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Riverdance bids farewell to US

After 16 years Riverdance will end its US tour in June. The final St Patrick’s Day performance will take place in Chicago this weekend.

Riverdance performance on stage at Bristol Hippodrome theatre as part of the productions farewell UK tour in 2009
Riverdance performance on stage at Bristol Hippodrome theatre as part of the productions farewell UK tour in 2009
Image: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

AFTER TOURING AMERICA for more than sixteen years,  Riverdance is entering the final leg of its US farewell tour. The acclaimed Irish dancing extravaganza is due to close Stateside this June after more than 10,000 performances.

The final St Patrick’s Day performance will take place in Chicago this weekend. The show will then move on to such cities as Detroit, Boston and St Louis before it will stage its final US performance at The Feline Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia.

The show has been a phenomenal success ever since the illustrious 1994 Eurovision night in The Point Theatre (now the O2). Michael Flatley and Jean Butler got a standing ovation after they wowed the crowd with their unique take on traditional Irish dance.


(Via YouTube/setheurovision94)

Despite losing the original stars the show continued to be successful. Flatley went on to create his own shows, “Lord of the Dance” and “Feet of Flames”.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the astonishing numbers of the Riverdance production over the years stating that the show has been seen by more than 22 million people worldwide.

Other fun and unexpected facts reported about Riverdance are that it has:

  • Performed in 350 venues worldwide stopping in 40 countries on four continents
  • Worn 14,000 dance shoes
  • Gone through 12,000 costumes
  • Celebrated 39 marriages between company members

Riverdance made its first American debut in 1996 at Radio Music Hall in New York City and has been packing out theatres ever since.

The Washington Post reports that when senior producer Julian Erskine confirmed that the 82 city tour would be America’s last chance to catch a glimpse of the show he said it would be “emotional” to say goodbye. The report added that Padraic Moyles, who joined Riverdance in 1997 said that American audiences were “special” as they have embraced the show “due to their immigrant heritage”.

The next Riverdance? Victory for Irish troupe in dance show>

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