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Riverdance - Live From New York City

4.1 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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(Oct 21, 1998)
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Editorial Reviews

Riverdance, the Irish hard-shoe sensation that took PBS viewers by storm, underwent its second incarnation with Live from New York City, a 1996 performance filmed at Radio City Music Hall. While most of the attributes from 1995's Riverdance: The Show remain--the dazzling ensemble choreography, Bill Whelan's energetic score, and the New Age-y view of Celtic mythology--the most significant difference is at the top, where Colin Dunne replaced bombastic lead dancer Michael Flatley. Though lacking Flatley's bravura, Dunne is a superb technician who works well with Flatley's former co-lead, Jean Butler. Flamenco dancer Maria Pagis returns, as do the Riverdance Singers (formerly known as Anuna) with soloist Katie McMahon and the orchestra with fiery fiddler Eileen Ivers.

About a half-hour longer than the 1995 original, Live from New York City expands upon the second act's theme of the Irish leaving their homeland for other parts of the world. "Lift the Wings" becomes a set piece for the people who are saying goodbye (it's hard not to miss the original's solo voice of Aine Um Cheallaigh), and a new song, "Heal Their Hearts," is a showcase anthem for bass Morgan Crowley. In the most engaging new number, "Trading Taps," a trio of Irish dancers faces off against two urban American tappers. While much of this follow-up show will be familiar to those who know the original, it's different enough to be enjoyed on its own terms. It's also more stylishly shot, but that's also its biggest drawback--frenetic editing that allows only brief glimpses of the dancers and leaves the viewer dizzy. --David Horiuchi

Additional Features

The DVD offers a minimally informative 11-minute promotional video consisting mostly of performance clips and a text version of the story, numerous text biographies of the performers (including instrumentalists), Dolby Digital 5.0 and 2.0 sound, and an anamorphic widescreen picture. Inconveniently, the disc is two-sided, with one act on each side. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Biographies of the dancers
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Riverdance: The Story

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, María Pagés, Katie McMahon, Morgan Crowley
  • Directors: John McColgan
  • Producers: Moya Doherty
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 1998
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767804341
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Riverdance - Live From New York City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have seen Riverdance - The Show live performance by Pat Roddy and Eileen Martin. But this DVD - featuring Colin Dunne and Jean Butler - is a very good example of how poor editing and lack of video making experience can spoil an excellent performance. Trust me, the makers of this video do not know even the basics of video making and they do not have the faintest idea - what is Irish dance. When Jean is energetically delivering her excellence, the camera is focused on her face or torso! Agreed, she is beautiful, but come on, an Irish dance lover do not see the show to ogle at the performing girls! And that magnificient orchestra playing Bill Whelan's magical scores do not get a good slot in the video either! Radio hall owes a good one to the makers of this video since most the time the hall is shown from a long angle leaving the skills of dancers in the middle of the screen as tiny dots! One side of the DVD could have been made as a non-stop delivery of the whole show, and the other side could have had the behind the scenes and dancer's biographies. Flipping over the DVD in the middle of the show is frustrating! I am looking forward for a better version of this DVD. Hopefully they make another one as Riverdance is back on live in New York now!
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Format: DVD
Let me just say this, I am an Irish dancer, have been dancing with some modest success off and on for 15 years or more.
I've even performed in a mini Riverdance/LOTD type show. Affectionatly called Puddledance. :-)
So here goes: I like both shows, I also like both dancers (i.e. Colin vs. Michael)
Yes MF probably has/had more skill than Colin. However Colin is a much less ego-centric person and is IMHO easier and at times more enjoyable to watch.
I appreciate what MF has brought to both shows, however I find Riverdance a better overall production and here is why;
1. The costumes do not look like some tacky combination between the worst of Irish dance competition wear and a Vegas showgirl show. They are simple, subtle and work well with the dancing. (Have you seen Feet of Flames and that ridiculous cape they made Dair nolan dance with!! Or the UGLY catsuit they put the Gypsy girl in..oh god the list is endless...)ANY show knows you need to have appropriate costumes to carry off the theme fo the show. I wish someone had told MF that.
2. As much as MF is/was a brilliant dancer and is a pretty good coreographer he spends way too much time in the world of ME ME ME and does not show even half the joy Colin shows when he is dancing. Nor does he let his co-stars shine too brightly, lest they dim his own star. I really do like the man folks but it is so OBVIOUS. And I am sorry just becuase the man has done so well does not give him an excuse to be so arrogant that is not OK in my book at all. Humility will get you more acolades than arrogance.
3. Riverdance is more well rounded it doesn't go over the top, it shows you a good mix of what Irish dancing is, what it can be and shows how it compares and contrasts with other forms of Dance.
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Format: DVD
It is disappointing to see just how poorly the video angles, camera placement and editing were done. The energy of the tap performances and the dancers was never the focus of attention - instead, the producer(s) seemed to want to go crazy with their continuous jumping from one camera to another without any thought to showing the performance in its best light. The camera angles continually changed around the stage , with extreme closeups of head and torso that simply did not do *any* justice to the dancing.
The original "Riverdance - The Show" video is a *much* better edited performance, albeit with fewer actual tap dancing scenes. The performance of another similar video "Lord Of The Dance" did not sit well with me either, perhaps because the originality and energy of the dancers was subsumed in an over-produced, over-glitzy performance. Some improvement in the editing over *this* video, but still not anywhere as good as it could have been.
I would recommend the original "Riverdance - The Show" over any of the subsequent performances that have been released. Now, if I could only find that performance in DVD format - the only release that I know of is VHS!
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Format: DVD
All three major Irish dance films suffer from the inability of whoever is doing the filming to film dance properly! This is the greatest abuser of the three. There are three major problems: 1) not filming the dancers full body, 2) stage lighting (not the best for filming, though fine for viewing a live performance), and 3) excessive changes in camera angle. Of these three, the second is forgiveable, being unavoidable if one is filming before a live audience but one and three are not! As to one, there was extensive work done by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in the early days of the musical that worked out the best ways to film dance. Only one completely ignorant of filming technique would fail to film full body. As for three, I can tell you that there are nine cameras in New York's Radio City Music Hall. How do I know? BECAUSE THE FILMOGRAPHER SWITCHED CAMERAS EVERY 10-15 SECONDS OF EVERY FLIPPING DANCE! HELLO, we do not ALL watch an excessive quantities of MTV, thank you very much! This is distracting at best and at worst it totally disrupts the ability to appreciate the flow of the movement. Additionally, if you've already seen the Michael Flatley film there is very little of interest or improvement (unless you dislike his work, in which case you may like this). The only major change is a "dance down" pitting American tap against Irish step. This particular number, were it film properly, would be worth the price of adding this work to your collection, even if it already included the original "Riverdance", but, as it is, forget it! Rent it on video, see the number, and forget wasting you well-earned money on this forgetable turkey. The performers worked hard and I am sorry that those filming them didn't give their effort the presentation it deserved.
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