is a reason that is a global sensation – they put on a world class performance. The dancing, which is the heart of the show, is sublime – but the music, the costumes and the singing are also very well done. They do around a dozen costume changes.

The 19 scenes each tell a story, and the costumes and special effects all combine together in harmony. I won’t detail all the scenes but will talk about what was by far my favourite scene. It was what I think of as the “dance off”, and they call “trading taps”. You have two “gangs” of dancers who at first dance alone, but then noticing each other confront each other as in their distinct styles dance into each other’s territory. This is fun¬†enough, but the real hilarity starts when the two groups start to do parodies of the other’s dancing styles. Most of the audience were cracking up with laughter at this scene. It really is too funny for words.

Also worth noting is the scene with the lead male dancer in tight leather pants. God knows how one can dance wearing them, but he did. And the female members of the audience appreciated the spectacle greatly. The men, less so.

While a great performance overall, there was one aspect that didn’t quite resonate with me. There was quite a bit of time where it was just music, without dancing. People came to see the dancing, and you lose interest a bit when there are segments with music only. The exception was when they had the lead female singer on. Her voice was piercingly beautiful, and she could do a solo show.

Overall it was a great night’s entertainment. It is their final tour of New Zealand so it was great to see them for the first and sadly probably the last time.

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10 Responses to “Riverdance”

  1. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Nice review. have always wanted to see Riverdance and I hope they come to SF.

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  2. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Did you hear about those 200 Irish that were found drowned?

    Apparently they had been rehearsing for Riverdance…

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  3. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    RRM :-)

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  4. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    I get so sick of people romanticizing Ireland. It rains all the time, the scenery consists of nothing but undulating meadows, anywhere outside of parts of Dublin are desperately impoverished, and most of the people are retarded, inbred, treacherous ferals. It makes the West Coast look like New York.

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  5. Daigotsu (471 comments) says:

    You’re a fan of the Irish? Wow, what a controversail statement. Next thing you’ll be telling us you think chocolate tastes great, or sex is fun.

    I wish somebody would explain to me what is suspposed to be so brilliant about Irish people.

    As far as I can tell they’re people likje anyubody else, some great, some awful, most just average.

    And before I get dogpiled yes I do have Irish ancestry thanks.

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  6. Daigotsu (471 comments) says:

    @BlairM: Well said

    Er I mean but OMGGGGG the accents are so CUUUUuuuuUUUUTE

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  7. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    blairm

    You’re full of shite. Back up your assertions about “anywhere outside of parts of Dublin are desperately impoverished.”

    In respect of scenery you couldn’t have travelled much there.

    I agree about the romanticising stuff. Riverdance is cringe worthy and I say that as a Mick.
    Most of the people are not as you described, you clearly have a problem. Some 20% of NZers are descended from said stock.

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  8. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    Any race that can invent Guinness and Old Bushmills must be bloody gifted is all I can say! :)

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  9. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    In a way, DPF has made the world a safer place, for lovers, everywhere.

    BTW, A soft spot, for the Irish, is usually called a Bog.

    I think DPF once fancied an Irish girl from that he developed a philia for the Irish, and this was what impelled him to see Riverdance. It’s as tenuous as claiming you went to see ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and dig Jews, because you once had a crush on Woody Allen.

    But strange as it might be, I’d bet money that for someone out there, that has happened too.

    Do I win $10.00?

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  10. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    When we first saw this it was totally destroyed by some Irish young gits jumping up and down – we believed that they were member of the dance troupe sent into the audience to be cheer leaders.

    Several, including us told them in no uncertain owrds to STFU – but whilst tempered they carried on (as instructed).

    They spoilt the show totally – so Never Again.

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