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Riverdance - the Gathering

Perhaps the most memorable thing that has emerged from The Eurovision Song Contest in its 57 years has been the Irish dance group Riverdance. I'm sure everyone is familiar with this group by now. It originated as an interval performance during the 1994 Song Contest. Its dance routine is, basically, the story of Irish culture and of the Irish emigration to America and elsewhere down through the years.

This year, Ireland is inviting as many of its emigrants as can to come visit us again in what is called The Gathering.  Jean Butler, original star of Riverdance, invites all to come to Dublin in July and join her and other Riverdance castmembers along the banks of the River Liffey in an attempt to set a new World Record for Riverdance line dancing. So if you have a few dance steps in you why not join them?

From 15-19 July, The Gathering will also host a Masterclass Series, an invitation for 50 dancers to embark on their careers as show dancers. The best and brightest applicants from Ireland and abroad will be chosen to attend the week of free masterclasses where they will learn best practice for show dancers as well as technical aspects of show-performance and stagecraft. Tuition and mentoring will be provided by some of Riverdance’s most experienced and talented dancers.





Oh that sounds like fun. You know I spent a great many years working within the American bluegrass music field. So many of the musicians that originated that music genre were/are of Scottish and Irish descent and so a lot of the fiddle tunes could be traced back to the old country. Also there was a dance step that involved into what is known as clogging in the US, but the oldtimers would do either the Tennessee two step or the Kentucky back step which, while not quite as rigid as the pure Irish form nor as high, still harkens back.
Why not line out!
The Kentucky back step is basically a dance of joy, one individual may just start because the music is "getting to him/her". Sometimes they dance alone, sometimes others may join in. Clog dancing is actually done in a square along that can change in patterns. The main difference, though, is more movement in the body and arms.
That is awesome. It will be amazing to see how many people they can get together for this.

I took some Irish Step classes way back after Riverdance was becoming popular in the U.S. I kind of wish I could take more.