Riverdance is a performance of Irish step-dancing. Its origin stems from the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest where an Irish folkband Planxty- Bill Whelan and Donal Lunny- performed music along with ballet dancers, called Timedance. Riverdance embodies Irish culture and was first performed at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, under the influences of Timedance. Participants included Irish Dancing Champions, Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, the RTE Concert Orchestra, and Celtic group Anuna. The song was also written by Bill Whelan. The performance received much praise and was invited back months later to perform at the Royal Variety Show.
The song was recorded and released as an audio, making it onto the Irish billboard charts at #1. In May of 1994, â€œRiverdance for Rwandaâ€ was released in order to fundraise for Rwandan disaster relief. In February 1995, the show, directed by John McColgan and Moya Doherty, opened at the Point Theatre in Dublin and ran for five weeks of sold out shows.
It was next performed in May 1995 at the Royal Gala 50th Anniversary of VE Day, gaining even more attention. Following the live performance, was a video release in the U.K. that was an instant best seller. It was performed at more shows at the Point Theatre ,The Apollo at Hammersmith, Royal College of Music, then in 1996 at New York Cityâ€™s Radio City Music Hall.
The show is still touring with constant updates and new performances across the world. The aim now is to accommodate to smaller theatres for a more intimate production. The U.S. Tour kicks off on February 15, 2012 in Alabama. On the showâ€™s website, a clock counts down the number of days and hours left to see the show in North America.