Riverdance continued its twenty year celebration tour when it arrived at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool this evening. The show has come a long way since Riverdance was introduced to the world as the interval act during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. 300 million people viewed the Riverdance performance that night and a new era of Irish dance performed by Michael Flatley and Jean Butler grabbed the viewers imagination, and the show would go on to break theatrical records around the world as it played 10.000 performances to more than 23 million fans in 45 countries around the world.
Tonight’s performance was led by principle dancers Emma Warren and Stephen Brenan who stole the show with their breathtaking performance. The amount of time and rehearsal that must have gone into preparing for such a captivating performance is incredible. Not one foot was out of time during the group dances creating a thunderous effect that resonated through the sold out theatre. One aspect that was introduced for this 20th anniversary was the introduction of Flamenco replica watches, Russian and Tap dances along with the traditional Irish dance and song to portray the discovery of new worlds and cultures and how dance is the same all over the world.
The overall show was full of high energy ensemble scenes such as the west side story style dance off between the New York tap dancers and the Irish dancers contrasted with slower solo performances which always kept the audience engaged. The onstage band were incredible and brought an element of humour to the performance gaining cheers and applause from the audience.
The finale was a real showstopper, featuring the traditional line dance that everybody waits for and gained the show a much deserved standing ovation from the crowd.
By Kat Williams and Emma Taylor