Riverdance Travels Throughout the US; Cast Wows with Costumes, Color & Culture
I met the folks behind the Riverdance in Dublin recently and given that its a show — or rather a performance, which is more electric and intense than a show — I’ve been wanting to see for awhile, I was thrilled to learn that it was coming to the Bay Area within a month. Last week, close and center, I took it all in — from the incredible colors of the costumes, to the dance numbers themselves.
Scene one (photographed above) started out with an eerie blue blackdrop, cloud-like smoke emerging from the floor. The background and its meaning? In a primitive and powerful world, Ireland’s ancestors knew fear and joy and fire, worked wood and stone and water to make a place they could call home.
The first peoples knew the world as a place of power, their songs and dances and stories are negotiations with elemental powers. The first half of this performance shows them coming to terms with the world and with themselves.
Some of my other favorite scenes including the powerful playing of a lone piper who mourns Cú Chulainn, the implacable Bronze Age warrior, the great hero of Celtic myth. In Act Two, they cover the mid-19th century, the hunger and famine which drove the Irish out of their home island, across the Atlantic to a New World. Lovers parted from lovers and families and communities were torn apart.
The women’s costumes were stunning and their energy addictive – it wasn’t possible to get up and dance during the performance but they should find a venue where you can…imagine the tapping, clapping and singing. I’ll be there in spades if they line up something like this in the future. (below are a few images as well as one of the solo violinist). For the rest of the piece including stunning photos, go here and for more on international arts/culture, go here.