May 9, 2012 |
NEW YORK — When Julian Erskine last saw the American touring company of Riverdance, he had to smile. He was in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on an October night in Costa Mesa, Calif., watching the high-stepping cast electrify the crowd once again despite more than a dozen years crisscrossing the nation. "To be at the back of a hall with the audience jumping to their feet at the end of the show after all these years, it's just so gratifying and just so pleasing," says Erskine, the show's senior executive producer, by phone from Dublin.
May 14, 2012 |
It has to be said: Much of Riverdance is profoundly dumb. This is not the fault of the performers — appealing, energetic, and superbly trained dancers, singers, and musicians who, on Friday night, inaugurated the local leg of their "farewell tour" at the Merriam Theater. Rather, it is because composer Bill Whelan, producer Moya Doherty, and director John McColgan have tried to tie together a group of unrelated numbers through an incoherent "theme" (something about sun worship and immigration)
September 20, 2013 |
What on earth could the River Nile and Riverdance have in common? They are the sources for two vastly different dance works opening Thursday as part of the Fringe Festival's final weekend. While both flow from traditional dance cultures, their choreographers, Reggie Wilson and Colin Dunne, reroute their Africanist and Irish disciplines into contemporary dance idioms. New York's Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group opens at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre with the world premiere of his Moses(es)
September 11, 1998 |
There's no difficulty understanding why Riverdance - The Show, which runs through Sept. 20 at the Mann, is also Riverdance, the phenomenon. The performance features an enormous cast of uniformly accomplished, young and preternaturally attractive dancers. This company of 100, one of three circling the globe for the last 2 1/2 years, helps explain why Irish unemployment has plummeted. It is more difficult, though, to actually understand Riverdance, a perplexing pastiche of New Age thinking, confounding music and an unfathomable story line that hops over time and the globe, managing to include a Russian folk ballet troupe, one flamenco dancer, and a stunning trio of African American tap dancers who almost steal the show.
May 17, 2007 |
If you have a teenage Celtic-culture fanatic at home who seeks out Irish dance and music on YouTube, and anywhere else she can find it, you'll know that Riverdance, now at the Academy of Music, has gone through several incarnations, touring the world for 12 years to rapturous acclaim. Its squadrons of ultraprecise championship dancers, with their Olympian ability to execute umpteen taps a second in hard-shoe jigs, captivate with their life-affirming vigor. Through slides, song lyrics, and spoken narrative, Riverdance tells of the Irish connection to land and sea and the challenges of emigration.
November 28, 1997 |
Literarily speaking, the Philadelphia region will become the place to be during December. For a fortnight, two overlapping literary festivals will draw some of the biggest names in books (and other arts) to the area - Center City, the western suburbs and South Jersey. The fourth annual Greater Philadelphia Jewish Book Festival, scheduled for Dec. 7 to 14, will feature appearances by well-known authors at five Jewish community centers. Speakers will include Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz (7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Gershman Y, Broad and Pine Streets; 215-545-4400, Ext. 219)
August 12, 1997 |
Michael Flatley is winsome during an interview. When he's not exposing the gleaming, dripping chest familiar to viewers of Lord of the Dance, the guy's vibes are sweet. He's better-looking in person than on the video, too. Back in Chicago, where Flatley grew up, some say the phenom dancer has always favored shirts open to the belly button. But backstage at the McNichols Sports Arena, an hour before curtain rises, Flatley's totally buttoned in blue-denim shirt and jeans topped by a ho-hum beige jacket.
March 23, 1998 |
In Junk, a program of 16 discrete dance pieces performed Thursday through last night at the Arts Bank, Brian Sanders and his three dancers used detritus that the choreographer found in dumpsters as props. The one- to 10-minute gems evoked hilarity, mystery and phantasmagoria. And from the audience, at least on Saturday, they evoked a standing ovation. In the show-opening Bird Alone, Sanders employed a bungee-cord hammock, contorting it into a womb, chrysalis, and safety net through dazzling birdlike swoops.
July 28, 2013 |
It takes a strong, confident artist to name an entire tour after her role as the wife of another outsize superstar. Such is the marriage of Beyoncé Knowles to (the newly unhyphenated) hip-hop enterprise and mogul Jay Z, also known as Shawn Carter. Though she came to Philadelphia with something named "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour," make no mistake - the razzle-dazzle performance that sold out the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday was all Bey. (She'll return on Labor Day weekend as a headliner in the Budweiser Made in America festival.)
September 6, 2013 |
THE 17th annual Fringe Festival (formerly Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe) kicked off yesterday with an expanded schedule as well as a new name. For the next 17 days, dozens of venues will be filled with drama, comedy, music, dance, circus arts and multimedia presentations that stretch the concept of "theater" well beyond its normal parameters. (Let's just say that "Grease" is not in the mix.) While the festival has made the transformation from, well, a fringe event to a key piece of Philly's cultural landscape, its whys and wherefores still may be unknown - or, at least, misunderstood - by many.