''Riverdance'' is an Irish dancing stage show first performed in 1995. It grew out of a 7-minute interval act performed in the 1994 EurovisionSongContest and has become the most famous Irish dancing stage show, to the point where Irish dancing is now sometimes referred to as [[{{Oireland}} Riverdancing]].
The show has no clearly defined storyline, but broadly speaking the first act deals with various themes from Irish mythology and the second act covers the Great Famine of the 1840s and the Irish diaspora. In keeping with the international themes of the second half of the show, other dance styles are incorporated, including flamenco, tap and Russian folk ballet.
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!!Riverdance contains examples of:
* AdventurousIrishViolins: Not surprisingly, this features prominently in their musical score.
* CelticMythology: a major theme in the first half of the show, which includes references to Cu Chulainn, the Countess Cathleen and various other mythological characters and themes
* ElementalEmbodiment: arguably both the flamenco dancer in 'Firedance' and the Riverwoman in the title number could be seen as this
* HomeSweetHome: 'Homecoming/Home and the Heartland' towards the end of the show
* InHarmonyWithNature: implied in the first half of the show, with several dances and songs about the elements and seasons
* [[LetsHaveACeilidh Let's Have A Ceili]]: An Irish variant opens Act Two. Overlaps with MoodDissonance below.
* MoodDissonance: The opening of the second act, which starts with what appears to be a big festival or celebration. Then it's revealed that many of the people present are about to leave Ireland for good and may never see each other again. It's implied that this is because of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_%28Ireland%29 Great Irish Famine]]
* MotherNature: the Riverwoman may be this
* ThePowerOfLove: 'The Heart's Cry' is all about this
* ProtestSong: 'Heal Their Hearts/Freedom'
* TheRival / FollowTheLeader: Michael Flatley left the show and created [[Film/LordOfTheDanc1997 Lord of the Dance]].
** In fact there were several Riverdance and Lord of the Dance-inspired Irish dance shows in the late 1990s/early 2000s, including ''Dancing on Dangerous Ground'', ''Spirit of the Dance'', ''To Dance on the Moon'', ''Gaelforce'', etc.
** The creative team behind the show recently put together their follow up, ''Heartbeat of Home.'' It's very similar, but does expand on the international aspects of the first show, involving a more diverse cast and influences from contemporary, Flamenco, and African dance.
* SceneryPorn: some of the backdrops head into this territory
* TwoActStructure: The first act is based around themes of Celtic mythology, the seasons and the elements. The second act deals with the Great Irish Famine, the Irish diaspora and interactions with other cultures before ending with a symbolic homecoming.
* UncommonTime: Bill Whelan seems to like this. 'Marta's Dance' is in 15/16 and part of 'Riverdance' alternates between different time signatures almost every bar - which makes it interesting to dance to!