Thunder and lightning batter the rocks. The winds howl, and great storms break on the forest, scatter the herds like grain. Fire leaps from dark to dark, fear and anger leap to meet it - we will not go down. We will not be beaten down like grain.
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This is a "revised" Riverdance presentation, staged at Radio City Music hall in New York City. Of the three Irish "dance" musicals that I watched during the mid to late '90s (which includes the first "Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance") I liked this one the best.
I thought it was better than the original, held in Dublin, Ireland, because it adds segments that are mostly good, it has a more varied and colorful stage setting and it eliminated apiece for two from that original that wasn't good to begin with. This is just a very solid show with few weak spots. To be certain, there are some songs/dances that are just "fair" but none that are poor, which is amazing considering there are 20 numbers in all.
The cast is similar to the first Riverdance with the main exception of Colin Dunne replacing Michael Flatley as the featured dancer. Both are extremely talented. The major difference might be in their looks with Dunne a little, goateed black-haired guy while Flatley is the clean-shaven blond. I prefer Dunne because Flatley's ego is so big he gets annoying at times. The female lead, Jean Butler, thankfully, is still there and is great to watch: what graceful beauty and talent! Butler and the rest of these women have the greatest legs I've seen on dancers. I also enjoyed the dancing of Maria Pages, a Spanish flamenco performer, and two guys: Daniel B. Wooten and Ivan Thomas. One number - with those two pairing off against Dunne and two other dancers -0 is called "Trading Taps" and is terrific fun to watch, maybe the highlight of the whole show. I have no complaints about violinist Eileen Ivers, either.
The "fast" Irish songs here appealed to me the most. I appreciated the audience not getting in the way of the performance either with shrieks and screams like the women do in the "Lord Of The Dance" video.
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