Riverdance Blog

Jean Butler's dress
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October 24, 2012on

Jean Butler’s Riverdance Dress – Contemporary Object of Our Time?

Jean Butler’s dress

The National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, Dublin are holding an exhibition of 10 objects chosen, with the assistance of the public, to represent contemporary Ireland. One of these will be chosen as the 100th object to be included in the book, A History of Ireland in 100 Objects by Fintan O’Toole which will be published in March 2013 by the Royal Irish Academy in association with the National Museum of Ireland and the Irish Times.

The objects represent various facets of modern day Ireland and include the original Anglo-Irish Bank sign from St Stephen’s Green, the outfits worn by Jean Butler and Michael Flatley in the original production of Riverdance, a pair of gloves worn by Ireland’s gold medal-winning Olympic boxer Katie Taylor as well as other objects including a decommissioned IRA weapon, a hospital trolley, a Holy Communion dress, a Certificate of Citizenship, the Euro and a smart phone.

You can vote for your choice using the ballot paper provided at the exhibition or online at http://100objects.ie .
Riverdance Costume
“It’s made of navy silk velvet, delicate crochet and jet beads, and it was like no other Irish dance dress ever seen before. Jean Butler wore it during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest interval act she performed with Michael Flatley, and in seven minutes changed the image of Irish dancing forever. Her first dance—soft shoe, delicate—looked traditional, but her sexy, off-the-shoulder dress showed how Irish culture could be reimagined for a modern, global audience. After Michael Flatley’s solo, Butler came back on stage in hard shoes, and their kicks, clicks and taps created a percussive power that resonated further than anyone could have imaged.”  Bernice Harrison

Read the full description on 100objects.ie

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