That great show Riverdance is in Cardiff this week, at St David’s Hall for a couple of days as part of a tour to celebrate 21 years since the first performance. By chance it is now 21 years since I took these pictures of young people dancing in the Irish style in Kinsale, County Cork, in the summer of 1995, before the Riverdance phenomenon began in earnest.
I hesitate to publish these pictures of youngsters, even though it was a public performance – but I tell myself they must now be in their 20s or 30s. I wonder if any of them grew up to be Riverdancers?
For me the photographs are all about the dresses and the children’s faces. The dresses seemed to have been made of bright velvet, embroidered with Celtic designs. And I love the distinctive flared shape. Of course I love the dancing, too – so clever the way they keep their arms so still and kick so high at the same time.
Anyway, I didn’t catch any snaps of them dancing, but here are some “colour” images from the day.
Nowadays it seems to me that the dress for Irish dancing contests has taken on some of the character of ballroom dancing, with sequins, and of beauty pageants, with big hair…
If you have never heard of the Riverdance phenomenon, I’d better explain that it began as the interval entertainment at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in April 1994 and expanded into a stage show featuring (mainly) Irish music and dance in February 1995. There’s more about the phenomenon on Wikipedia here, or see the official Riverdance website here.
You can see more posts featuring my old non-digital pictures here.