Riverdance - 25th Anniversary Show: "Reel around the Sun"
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two decades since Riverdance first took the world by storm. Since its inception, this musical celebration of Irish culture and dance has become a well-known and much-loved production, and now it’s back onstage, at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), in a new and powerful way.
Abhann Productions’ 25th Anniversary Tour features a re-recorded soundtrack from the legendary Bill Whelan and perfectly-timed direction from John McColgan, along with incredible video backdrops courtesy of Cosmo AV, spellbinding sound (Michael O’Gorman) and lighting (Andrew Voller) effects, and, of course, the heart-pounding, can’t-believe-it’s-really-happening dance that is and has always been the show’s hallmark.
And, while the dance may be what catches (and keeps) the eye, it’s hard to say what stands out more: the incredible choreography or the mesmerizing music. Really, both work together, along with the high-tech effects, to produce something truly incredible. Viewers are drawn in by the fog, starry lights, smoke, and other artistic touches, but it’s the sheer power of the production that keeps them hanging on the edge of their seats, watching every moment, and never wanting it to end.
Each dance in the show tells a full and enthralling story. However, the stories are really just a backdrop to the masterful dances. While some viewers may watch for deeper content, others will enjoy getting lost in the peaceful scenes and the sheer joy of watching talented people do something they love and have spent countless hours perfecting. The beauty of Riverdance is that either type of viewing is acceptable. It can be watched several times over, and watchers are sure to take away something new and wonderful every time. From hip (and hilarious) dance battles (“Trading Taps”) to dreamy, romantic variations, there’s truly something for everyone.
This production also does a nice job of incorporating and paying homage to other dance styles, while still holding true to its overarching aim: celebrating Irish culture. In fact, that’s really what Riverdance is, a beautiful, entertaining evening of culture that’s pleasing on all levels. It delights every sense, evokes news sensations, and awakens passion. Audience members will leave feeling inspired . . . and wishing they could watch it all over again. And, luckily, they can, at least for a few more nights. DPAC will run Riverdance through February 26, so, if you want to experience (or re-experience) the magic, act fast!
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