They were named after rivers in Ireland; first came the Lee and the Liffey for the US and UK respectively, then later as the show expanded even more the Lagan, Avoca, Shannon, Boyne, Corrib, Foyle, Moy and Bann companies came along too.  Then in June 1998, Colin Dunne left Riverdance to begin work on a new project with Butler – Dancing on Dangerous Ground. The big bonus here is a 63-minute look back at the first 10 years of "Riverdance," appropriately titled "'Riverdance' - The Ten Years." Anthony Sharkey used to dream about being in "Riverdance." , On 3 October, Riverdance opened for another six-week sell-out run at The Apollo. Riverdance Information. A shortened version of Riverdance premiered at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. For the next fifteen years the companies toured all over the world. Instead of standing in a corner and providing a musical backdrop of sorts, they are instead much more emotive and they do not use a conductor in their performances, moving throughout the audience as they perform. In September Anuna also decided to leave the show, resulting in a slight format change. , Despite the show's growing success, cracks were beginning to appear in the relationship between the producers and lead dancer Michael Flatley.  Later that month, Riverdance returned, by popular demand, to the Point Theatre for a six-week sell-out run. Timedance was composed, recorded and performed for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which was hosted by Ireland. Since then, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world. Watch this extraordinary early Riverdance performance, … Flatley proved to be a talented Irish dancer, and when he graduated high school set up his own dance school. On 30th April 1994 Riverdance was performed for the very first time in the Point Depot, at the halfway point of the Eurovision Song Contest. You can hear a small portion of it by following this link and clicking on the title of the song. Lasting 2 hours, Riverdance is THE show that has brought Irish culture to the contemporary world. Usually in a musical or opera, the band is in the area just under the lip of the stage called “the pit.” But composer Bill Whelan came from a rock’n’roll tradition and insisted that the Riverdance band be visible, to interact with the performers and the audience. , A number of cast departures occurred following the halcyon period of early 1996. Irish Dance Group - Irish Step Dancing (Riverdance) 2009RiverdanceLead dancers are Nicola Byrne and Alan Kenefick Riverdance was originally a seven-minute performance for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. At the time, it featured Irish dancing champion Michael Flatley and Jean Buttler and their vocal ensemble Anuna. The Song That Everyone Sings (feat. He became the first American to win the World Irish Dance Championships and also set the Guinness World Record for the fastest tapping speed – an incredible 28 taps per second, which he broke a few years later when he reached an even more incredible 35 taps per second. The commercial was for Riverdance. Riverdance is a world famous Irish folklore show, featuring Irish tap dancing, typical Irish singing and Celtic music.  To make matters worse for the producers, Jean Butler turned up days before opening night with her leg in a cast and on crutches, and was unable to perform. The finale of 24 dancers, their chorus of tapping feet and completely simultaneous movements, the crescendo of music and the final triumphant poses of Flatley and Butler led to a standing ovation from every single person in the arena and cheers from every household in Ireland. 1 right after the Eurovision debut, staying there for 18 weeks—the longest amount of time a song has ever topped the Irish chart. , In November 1994, Riverdance, the original seven-minute version, was invited to perform in London at the prestigious Royal Variety Performance in the presence of Prince Charles. It ran for a sold out 5 weeks with total ticket sales of over 120,000 before moving to the Apollo in Hammersmith for 4 weeks, then back to the Point again this time for 6 weeks, and then back to the Apollo for a further six weeks.  Riverdance was later performed as an interval act at both the Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest (2005) and Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits (2015) events. Jean had been dancing since the age of four, and training as an Irish dancer since the age of 9. , Following phenomenal success in Dublin and London in 1995, Riverdance travelled to the United States for the first time in March 1996. Hello! Even though the visual elements are missing, Bill Whelan's soundtrack to Riverdance sounds quite spectacular, making a no-holds-barred attempt to captivate the listener with grandiose variations on Celtic musical forms. Whelan was asked to write music for the interval show in 1994, and thought back to Timedance. “The DJ Decks I have are called the Pioneer DDJ SB2, it is a smaller/more portable version of the bigger set up I have at home! The show attracted a television audience of 20 million, introducing Riverdance to a whole new set of fans. , In the spirit of traditional sessions, the musicians play on stage without sheet music. The traditional Irish music and dance show celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.  At the time, Bill Whelan and Dónal Lunny composed the music, augmenting the Irish folk band Planxty with a rock rhythm section of electric bass and drums and a four-piece horn section. Negotiations reached a stalemate by 2 October, and with 21 hours to go before the show's opening, Doherty opted to sack her star, replacing him with Colin Dunne, nine-times World Irish Dancing Champion. This trend continued as they performed in The Apollo, London for a sell-out four-week run, and after much public demand, the show gets a second run, which is extended twice! No contract was ever signed—despite media reports indicating he had—because Flatley and his management would not agree to terms. Although perhaps not as well known as Flatley, she was just as accomplished. showed me a(...). Traditionally Irish dancers kept their upper body rigid with their arms held straight at their sides, and tended not to move about too much on a stage when dancing solo – instead, Flatley practically pranced around with his arms in the air and on his hips. Eventually they began a farewell world tour in 2009, but even today the show is still going strong, although it has transitioned from huge arena venues to smaller theatres for a more intimate feel with simplified performances. RY X. Mustang Kids (feat. , A video benefiting war-torn Rwanda raised $500,000 for the cause and sold 100,000 copies in a week. The performance was transmitted to an estimated 300 million viewers worldwide and earned a standing ovation from the packed theatre of 4,000 people. , On 8 May 1995, Riverdance performed at the Royal Gala 50th Anniversary of VE Day celebrations at the special invitation of Prince Charles. Traditionally referred to as "stepdance," performance Irish dancing became popular in 1994 with the creation of the world-famous show "Riverdance." Everyone was talking about the interval act rather than the contest itself, which sadly may have overshadowed Ireland’s third consecutive victory! The composers were Bill Whelan and Donal Lunny and the music was performed by Irish folk rock band Planxty. Next up was the dancing. This allows me to mix music during downtime wherever I go, on the bus, dressing rooms ect! Actor and Irishman Gabriel Byrne welcomes viewers as the show's history, from its big debut during the Eurovision competition (which launched, among others, Abba and Bananarama), to the current worldwide success and subsequent place as a pop-culture punching bag. Traditional Irish music, U2, Sinéad O’Connor, The Cranberries, Van Morrison, Enya, Boyzone, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, Eurovision Song Contest and Riverdance. I think someone said this, but there is a tune called Riverdance. For a small island, with a population of roughly 5 million, Ireland has produced some astounding homegrown music talent. , Riverdance is rooted in a three-part suite of baroque-influenced traditional music called Timedance. In 1994, a seven-minute dance piece changed the course of traditional Irish dance and music. As almost everyone knows, Riverdance was conceived as the interval act for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The song I remember it being used in was called "aoineadh Cu Chulainn (Lament)". He was replaced by Colin Dunne, Jean Butler’s dance partner, who stayed with the show for three years. Riverdance is a theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance. 1 the following week, and holding the No. Irish Dance is a group of traditional dance forms originating from Ireland, encompassing dancing both solo and in groups, and dancing for social, competitive, and performance purposes. "I first saw a program called 'Eurovision Song Contest,' which was the precursor to 'Riverdance,' in 1994," Sharkey said by phone from Redding, Calif. "I was 14 at the time, and I wanted to be a part of that. By February 1995, Riverdance was back with a bang as a full theatre show starring Flatley, Butler and a host of top Irish dancers. RE: Does Anybody Know The What The Most Famous Riverdance Tune Is Called? The piece was performed, with accompanying ballet dancers, during the interval of the contest, and later rele… The show and accompanying music grew quickly in popularity, with a single that reached number nine on the UK charts. Tell Me (feat. While nowadays it is sometimes viewed as ‘trash TV’ and not taken very seriously by most, up until recently it was still considered a prestigious international musical competition. The success still didn’t stop there, however. The current incarnation of Riverdance is set to return to Dublin and Cork this summer, and has just finished a run of shows in Japan. Nine months after their debut performance, Riverdance – The Show opens at the Point Theatre, Dublin. Anuna are a vocal choir group founded in 1987 by Dublin composer Michael McGlynn. Riverdance was inspired by a previous interval act that was performed during the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which was also hosted by Ireland that year.  Thirteen years later, Whelan was invited to do the intermission piece for another Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, and composed Riverdance. Of course, the dancing itself needed to be top quality too.That’s where Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, two Irish dancing world champions came in. Every single performance sold out, and the producers knew they could take it much further than the UK. As one report put it, lead dancers Michael Flatley and Jean Butler "transformed the previously chaste and reserved traditional dance form into something else entirely", and after witnessing the initial enthusiasm for the performance in Ireland, husband and wife production team Moya Doherty and John McColgan decided to invest over $1 million into producing a full-length show. Baby E) Zella Day. © 2021 Claddagh Design. Search in the tunes section and see if that’s the one you’re looking for. On 29 September, days before the show was due to reopen for a second sell-out run at The Apollo, Flatley's TV appearances suddenly became focused on rumours that he was about to walk out. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. , In February 2020, an animated feature film inspired by Riverdance was announced, titled Riverdance: The Animated Adventure. The act was called ‘Timedance’, which was a three-sectioned piece featuring traditional Baroque-influenced music and ballet dancing. Michael Flatley left the show reportedly over creative disputes with the producers. Then the drums would begin and Flatley would leap onto the stage to ‘battle’ with the drummers, followed by the pair dancing together and then a rousing finale of a row of 24 Irish dancers dancing in unison with Flatley and Butler in the centre. 2 positions for the next seven months, becoming the all-time best-selling music video in the UK. For the 1994 act Bill Whelan was at the helm again, and decided to go bigger, better, and back to Ireland’s roots. The Opening Ceremony performance also featured the longest troupe line ever seen in an Irish dance show, with over 100 dancers. , The song "Riverdance" was released as a single featuring Anúna and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and entered the Irish Singles Chart at No. Timedance was composed, recorded and performed for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which was hosted by Ireland. Tove Styrke. At the time, Bill Whelan and Dónal Lunny composed the music, augmenting the Irish folk band Planxtywith a rock rhythm section of electric bass and drums and a four-piece horn section. The communication was great and (...), Great quality, speedy delivery and a lovely personal touch, all-round a fantastic present, this was a present and I was thrilled. The show was picked up for another astounding 3 and a half month run back at the Apollo in May 1996, although the original line-up had now changed. Handcrafted Irish Jewelry, Inspired by the Past, Sign up for our newsletter & receive 10% off your first order, Custom Jewelry: Irish & Scottish Heritage Design. All Rights Reserved. Can't Get Enough of Myself (feat.  A day later, Riverdance opened at The Apollo in London for a sell-out four-week run. It arranged tickets to U2 gigs around the world, a sing-song for ambassadors in a county Cork pub and even seats at Riverdance on Broadway as part of its bid for the seat. Costing about $2 million to bring the show from Ireland, Riverdance broke even in its first New York outing. Opening up this beautiful box (I know, that wasn't the present but such a beautiful box told me that there was something very special inside!) The five-week run was sold out within three days of the tickets going on sale, with tickets reaching record sales of over 120,000. , Eurovision performance and aftermath of interval act (1994), Flatley's departure and second London run (October 1995), Continued success in Ireland and London (March–May 1996), Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest, "Amazing facts about the Irish dance phenomenon "Riverdance, "Riverdance Unveiled at Eurovision in Dublin 1994", "THE MARKETING 100: 'RIVERDANCE': MOYA DOHERTY", "Eurovision's Greatest Hits: Riverdance To Perform", "From worst to Riverdance: A comprehensive ranking of Ireland's Eurovision interval acts", "What became of the Riverdance Queen? The mammoth Apollo run of Riverdance proved to be as successful as ever, raking in over £5 million in ticket sales, and was extended to last until January 1997. Directed by John McColgan. Ireland has a long history of success in the contest, having entered competitors every year since 1965 except for two occasions. Each production company is named after an Irish river: Liffey, Lee, Lagan, Avoca, Shannon, Boyne, Corrib, Foyle, Moy and Bann. They provided the lilting, harmonious opening vocals to the Riverdance act with no instrumental accompaniment, and as the last of their lyrics faded out into the audience, the RTE Concert Orchestra would begin to play Bill Whelan’s upbeat and distinctly Irish sounding score. The show enjoyed tremendous success, performing throughout the UK and beyond. Learn how your comment data is processed. The film is being produced by River Productions and Aniventure, and is being created by visual effects and animation studio Cinesite, in Montreal. Shortly afterwards, husband and wife production team John McColgan and Moya Doherty expanded it into a stage show, which opened in Dublin on 9 February 1995. It was set to showcase Ireland’s rich culture to the world, add a huge boost to Irish pride, and leave the 300 million people watching the Eurovision gobsmacked. Riverdance History A Show created following the success of the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest. , In March 2000, the show moved to Broadway's Gershwin Theatre and featured lead dancers Pat Roddy and Eileen Martin of the Shannon company, and singers Brian Kennedy and Tsidii Le Loka. I Was In A Irish Gift Shop In Dublin Yesterday && I Heard A Song … It had become so popular that different companies were formed and toured over different regions simultaneously. 2014 was the 20th anniversary of the show which meant another high profile tour with a full symphonic score. The dancers performed for the royal family, toured all over Europe, and an incredible 8-week stint at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City – again completely sold out. ... cloggers also tend to dance in groups and dance on the downbeat of a song. Flatley was quite simply born to dance, and had been formally trained since the age of 11. Only. In 1994, Ireland was enjoying two wins in a row and hoping for a third (which they achieved). This Site Might Help You.  In June 2003, Breandán de Gallaí and Joanne Doyle featured as the lead dancers at the Opening Ceremony of the 2003 Special Olympics in Dublin. Riverdance is rooted in a three-part suite of baroque-influenced traditional music called Timedance composed, recorded and performed for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which was hosted by Ireland.  In a book about Planxty (The Humours of Planxty, by Leagues O'Toole), Whelan says, "It was no mistake of mine to call it Riverdance because it connected absolutely to Timedance"..  At the end of September 1995, a contract dispute arose between Flatley and Riverdance. The act was called ‘Timedance’, which was a three-sectioned piece featuring traditional Baroque-influenced music and ballet dancing. He composed a score filled with fiddles, drums, and haunting vocals – the only natural accompaniment could be some traditional Irish dancing.  After 23 performances at Radio City between 2 October and 20 October, the Lee company moved on to Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, as well as Detroit and Minneapolis. It was while studying drama at the University of Birmingham that Jean received an invitation from producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan to star in a 10-minute stage production called Riverdance. Riverdance was inspired by a previous interval act that was performed during the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which was also hosted by Ireland that year. Number One. 2 position in the UK charts, moving to No. You can read some testimonials from our customers here.  It is currently the second highest-selling single of all time in Ireland, behind only Elton John's 1997 double A-side "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight". Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour is an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song.  On 11 August 1994, in response to the Rwandan genocide of May/June 1994, the RTÉ video 'Riverdance for Rwanda' was launched to help raise money for Irish relief agencies in Rwanda. Vanic. He came up with a new fresh score, very much Irish traditional music with a modern take, and he called it Riverdance.  Colin Dunne briefly returned to Riverdance in July 2002 to perform his original choreographed piece "Trading Taps" at New York City's One World Jam at Radio City Music Hall. In April 1995, video release of Riverdance went straight to No. Riverdance showcases the musicians onstage alongside the dancers and singers. It shot straight to the top of the charts, and the company expanded its performance to the dance performance it is today. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. With a score composed by Bill Whelan, it originated as an interval performance act during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, featuring Irish dancing champions Jean Butler, Michael Flatley and the vocal ensemble Anúna. Riverdance is rooted in a three-part suite of baroque-influenced traditional music called Timedance composed, recorded, and performed for the 1981 … He was the by far the best person to choreograph Riverdance. Anuna and the RTE Concert Orchestra were decided on for musical performers. There's a Riverdance animated movie on the way", "Riverdance to be made into an animated film", "Pierce Brosnan, Lilly Singh, Brendan Gleeson to Voice 'Riverdance: The Animated Adventure' Feature (Exclusive)", Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording, Les Misérables: The Complete Symphonic Recording, Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs Of Leiber And Stoller, An Comhdháil na Múinteoirí le Rincí Gaelacha, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Riverdance&oldid=1000312936, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Michael Flatley Flute Solo – Whispering Winds, Yolanda González Sobrado (flamenco dancer), This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 16:19. With Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, María Pagés, Katie McMahon. Riverdance was first performed during the seven-minute interval of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest at the Point Theatre in Dublin on 30 April 1994. Performance Irish dancing is recognized by rapid leg movements accompanied by stationary upper bodies and arms. Whelan had also produced EastWind, a 1992 album by Planxty member Andy Irvine with Davy Spillane, which fused Irish and Balkan folk music and influenced the genesis of Riverdance. Jean Butler explains why she left the limelight", "The history of the Official Irish Charts", "Riverdance for Rwanda released on 11 August 1994", "Riverdance at Royal Variety Performance 28 November 1994", "Twenty one stomping facts about the Riverdance phenomenon", "Lord of 'Lord of the Dance' gives his side of the story", "Trading Taps at the Royal Variety Performance 20 November 1995", "Riverprancer; JEAN BUTLER LIFTS THE LID ON LIFE WITH RIVERDANCE CO-STAR MICHAEL FLATLEY", "DANCE REVIEW; With Fast Feet and Fiddles, An Irish Perennial Returns", "Walter Sundance Freeman and Colin Dunne at Radio City Music Hall", "Colin Dunne joins Riverdance for One World Jam in Radio City Music Hall", "Riverdance at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics, Dublin 2003", "Riverdance World Record longest line 21 July 2013", "Cinesite to Produce Nine Animated Movies in Montreal in Five Years", "OMG! The act was introduced by Sir Terry Wogan, lasted for 7 minutes, and went off without a hitch. As a result, Dunne paired up with original Eurovision troupe member Eileen Martin for the opening night, as they looked to salvage the show and make a name for themselves. Flatley claimed the dispute had nothing to do with money, but rather creative control of his own choreography. The short interval act produced for the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin was called Riverdance.Dancers Michael Flatley and Jean Butler dazzled TV viewers with their new style of percussive choreography. It was the first interval act that directly aimed to create a spectacle and ‘show off’, rather than just fill in the time while votes were counted up, and it set a precedent for every contest since then. Mitch is the go to person for any song for any occasion!!  On 13 March, the show opened at the legendary Radio City Music Hall for the first of eight sold-out performances over five days.  Dunne, who had only just joined the cast and creative team of Riverdance, was initially invited to choreograph and perform the newly commissioned number "Trading Taps" with Tarik Winston. Riverdance is rooted in a three-part suite of baroque-influenced traditional music called Timedance. High.  During this extended period, Riverdance returned to the Royal Variety Performance at Dominion Theatre, where they performed Dunne's choreographed piece "Trading Taps" in the presence of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on 20 November 1995. , "Riverdance: The Show" opened at the Point Theatre in Dublin on 9 February 1995. Dances such as "Dance Judgement" (舞判, also called the Dance of Zhong Kui, 跳鐘馗) became opera pieces in the Ming Dynasty, and dances of the Song Dynasty such as Flapping the Flag (撲旗子). Jean Butler, another Irish American dancer was invited by the show’s producers to star as the female lead alongside Flatley. Bill Whelan’s original score was expanded and Flatley choreographed a host of new numbers, although the finale still remained the same. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Riverdance & Famous Irish Songs & Dances - Various Artists on AllMusic - 1999 Millions of people around the world have seen Riverdance first hand, and many many more have seen it on television, online or have at the very least heard about it. , On 2 October 1996, Riverdance kicked off its US tour at Radio City Music Hall, christening their new US company the Lee (after Cork's main river), while the company continuing to perform in the UK was dubbed the Liffey (after Dublin's main river). Saoirse Ronan) Johnny Jewel.  The performance is often considered the most well known interval act in Eurovision Song Contest history.  Earlier that month, tickets went on sale for "Riverdance: The Show", exceeding IR£1million in three weeks. Cage the Elephant. Eileen's contemporary ring fits the bill perfectly. For five weeks they sold out the theatre with record-breaking sales of over 120,000 tickets. Waves. The theatrical show emerged as an interval performance act in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The first show opened at the Point Depot in Dublin, where the original production was performed the previous year. B.C) Santigold vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty. , On 21 July 2013, a record was set when a line of 1,693 dancers from 44 countries danced to Riverdance on a bridge overlooking the River Liffey, led by Jean Butler and Padraic Moyles. , On 5 June 1995, UK video release of Riverdance went straight to the No. The country was hosting the competition for the sixth time. , After returning to Ireland and incurring successful runs in Belfast and Cork, Riverdance made their way back to The Apollo in May 1996 for a three and a half month run; the show saw advance box office sales in excess of GB£5m. The piece was performed, with accompanying ballet dancers, during the interval of the contest, and later released as a Planxty single. Sets have therefore been simplified and some numbers contain fewer performers than in past productions (such as those seen on the Live from New York City (1996) and Live from Geneva (2002) DVDs). Dean Lewis. Their sound is somewhat different to the traditional ‘church’ choir most people of think of. Flatley had choreographed many of the numbers in the multicultural spectacle, but after the show took off, the two parties clashed over salary and royalty fees.  In September 2020, it was announced that Pierce Brosnan, Lilly Singh, Jermaine Fowler, Pauline McLynn, Aisling Bea, John Kavanagh and Brendan Gleeson would feature as voice actors in the film. Trouble. They have sold millions of albums worldwide and have been described as ‘Riverdance for the voice’. , Riverdance continues to be performed all over the world, in a diminished format and in smaller venues. Current productions are geared towards smaller theatres, whereas past productions have been performed in large theatres and arenas. With this year’s Eurovision in full swing right about now, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 20 years of Riverdance and see how it all began. They perform early Irish, medieval, classical and contemporary music, and are made up of between 12 and 14 singers, both classically trained and untrained. The dancing style, although rooted firmly in the Irish tradition, was given a thoroughly modern update. Irish Eurovision fans have called Lesley Roy's entry a "belter" and say we "might have a chance" at this year's song contest in Rotterdam. 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