Riverdancing for Fun and Profit

Back when Denisa and I were dating, we went to see a Broadway show. I’m pretty sure it was Kiss Me Kate, but it’s been a while, so I might have that wrong. In any case, on the way into New York, she told me all about how her ex-boyfriend in London had taken her to Riverdance back in the day. How awesome it was. How much she loved it. And somehow, that stuck with me. I don’t think she meant anything by it other than to mention another cool show she’d been to, but in my head, I wasn’t sure if any of the shows I was taking her to were ever going to live up to Riverdance. Denisa’s big time into dancing, even though I (as a non-dancer) am fairly disappointing in that regard.

It didn’t help that it came up in passing in the intervening years. She’d see a dance number on Broadway or television and talk about that one time she went to Riverdance. She’d hear a song and it would remind her of Riverdance. And each time, it was reminded me that her ex-boyfriend had one upped me before I even had a chance to get in the game.

So this year, when I saw the Riverdance anniversary tour was coming to Bangor, I saw my chance. I bought the tickets and surprised her with them for her birthday. Months later, we finally went to the show last night.

It was our first time trekking out to Bangor just to see a show. We went to dinner first at The Fiddlehead, which was fantastic food and I highly recommend to anyone looking for a good restaurant in Bangor. Not cheap, but not overly expensive, either.

The show was at the Cross Center, which wasn’t necessarily designed with dance performances in mind. I had bought tickets close to the front, thinking they would be the best, but the angle was bad from the floor, so you couldn’t see the dancing as well. We ended up moving a bit further away at intermission so that Denisa had a better view of the footwork.

I’m not a huge dance aficionado by any stretch, but there were some very enjoyable numbers in there. I was surprised by how much it focused on music as well as dance. They had a fiddle player and a soprano sax who were both very good, and a drummer who was excellent. The dances focused on traditional Irish for the first half, and then added in some more modern elements and other cultures in the second half. There was an extended “dance off” number where Irish immigrants competed with American to see who could tap dance the best. Kind of like Gangs of New York, Riverdance style. That was the highpoint of the evening, I’d say. Really impressive tap dancing. I have no idea how those toes and heels can go so fast.

There was a Russian routine that was also lots of fun. High leaps and twirls and acrobatics mixed into the dancing.

All in all, it was a very successful experiment. I think Denisa and I would like to go to quite a few more shows out and about. We’d tried to go to a touring Broadway number in the winter, but a snow storm got in the way. Still, I see more of this in our future. Lots of fun, and great to get out for the evening.

Maybe now I can stop mentally comparing every show I go to with Denisa to Riverdance . . .

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