Dance Review: Riverdance

Despite attempt of anti-Israel organizations to boycott Riverdance’s first tour to Israel, troop has arrived ready for its 16 performances.

Riverdance (photo credit: Courtesy)
Riverdance
(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.

Even 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.