Riverdance still has the power to entertain and inspire, 20 years on


An emerald explosion hit the stage at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall this week as Riverdance returned with its 20th anniversary tour.

I was unsure exactly what to expect from this show. Although I can remember the hype in the early 90s following their Eurovision Song Contest and Royal Variety Show performances, that was the closest I got to seeing the real thing.

Riverdance achieved global success in their heyday so it was no surprise that they decided to go back on tour for their anniversary year. The show was opened by spine-tingling Irish flute playing along with the haunting yet elegant ecclesiastical voice of Nicola Dempsey.

This led straight into the sea of dainty legs in perfect synchrony as they powered across the stage with elegance and grace.

The talented musicians and amazing dancers showcased their traditional Irish entertainment, and the Royal Concert Hall was the perfect venue to appreciate the accoustics.

From fiddle solos to flamencos, the show soon became quite varied and highlighted the similarities across cultural dance styles.

The energy on stage from all the dancers was unparallelled.

Each routine was well rehearsed and seemed enjoyed by audience and dancers alike. By the end, the musicians had us clapping our hands and tapping our feet.

The show was right to return once again but it should come with a warning ’Do not try this at home’, I can see a few broken ankles and dislocated knees.

It is clearly one of the few times you wouldn’t want to say break a leg before a performance.