Riverdance | The Fabulous Fox Theatre

I’ve never seen a production receive a swifter standing ovation.

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It’s easy to see why Riverdance is an international phenomenon. Produced by Moya Doherty, Riverdance’s carefully crafted compilation of song, music, and dance is truly a spectacle to behold. Every last person participating in the 20th Anniversary World Tour is incredibly talented, and the fancy footwork and captivating compositions pay homage to the innovation that packed Dublin venues back in 1995 during its first run.

Although the two-act show is majorly dance, it is interspersed with exquisite vocal performances and lengthy instrumentals. These elements, of course, compliment one another, and the audience truly seemed to adore each of these components just the same. (The crowd members were especially feisty during the percussion solo!) The music—vocal and instrumental—set the temperament for the dances, which reflect the life of a river, hence the show’s name.

It’s helpful to know that the life cycle is a prominent theme of the production because it’s not necessarily obvious. When the show opens, a narrator issues an introduction. Naturally, I assumed his wise, meditative words were essential to the plot. Technically, they are; however, his words alone do not satisfactorily suggest a storyline in the way we’re used to, so it’s easy to become frustrated by what feels like a lack of plot. My suggestion: Don’t overthink it. Appreciate the show for its symbolism and tone pertaining to nature and culture.

Out of all of the shows I’ve seen at The Fox—and I’ve seen some biggies, like The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked—I’ve never seen a production receive a swifter standing ovation. Nevertheless, I feel I would be doing my readers a disservice if I didn’t express my opinion that the entirety of this show may not keep everyone entertained. For me, watching Riverdance was sort of like attending a sporting event. Every scene was a home run, a slam-dunk, a touchdown, and I can’t stress enough how talented everyone was. (The dancers’ feet moved so flawlessly and speedily, it looked as though they were practically hovering off the ground at times!) Yet, if you don’t personally LOVE the sport your watching, the game—homeruns and all—can start to get a bit … long. | Megan Washausen

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