Is it the chart blazing hits from Abba or classics such as All Kinds of Everything? I am ready to bet Riverdance the 1994 interval Act will go down as the single most successful act in Eurovision history hands down. I’ll wager it wins in terms of sheer mass-appeal, revenues earned and national soft power not to mention tourism gold generated by this once-interval act. I watched the show live in Dublin recently and here’s what I learnt :
A Record Breaking 10th Season
This is an especially significant year for revisiting this globe-trotting spectacle as Ireland’s in Dublin, during the year of Ireland’s Gathering, as Riverdance returns home to Dublin to celebrate its 20th season. It will be running in the Gaiety Theatre Dublin all summer until September. So you can still catch it this summer!
Before I say more, check out the video reminding us of that fantastic debut of Riverdance, forming the interval act at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland. Starring Jean Butler and Michael Flatley,
How Riverdance truly Reflects Eurovision Values
- It’s not just Irish Dance – if you truly love dance you will be in for a treat as it features dance forms that have been infected by or have evolved along Irish dance in wider Europe. The highlight for me was the call and response segment between the tap dancers and the male Irish Lead. Also collaborations of Flamenco and Russian traditions will be there. Truly in keeping with the Eurovision ideals of shared culture across Europe.
- It’s all about the Masculine energy. Yes you heard me right – it was truly a showcase for the male dancers and reveals the strong male presence in Irish dance and music for that matter.
- We could see where the Ryan Dolan entry got its inspiration from. It became clear to me Riverdance had a lot of influence on Ireland’s Eurovision entry in 2013. I mean , think about it! Both shows had men in leather trousers , electrified bodhran’s and a massive Celtic backdrop. No brainer!
- Having see it myself it made me realize this show has probably done more than any other tourism marketing Campaign to draw more visitors to visit Ireland and engage with Irish culture. It is something the best hosts of Eurovision Song contests through the years have realized
- Last but not least I did not expect the up-welling of sentimental national pride towards the end of the show and guess what ? I am only a quarter Irish. powerful stuff so I strongly recommend it.
I guarantee you could learn a lot from the success of Riverdance when considering our next Eurovision entry . It tapped into the same spectacle and tribal emotion that makes the Eurovision experience so unique.
Could it get Better? Yes.
For what its worth I did think the Backdrop graphics could have been updated a bit , it looked a bit old school given we live in the age of CGI and are host to serious animation technology here in Dublin.
Your Invitation to a Special Riverdance Gathering
If you make it to Dublin this weekend, you can see it for yourself on a balmy summer evening at a once off outdoor concert at Merrion Square (West), Dublin 2 this Saturday night. You get to join a host of stars for Riverdance – Onscreen. The concert kick’s off at 8pm with Brian Kennedy in concert followed at 9.15pm by a showing of all the best bits of Riverdance from the last 19 years accompanied by a live band and a guest performance by Eleanor McEvoy.
Click the image to avail of your special discount courtesy of the Gathering Ireland
(buy one €10 ticket, get one free):
Elish Bul-Godley Joint editor
video courtesy Of Setheurovision94 Icelandic Eurovision fan living in Denmark.