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Dancing on Dangerous Ground

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


This thrilling Irish dance drama features Riverdance stars Jean Butler and Colin Dunne, who also devised and choreographed the show. Based on the ancient Irish myth of Diarmuid and Grania, it is a dramatic Celtic love story of bravery, betrayal and vengeance. 'Jean Butler and Colin Dunne were the best thing about Riverdance: the Show...Now these superlative dancers have returned to Radio City with their own and infinitely more creative spectacle Dancing on Dangerous Ground...They have come up with one terrific show, filled with a consistent integrity that does not look down on popular appeal.' THE NEW YORK TIMES

'The effect of 28 dancers rapping out intricate rhythms at high volume generates a real theatrical thrill. Tim Hatley's futuristic marble and steel set also creates an ingenious
architecture within which the dancers constantly change formation. Butler and Dunne are without doubt a class act.' THE GUARDIAN, London

Original Direction LINDSAY DOLAN
Set and Costumes TIM HATLEY

DARE TO DANCE: Also includes the documentary Dare to Dance, the making of Dancing on Dangerous Ground. The artists and producers talk candidly about the creation of the show.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, Bobby Fox, Ciaran Maguire, Brian Swanton
  • Directors: Lindsay Dolan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002VGTYI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,758 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dancing on Dangerous Ground" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I actually rented this before buying it and it looks like this will be added to my shopping cart real soon because this DVD is great. The show itself is just really good. The story is your basic love triangle fairy tale where the the betrothed lady, Grania, goes for the "other man" Diarmiud. So we see where they meet and the consequences of their actions especially after the hubby, Finn McCool finds out. Major bonus points to the editors who titled each segment making the story a cinch to understand. It's obvious that Jean & Colin wanted to push Irish dance into a new direction and they have succeeded. They really utilize the form to tell the story with dynamic and innovative performances that still embody traditional Irish dance values. Along with sensational music and beautiful costumes this is a must have. The most impressive aspect of this DVD is the behind the scenes documentary on the process of bringing "Dangerous Ground" to the stage. It was so eye-opening to see what it takes to bring these seemingly simplistic shows to life. And hearing input from the dancers, especially Colin and Jean, added more depth to the actual show because I had a sense of what they felt before the curtain raised on opening night. I would actually recommend watching the doc. before watching the show to get the full experience of this amazing show. I truly hope that Dunne and Butler continue to make more "ground" breaking shows such as this one. Definitely a must have for dance and theatre lovers.
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Unlike the other two reviewers I have only watched my copy of Dancing on Dangerous Ground once. The performance section is about an hour and a quarter long, totally dancing. That is good. Compared to 'Riverdance,' 'Feet,' or 'Lord,' this is an improvement, since the latter DVDs are about half dancing and half singing-and-orchestra. I will take the dancing any day.

Both Dunne and Butler are fine, although aging, dancers. Jean can also express emotions realistically, and it is a joy to watch her face and hands as she expresses love for Colin Dunne. Dunne, on the other hand, does not look so much love-sick as just sick. He looked like he was getting ready to hurl, to barf, instead of to kiss the girl.

I would assume the Irish legend behind this DVD was more complex than appeared in the dance itself. Basically an old lech marries a young chick, but she has the warmies for a younger dude. On what I assume was their wedding night old lech gets drunk, maybe drugged, and the chick runs off with the younger dude. A war is started, but somehow Colin Dunne ends up with Jean Butler. This is enough of a story line for watching them dance, but I would hope the legend itself had more going for it.

The costuming for the New York performance was excellent. Colin Dunne's long white coat was an inspiration. Jean Butler's white wedding dress, short in front for dancing and long in back, was very nice. I am sorry the show died for financial reasons. I would think they could have put together a repertory company that toured Britain doing an assortment of Irish legends put to dance and done well. But I may be totally wrong. In the United States people will pay large amounts to see almost anything Irish on stage.
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As a former Riverdance nut, I am amazed that I actually missed this! As it is, that incredibly lucky discovery came from a most unlikely source, but I feel so lucky that I found it. Having seen (as it turned out) clips that were posted against permission, I HAD to buy the DVD.

Jean Butler and Colin Dunne are perfectly matched, and I still feel that the world will have to wait a long time to see their equal - and that DEFINITELY includes the bombastic egotistic Michael Flatly. I've seen both Colin Dunne and Michael Flatley in person, and my feelings remain unchanged. I missed a live performance by the incredibly beautiful Jean Butler. Alas. Just to see these beautiful dancers together is alone worth the price of the DVD.

They chose an ancient Irish myth as their vehicle, and they could have gone in 2 directions. Either overdo it, or try to keep their production as spare as possible the more the show the myth. Fortunately, unlike Flatley's garish productions, they chose the latter. Also, fortunately, they DID chose to stretch the envelope of traditional Irish dancing, but in a very valid way and totally in context.

The setting and the costumes do take some getting used to, but used to them I did getDancing on Dangerous Ground. I've adored Riverdance, most particularly when both Butler and Dunn were the leads, but watching my beloved VHS of their New York show, strangely Riverdance looked stiff, albeit still beautiful, by comparison.
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Format: DVD
Having failed to see the show when it ran in the theatre, I was delighted to see this appear on DVD. It is a pleasure to see rather excellent Irish dancing performed as it should be, without the ludicrous glitz and blinding lights that accompanied certainly Lord of the Dance and to a lesser extent, Riverdance.

This is an Irish dance show for the more discerning and appreciative audience. The two principls are as ever, superb. Colin Dunne comes into his own on this show and Jean Butler is as ever, incomparable. Tony Kemp also plays his role effectively, glowering, dismay then resignation evident in his demeanour.

The one jarring aspect for me was seeing the Fianna, whilst training, doing press ups and sit ups whist dancing, but maybe that's just me.

The camers work on the DVD is far better than the hopelessly frenetic cut cut cut of the other shows mentioned. There is more tracking a dancer as they move so you have some idea of the dancing involved. The music is excellent if understated and compliments the steps perfectly.

Let's face it, it was impossible to watch Lord of the Dance particularly and Riverdance (with Mr Flatley involved) without being faintly embarrassed at his gurning showboatery, pseudo boxing movements on the former and self-aggrandisement generally. Dancing on Dangerous Ground is a proper Irish dance show, exhibiting the skill of all of its dancers with no laser shows etc. Alas, the world was not ready for such simple pleasure and the show ended.

I recommend watching this show to anyone who appreciates quality Irish dancing, excellent music and great production. Quite apart from that, it is Irish dancing on DVD where the ubiquitous Flatley is not present. This is a boon.
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