I saw Riverdance a couple of nights ago, at Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus. This was my first real exposure to Irish line dancing (second overall, if you count the video to Shania Twain’s “Don’t Be Stupid“), and I was transported to another world.
The show was a tad over two hours, including the 20-minute intermission, and It. Had. Everything.
The musical selections have an overarching theme to them that reminded me of “concept albums” from the ’60s, like The Moody Blues’ “Days of Future Passed.” There was travel, and separation, and reunion, all through the music and dancing.
It had flamenco.
It had ballet. (Although there weren’t any traditional ballet pieces, the dancers were very balletic!)
It had jazz music with American-style tap dancing. In fact, one of the selections featured a “dance-off” between two tap-dancers and three Irish dancers. Naturally, they ended up using each others’ moves.
It had soft- and hard-shoe dancing.
It had Russian folk dancing.
It had *AWESOME* vocals! One of the sopranos had a voice that I would describe as glass-clear, while another’s sounded like it had honey poured on it.
It had drums. Oh, boy, did it have drums!
It had top-of-the-line Irish fiddling. And the bodhrán, uilleann pipes, low whistle and tin whistle, among others.
It had awesome choreography! Both the principals and the “chorus” gave us amazing footwork. I was so absorbed in watching their feet that there were times I’d glance up and be surprised to see that the backdrop scene had changed.
It had audience participation – during several of the numbers in the second half, they encouraged the audience to clap along, which we did enthusiastically.
It had so much more that I can’t even describe. I knew at the outset I was going to like the show, because I like up-tempo, active music. But I had no idea how *much* I would like it! When the whole line was dancing, each step sounded like it was one huge shoe, they were that together. The second thing I did at intermission was to buy both the music CD and the DVD so I could enjoy it again…and again…and again… (You can probably guess what the first thing was. 🙂 ) Now I have to get a better sound system so I can crank up the bass and relive the thumping rhythms.
If you haven’t yet seen Riverdance, you should – no, you NEED to. It’s that good. Tell ’em Dave sent you. 😉
What’s funny is that Brian wanted to go see them, but we didn’t for some reason. I’m glad that you had fun! And I’m sad to have missed out… but that’s ok!
Don’t miss it the next time! 😀
I’ve seen ’em on PBS, but not in person. I imagine it’s a whole different experience. A while back we went to see Rodrigo y Gabriela, a guitar duo that also do percusion on their instruments. The CD’s are impressive, but in person, wow! Riverdance is probably a similar experience.
I have to agree. The best comparison I can come up with right now is it being like the difference between seeing a fireworks show on TV and being RIGHT. THERE. In person, you get not only the sight and sound, but the percussion vibrations as well. The audience reactions, too, make a big difference. I think I’d probably like Rodrigo y Gabriela.