(photo credit: Courtesy)
Despite the attempt of anti-Israel organizations to boycott Riverdance’s first
tour to Israel, the world renowned troop had arrived, ready for its 16
performances in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
Since last year, the
company cut down the size of its four parallel troops which now include no more
than 22 dancers, eight singers and a four-piece ensemble, geared to play
average-size venues rather than mega arenas.
As it turned out, the
smaller size reduced some of the powerful impact we learned to expect; the
mesmerizing Radio City tricks, the aggressive yet stimulating effect of the
incessant, simultaneous tapping feet that induces an adrenalin rush.
so, the entertaining show, which has basically stayed the same all these years,
still holds its own, maintaining its format as a review, variety show. We still
got a polished rendition of Irish tapping folk dance with the stiff upper body
and tightly held arms, interspersed with a cappella singers, musical numbers and
a recited story line, aimed at garnishing the dance with pathos and smoothing
out the dance’s stylistic limitations.
Without doubt, the evening peaked
when two black American tap dancers, Michael E Wood – a great dancer and
baritone singer – and Kelly Isaac, entered and spiced up the act with loose,
virtuoso showmanship which was funny and heartwarming.
Three of the best
men on the Irish side – including the brilliant charmer Padaric Moyles, joined
in for a tap-jam that filled the stage with sparks.