Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dance Me a River

Well, it's Pledge Week again on PBS, and as usual they're showing Riverdance - this time, a Riverdance performance filmed in Beijing. I've never watched Riverdance on TV before because I saw it live at Radio City Music Hall when I lived in New York.  We watched it tonight because Barry had recorded it and we could (sorry, PBS) fast-forward through the pleas for money.  I have to admit, I was amazed.

My seat at the live performance was so far up in nosebleed territory that I could see the whole stage at once.  That was a great vantage point for the group numbers, but I really couldn't appreciate the fine details of the costumes and sets.  With the high-definition television, we could see not only the embroidery and eyelet lace, but also the bobby pins in the dancers' hair and the fillings in the singers' teeth.

The true beauty of the performance, however, remains the actual dancing.  The basis of the show is Irish step-dancing, but it also contains ballet, flamenco, and tap.  My favorite vignette, in fact, is Trading Taps - an extremely athletic face-off between two black tappers and three step-dancers that illuminates both the similarities and the differences between the two styles of dance.  Throw in an energetic musical score and a talented chorus and you have a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

If you've somehow managed not to see Riverdance during the last 15 years - or if it's been a while since you did - check the schedule on your local PBS website for the next showing of this spectacular Irish treat.

"… trying not to grin when the band plays full out and 60 feet answer right back, is a challenge." ~The Times (February 2002)

No comments:

Post a Comment