Riverdance,"" the theatrical performance centering on exceptional, fast-paced and traditional Irish song and dance, is coming to Madison this week, performing their seamlessly blended, intricate choreography on the Overture Center stage March 11, 12 and 13. The tale of Ireland and its people is told through different scenes, each with distinct themes.
""Riverdance"" was first performed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995, where it played a five-week, sell-out run. Thirteen years later, the show is touring North America as a thank you to American fans that have greatly contributed to the success of the show. Called the ""Farewell Engagement, ""the tour is expected to run for three years, touring every city where the show has been performed in the past. It is likely, however, that this is the last time the company will be performing in Madison.
Maeve Croke is one of the production's dance captains. Born in Waterford, Ireland, Croke remembered learning traditional Irish dancing in school at a very young age. She has been with the ""Riverdance"" Company for five years and has performed all over the world.
""The dancers in the company are all very close to one another,"" Croke said. ""We have spent so much time together, practicing, travelling and performing together. We have become a sort of family.""
This past year, the company spent Christmas in California. Since the international dancers were not able to go home, they celebrated the holiday together. ""At first, it was kind of sad that we couldn't be with our families, but it ended up being really nice to spend the holidays with the company.""
Touring for several months at a time is very taxing on the performers' personal lives and, according to Croke, they all find comfort in having each other around.
As the dancers tour the country, it is extremely important for them to maintain their strength and stay healthy to keep up with the fast-paced show, which performs in at least two cities per week. ""All of the dancers receive massages each week, and we go to the gym aside from the time spend practicing,"" Croke said, adding, ""We are all really well cared for.""
""Riverdance"" is the story of the people of Ireland and is a tribute to the beautiful geography of the country. Don't miss this phenomenal show of dance and song as it tours the United States in its Farewell Engagement.