- 10 Feb 20
After 25 years on the road, and having been seen by 27.5 million people all over the world, a new version of Riverdance was premiered in Dublin’s 3Arena over the past four nights. It is, it turns out, a marvellously impressive reinvention, which highlights the innate power in the original music...
The pulse in the room was electric. We’d been subjected to the usual Eurovision mix of the banal and the bizarre, with just a few decent tunes along the way. It was half-time. Seven minutes or so to impress the world. Or that was how it had always been conceived.
This was different. We knew in advance that Bill Whelan had been commissioned to do something. That was a good sign. What exactly it might be we couldn’t be sure, but we knew too that he was a musician to the soles of his feet. That he had the chops in jazz, pop, rock, folk and trad. That he knew his way around an orchestra. That he was interested in different time signatures. In world music. That he would attempt something ambitious but with its roots firmly in the Irish tradition.