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December 25, 2009

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'Riverdance' high-steppers arrive

OF all the performances from Ireland in the past decade, nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of "Riverdance." It has been seen live by 21 million people in over 300 venues worldwide, throughout 32 countries and regions.

The original "Riverdance" is touring China and will land in Shanghai next month, with performances from January 5 to 10 at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

"The group will bring almost all the facilities for the stage, including the dance floor with three levels," says Ding Zhiyuan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Performance Co, the organizer.

"Riverdance" originated from a step-dance performance on television's 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. With centerpieces by the Irish-American world champion step-dancers Michael Flatley and Jean Butler and accompaniment by the choral group Anuna, it led to a full-length show that premiered in Dublin in 1995. Original music and lyrics were composed by Bill Whelan, it was produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan.

"'Riverdance' integrates traditional and modern music with choral writing, and focuses on the evolution of Irish dance and its meeting with other cultures during the Irish diaspora of the 19th century," says Brendan Dorris, the new "Dance King" of the show in China.

Dorris and "Dance Queen" Manson Siobhan were selected from many rounds of competition in Ireland.

Belfast-born Dorris started dancing at the age of nine with his sister. He has starred in the show since 2007.

Siobhan was born in Sydney, Australia, and started dancing when she was four. She joined "Riverdance" in 2004.

"'Riverdance' has watered the roots of Irish dancing. It has created a previously unimaginable excitement, drawing in a new generation, releasing new energies, opening up new possibilities," says Siobhan.

"When 'Riverdance' first opened in Dublin, you could hear even above the pounding feet and the swirling music, the audience gasping for breath. And then an explosion of shouts and whoops all that air burst out again in a wave of wonderment," McColgan says.

Date: January 5-10, 7:15pm; January 9-10, 2pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 280-1,680 yuan

Tel: 6272-1976, 6272-0310, 6372-8701


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