Last night, Patrick and I got a chance to check out the opening of Riverdance: A Journey here in Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. I had seen Riverdance before in a more arena like setting so I was looking forward to seeing the show in a more scaled down setting. This was Patrick’s first time and really, didn’t quite know what to expect, but I can tell you he thoroughly enjoyed it and so did I.
I want to start off by talking about the amazing music that was played throughout the evening. They were absolutely amazing. The music made the show for me with its unique time signatures, great beats and overall pulsating rhythm that made you want to get up and dance yourself. The percussionist was the most entertaining to watch as he was so animated and was really loving every minute. The violinist was also very talented and had a couple of solos to really shine. And if you’re a sax man, you’ll love his smooth solo that’ll make you melt in your seat. Patrick’s favorite instrument solo was the man on Uilleann Pipes. The bagpipe like sound was so haunting yet so romantic and made you sit back and really listen.
But right, we were at Riverdance so lets get to the dancing. One of the things that this troupe prides themselves in are the synchronicity. Their sounds were absolutely bang on and the feet were a flutter with amazing rhythms and sounds. However, a few couldn’t keep up and it wasn’t as precise as I have seen it before. Being a dancer, I am just picky but over they were outstanding and there was some fast footwork that blew me away.
The dance ensemble was really talented as many played a few different roles and some even played drums or other instruments throughout the night. The two lead dancers were also very talented. Looking through my souvenir program, I saw that the lead guy is usually very hunky. The guy here wasn’t super good looking but his talent by far surpassed the need for him to look good. But the combo of the two would have been nice. And boys, if you are looking for eye candy, the ensemble definitely has some right up your alley.
Another talented dancer in the troupe is the Flamenco dancer. Wow. She blew my mind. Her feet were impecable but her arms told a whole other story. She had two dances in the program and every time she took the stage, she impressed me even more. Her power and stage presence was enough to knock you out.
Patrick’s favorite moment was when the two male tappers came on stage and challenged a few of the male Irish dancers. Because tap dancing and what they do in Riverdance is so commonly confused to be the same thing, the dance battle in the streets really made for a fun part of the show. The audience was clapping along and really cheering for their favorites. It was the first time I really felt the audience was fully invested in the show.
One thing that didn’t impress me was the singing (or lip syncing). I loved the songs that they used when the singers were on stage but they were totally lip syncing and it totally pulled me out of the performance especially because they were just standing still. What really made the lip-syncing singers look bad is when this black guy came out and sung the most beautiful song live. Then, when the ensemble went to
sing lip sync the background vocals, it really ruined it for me. If the singing could have been all live, I would have loved it way better.
Overall, this show is definitely one to check out for yourself, you and your loved one, friends, or the whole family. It is so entertaining and the talent will blow you away. What makes this show even more appealing is that it started on time and with the 15 minute intermission ended promptly at the 2 hour mark. Perfect. Check out where Riverdance will be HERE.
Check out a little preview of the show below. This is an excerpt from their newest Live In Beijing Blu-ray and DVD.