Dancers flood in to set Liffey bank rumbling
Thousands expected to turn out for record-breaking 'Riverdance' line on its home shores, writes Niamh Horan
After 10,000 performances in 40 countries, more than 23 million audience members across four continents, a Broadway run and a Grammy award, Riverdance is about to break a world record – and the troop needs you.
Speaking to The Sunday Independent, co-creator John McColgan said the success of the show has surpassed his wildest expectations. "To hear of people coming from as far away as China, Brazil, New Zealand and Japan just to be part of this weekend – it is really gratifying to have that level of response," he said.
As part of The Gathering, revellers are being asked to put on their dancing shoes, line up along the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin and attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Riverdance Line.
The event will take place next Sunday, July 21, and participants can dance or sway to the rhythm of the hit show.
More than 2,000 people from all over the world are expected to turn out for the event, including Jean Butler and Niamh O'Connor who holds the record for performing with Riverdance the longest.
Mr McColgan also spoke of how he is open to a reunion show with original cast members Michael Flatley and Jean Butler.
"Of course if there was a chance of a reunion I would be delighted to consider that. Maybe it could happen."
The record attempt is part of a week of events for Riverdance – The Gathering.
There will also be a free family-fun day at Merrion Square on Saturday with face-painting, bouncy castles, food, music and dance.
The day includes Riverdance – The Gathering Ceili, led by the show's dancers and musicians. Brian Kennedy and his band are also expected to entertain the crowd.
Then it concludes with a special live performance by the cream of Riverdance musicians playing to a big-screen backdrop of the show's highlights taken from recordings in Dublin, New York, Geneva and Beijing.
Dancing enthusiasts will also be able to get involved in a series of master classes, where budding dancers will get the chance to learn what the Riverdance troop has learnt over the years.
The previous record was set in Nashville, US, with 652 dancers and organisers feel it's only right a new landmark is set on home soil.
No one could ever have dreamed of the success Riverdance would have when it first hit screens as part of the 1995 Eurovision. Since then it has made a global superstar out of Michael Flatley, earned roughly €70m for co-creators John McColgan and Moya Doherty and spawned 39 marriages between company members.