This weekend, the massive North American operation of Riverdance — 60 dancers, singers, musicians and crew — will sing and dance for the last time on these shores. The Dublin-based production company is closing down its North American tour with five performances at Wolf Trap, one of its earliest and most consistent venues.
Riverdance usa tour
Since my last blog got such a good response , I figured I’d go ahead and do another feature this week. So, off I set backstage in Baltimore, MD with my pen and paper and set about seeking my next few victims! Let me next introduce to you the lovely Tokiko Masuda, who had a hard time narrowing her selection of favorite ‘things’ to one, so we agreed to feature her top two favorites..
The audience were on their feet a lot during this production and most deservedly so. The choreography is incredible. Men and women flying across the stage, women linking hands to do a stiff armed chorus line where nothing moves except their legs and feet and those appendages are a blur of precision. The singers are equally polished and wonderful, ethereal harmonies abound.
City Update – Quebec City, QC: A beautiful, historic city that delighted me in every aspect but I was not sad to leave behind a city where they STILL have winter in April! Highlights included early morning swims in the rooftop outdoor heated swimming pool and dining at the ‘Restaurant Le Retro’ bistro in the oldtown to taste the homemade assortment of local pates and seafood chicken pie. A brunch consisting of croque-monsieur on Friday afternoon gave a nice kick start to my day.
It was nice to be back in a dance studio and a fine studio it was at the “Grand Theatre”, Quebec. This was even more important for one of our new troupe members, Callum Spencer who in just a few short days after his arrival would perform male lead for the very first time.
Veterans Padraic Moyles and Niamh O’ Connor bid adieu to the American stage after serving many years with the ‘American’ Company. Niamh and Padraic were joined by Lauren Smyth, James Keating and singer/ tap dancer, Micheal Wood on their transfer to our sister company, the Moy on a six week tour of Australia and New Zealand until June. As the saying goes, one door closes and another opens and it did just that for their replacements. We have since welcomed Megan Baffa, Owen Barrington, Ben Mapp, Tokiko Masuda and Callum Spencer. They shall complete the remaining seven weeks with the Shannon Company.
Riverdance is a young Irish boy’s dream come true.
For Belfast native Jason O’Neill, being an audience member at one of the iconic show’s performances was a moment he’ll never forget.
I saw Riverdance when I was 10, and it just changed my life, said O’Neill, who now works as a lead dancer with Riverdance.
It’s the last dance. After all those years of foot-stomping, heel-tapping, stiff-backed, step-dance prancing, the Riverdance folk are hanging up their shoes. Truth is, it’s only the North American market that will see a hiatus of the popular show.
Ní Charra ended up touring as a fiddler with Riverdance for eight years, leaving the show six years ago to pursue her own music career. Last year, as the producers started putting together the lineup for the show’s grand finale tour, they asked Ní Charra to come back on the road for, as she put it, a final ‘hurrah!’
Good dancing makes you want to dance, and Riverdance does that. Not only is this incoming production a chance to see, one last time, one of the defining touring shows of the past 20 years, it’s a chance to pay tribute to a show that, I’m sure, swells the ranks of local dance classes, where young girls and boys turn step dancing from something you simply see into something you do.