Early Riverdance Publicity & Other Materials

On Saturday 20 July 2013, as part of the Irish national Gathering Festival, a free Riverdance family day of music and dance will be hosted throughout Merrion Square, where coincidentally the Irish Traditional Music Archive has its home.

Dancers from the company will provide informal dance instruction and lead an all-comers ceili, with face-painting, bouncy castles, food and refreshments.

The Irish music and dance phenomenon which is Riverdance, as all the world knows, began as a highly acclaimed seven-minute interval presentation of the Eurovision Song Contest of April 1994, which was hosted by Ireland, directed for RTÉ by Moya Doherty, and seen by 300 million viewers. With music composed in traditional moulds by Bill Whelan of Limerick (a former ITMA Board member) and with dancers led by Irish-Americans Michael Flatley of Chicago and Jean Butler of New York, the piece was developed into a theatrical production from 1995 by Moya Doherty and her husband television director and producer John McColgan, and again with music by Bill Whelan. Riverdance: The Show has been performed over 10,000 times during almost twenty years to date, and in multiple companies. Its enormous success has imprinted Irish music and dance on the consciousness of audiences worldwide.

ITMA has documented Riverdance since 1994 by collecting its publicity materials (press releases, flyers and posters, programmes, etc), press cuttings, commercial CDs, videos and DVDs, and magazine articles, academic studies and books, and by creating for them bibliographic and discographic catalogue records. In anticipation of the Merrion Square occasion, a selection of the early publicity and other materials is presented below.

For a related 'Riverdance Images' picture gallery, see here.

NC & MG, 1 June 2013

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