Riverdance Blog

Riverdance in Shanghai!

Kevin Horton, Dancer, Bann Company

We arrived in Shanghai with great expectations for what was hoped to be an amazing city full of diversified culture and unbelievable sightseeing. Our expectations were met in every way. Shanghai is one of the coolest cities I have ever visited and our week here was definitely a high point of the tour so far. We didn’t know where to start, there was so much to be done!

The weather was not as dreary as the past few weeks, but there was still a large quantity of fog that covered the city and made for not so great views from the Shanghai Financial Building. This building was praised as being the tallest building in the world, but during our visit it became the second tallest, losing to the brand new Burj Dubai building in Dubai. Well, at least I can say that I went to the top of the second tallest building in the world… The view from the top was masked by a layer of fog, which was somewhat disappointing, but through the fog, a mass of buildings could be outlined in what seemed to continue forever. It is often hard to grasp just how big China is until you get to see it from way up there!

A view of Shanghai from the top of the Financial Building, all covered in fog!

Here are dancers Claire Doyle, Anne Toner, Deirdre Dowling, and Deirdre O'Reilly before heading to a cast party

Shanghai has the second largest metropolitan area in the World with over 20 million people. This number did not go unnoticed, as every where you looked, there were people! In fact it is known that every minute in China there are 34 births, and if you were to have the entire population of China walk by you in a single file line, that line would never end due to the reproduction rate! No wonder there is a government mandated limit as to how many children each family are allowed.

Another group of cast members at a cast party

The city has a very rich mix of architectural styles and one section of the city, the Bund, was very popular among the cast. The early 20th century buildings transported you out of China into a vast array of architectural styles. Another great place I recommend was this great off the beaten path art section called Tianzifang, which was riddled with small galleries, tiny shops, and cafes. It was great to be able to walk around and see all of the different styles of Chinese art for sale. Another great thing this week was that the hotel was located directly behind Old Town Shanghai. In fact, the lobby overlooked the entire area. Even just taking a stroll and intertwining down the alleyways gave such a feel for the history. It is hard to fathom the idea that we could be walking down a street that could possibly be over a thousand years old!

Tianzifang Gallery

I Love Shanghai

Everybody was wishing we had more time in Shanghai, but it was time to move on to our next adventure. Check back soon to hear about the three cities we visited next!


January 24, 2010

Hey,I watched the Riverdance on 9th Jan., it was so amazing! Everyone around me enjoyed it very much and gave such a great applause I have ever seen! We are all fully attracted by your fantastic show!
Hope all of you will have a wonderful trip in China and hope you will come back to Shanghai and other cities near SH soon…
Don’t let us wait too long…

Good luck!
— a Chinese fan

January 24, 2010

Thanks kevin, I went to see your last show in Shanghai and it was phenomenal! Thank you guys so much for providing us such a terrific show. Everything about that night was just perfect. Personally I’ve been waiting for your coming for quite a while and I even started studying of Irish tap dance because of the Riverdance. And one day the dream comes true.

I’m glad to know you enjoyed your stay in Shanghai as well. I have to say, it was not a pefect time visiting shanghai at this moment because of the weather and the construction. Maybe mid of this year around the Expo could be a better time? Anyway I will be looking forward to your next visit.

I also need to thank your manager/team giving us a chance to meet the crews behind the stage and allowing us danced a little bit ON STAGE!!! Such unforgetable experience. By the way, I really want to give a special thank to Christina. We had a great time while given a short lesson by her. (P.S. I will be really appreciated if you can pass me her email so I could thank her personally). I think she’s great.

Hope you will enjoy the rest of your tour and your adventure in China! I’m sure this will be a successful tour for all of you.


Peter Stanleigh
February 17, 2011

My wife and I missed your last show. When will you return to Shanghai???

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