Riverdance in China - Darren Casey's On-Tour blog

On a Roll: Harbin – Changchun – Shenyang


A simply stunning stage was set in Harbin for the start of our Chinese tour and our old and new cast and crew were lit and ready to rock! Riverdance continued to entertain to the sold out audiences for the remaining days in the Grand Theater. We were sad to leave this winter wonderland (and with it, five loud curtain closings) behind us, but #TourLife was beckoning with its trial and tribulations and we took to the road.


As a long serving member of the Riverdance family I’ve had my fair share of strange foods from across the globe but humorous moments are catching a glimpse of our new recruits’ first impressions of traditional Chinese food that they are served by catering. – ” you’re a long way from “three in ones” and “spice bags” now lads!”

Now you may think as professionals dancers, we are always fit and injury free, but unfortunately this is not always the case as our new physiotherapist Stephen was about to find out. More like a paying queue at a butchers back home, the list of dancers with niggling injuries grew in numbers. Recovery can some times take a day, two days or even a week but there are the unfortunate ones that have us making the unwanted journey home. I must give a mention to a close friend, new principal dancer team member and all round gem, Kieran Harriman who had to leave us due to injury but I know he’ll be back asap! We’ll miss you Kieran!


On that note, a welcome return to Peter Wilson who has come to  replace Kieran.

Changchun was to be the next city on the tour schedule. A city visited by Riverdance many times before but its always a strange sensation when you arrive back to the exact same street…same hotel and even the same room!! After what was described as a “tricky” load in by our Technical Director Brendan McLoughlin, the local crew and our experts inevitably got all that was required done and we were ready for curtain up in the beautiful Oriental Grand Theater.


Rapturous is how I would describe the crowds in Changchun, full of life and enough energy to send us skating over the ice ridden paths like the cast of happy feet towards a shinning light..A DAY OFF!


The coveted day off, was spent in the sassy city of Shenyang. Our cast hotel was the Sofitel with beds fit for kings – just as well as our cast hibernated in those sheets like squirrels to a tree for most of the day! A nice Korean BBQ and an early night for all and with that we were ready for city number three; Shenyang.



The Shenyang Arts Centre, a strange looking building in which it took three minutes to get to and forty minutes to get back from (only in China). We were treated to a special performance from the local dance schools to make us feel at home we. A fantastic performance by these wonderful children  – Well Done you guys!

Some crew changes now: Technical Director Brendan McLoughlin heads back to Ireland after setting us up. Production Manager Cormac Veale now heads up the team to keep things running smoothly as did Caroline our Head of Wardrobe who passed the baton to Jenny – best of luck going forward guys!



This weeks ‘Happy Birthday’ Roll Call: Cormac Taffe, Rocio and Meadhbh Kennedy

So now you are up to date with our goings on during the last week. Like my tooth that was removed by a Chinese dentist for twelve euro, I’m out!

Chat next week,


And we're back!!


This week on tour with Darren Casey