Review: Riverdance at the Empire

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Riverdance cast on stage ©riverdance.com

Riverdance cast on stage ©riverdance.com

Riverdance’s 20th Anniversary special hits the Empire Theatre this week.

Since stealing the show at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in 1994, Riverdance has been one for all the family to enjoy. With two decades of global success, the international hit consists of traditional Irish music, dance and song that will help the audience connect with Ireland’s history.

Michael Flatley’s and Jean Butler’s genius steps are still echoed in the performance as the dancers take on the original choreography that showcased his impressively quick movements.

The show is split into a variety of scenes that depict a range of folk numbers, including glimpses into Spanish and Russian dancing, with the flamenco and Russian folk dance sections respectively. The Russian Dervish continues to be a success since its introduction in the original 1995 production, with the jaw-dropping lifts that leave the audience spellbound.

Composed by Bill Whelan, the show also makes great use of the very few instruments with just four members in the band. With some sections only dedicated to the sound of their expertise, the audience members were still entranced by their ability to encapsulate the heart and soul of Ireland in their music and their performances gained several cheers from the crowd.

The crowd laughed and cheered at the ‘Trading Tap’ section as two tapdancers proceeded to perform in a dance battle with the new style of dance having to be embraced by the traditional.

With some Riverdance numbers that everyone will know, the show will have you believing you yourself can dance and the songs will stick in your head for a very long time after its departure from the stage.

The traditional-Irish phenomenon stays in Liverpool until Sunday November 2nd before moving on to the Edinburgh Playhouse.

About Angharad Millington, JMU Journalism