Riverdance in Calgary
Riverdance in Calgary, never thought I would see the day.
A long time ago, in a not so far away land, I was a budding singer, 15 years old and thoroughly in love with her Irish roots. I had been chatting with my choral instructor about some new soprano arrangements I was playing with and I wondered aloud if we had any sheet music for old Irish ballads. She got really excited and raced out of the room, returning with a VHS tape in her hand that she brandished like the answer to all life’s questions.
“Have you seen Riverdance yet?!”
My life was changed in that moment. The very first note sung caused shivers down my spine, my body instantly covered in goosebumps. The last flourish of arms from Jean Butler and Michael Flatley saw me leap to my feet in tears and jump and down with happiness as my instructor clapped her hands together and laughed. We immediately ran to the piano to run scales as we got started on the path to sing The Heart’s Cry.
Here is the original 7 minute Riverdance, starring Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, first performed during the 7 minute interval at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. It was so popular that it’s creators adapted it into a full stage show. The rest, as they say, is history. 20 years worth, to be exact.
Years went by and though I always wanted to go see the show, it never worked out. I followed from afar until 1998 when Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz teamed up with Colin Dunne, Riverdance’s principal dancer at the time, to bring the spectacle to their Olympic free dance in Nagano, Japan.
Here is their amazing adaptation of Riverdance, using actual Irish step dancing.
More years passed and my love of Riverdance never waned. In 2011 I almost managed to get tickets to their Calgary show but it was not to be. Fast forward to 2015 and that all important email from Broadway Across Canada: Riverdance is coming to Calgary for two days only! No way was I going to miss it this time.
Getting To See Riverdance in Calgary
Opening night, October 09 2015, saw me sitting front and centre at the Jubilee. Gripping my knees in anticipation, literally on the edge of my seat, it was intense. The lights dimmed, the spotlights came up on the dancers, and a single tear slipped down my cheek. It was amazing and everything I had hoped it would be.
Dream come true: Check
Riverdance in Calgary ends it’s run with one last performance tonight at 7:00 pm at the Jubilee Auditorium. Don’t miss out on your chance to see this amazing showcase of song and dance.