Friday 16 November 2018

WATCH: 'It's my passion' - children join Riverdance cast for dazzling charity performance

Rachel Farrell

Over 580 dancers took part in this year's 'Riverdanceathon', a 12-hour charity performance by the Riverdance team in aid of the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland (ASI).

Now in its third year, the 'Riverdanceathon' brought together dancers from 22 dance groups all over the country together to perform with members of the Riverdance cast outside the Gaiety Theatre today.

The iconic Riverdance performance has returned home to the Gaiety Theatre until September 9th, with cast members taking a break from the show to perform in today's charity event.

Alongside performances from the show at 10am, 1pm and 10pm, members of the Riverdance cast were seen watching from the sidelines to support the younger dancers as they took to the stage.

Children from the 22 dance schools involved have been busy collecting sponsorship from friends and family alongside the money collected on the day for the ASI.

Riverdance executive producer Julian Erskine said at the fundraiser today that they were "delighted" to team up with ASI as their chosen charity this year.

"This is a cause very close to the Riverdance heart as our general manager Ronan Smith has now been diagnoses with Alzheimer's. This is close to home for us and we're delighted to be in association with ASI this year," he said.

9-year-old performers Hannah Coscoran, Kate Gallagher and Leah Cunningham, from Kidd Irish Dancing Schoo,l said dancing is their "passion" and revealed that they dream of to see themselves on the Riverdance stage some day.

"It's my passion, it's amazing, their feet are turned out and they're always up on their toes. I want to be a professional dancer like them," Hannah said.

Speaking on their return to Dublin this summer, one of Riverdance's lead dancers Kieran Hardiman says the show brings in a combination of old techniques and new additions to the stage.

"The general choreography is the same but we've modernised it. We've a new female band, we've LED screens, some new costumes," he told Independent.ie.

Gianna Petracic, from Australia, said that joining the Riverdance cast in 2014 was "the best thing".

"To get into a show like Riverdance, that's the best thing you can do as an Irish dancer.

"I think once you become a cast member of Riverdance you can kind of say 'I've made it in the Irish dancing world'."

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