How long is the river dance performance

Twenty one stomping facts about the Riverdance phenomenon

1.IT was first performed as a segment in the 1994 Eurovision broadcast from Dublin. The seven-minute performance has been named one of the most popular interval acts in the history of the contest.

2. The first full Riverdance show opened at the Point Theatre in Dublin on February 9, 1995, the sell-out show ran for five weeks.

3. On May 8, 1995, Riverdance performed at the Royal Gala 50th Anniversary of VE Day celebrations at the special invitation of Prince Charles. The show attracted a television audience of 20 million introducing Riverdance to a whole new set of fans.

4. Over 2,000 dancers have taken part in the show in the last twenty-one years. The original lead roles were taken by champion Irish dancers, Jean Butler of Mineola, New York and Michael Flatley, from Chicago’s south side. Both dancers came from an Irish-American background. Butler’s mother was a Country Mayo native, and both of Flatley’s parents were Irish.

5. The show’s dancers have clocked up an impressive 26,000 hours of Irish step dancing lessons between them. Performers are often asked where best to send a child to learn the discipline. Riverdance Associate Director Padraic Moyles suggests keeping it local, wherever you live there’s usually an Irish dancing teacher nearby.

6. The hard work doesn’t stop when dancers join the show. Over the last 21 years it’s taken 17,500 hours of on tour rehearsals to keep things running smoothly. When on the road the dancers will practice for an hour before each show, with a four-hour rehearsal once a month. With up to eight shows a week there is a heavy emphasis on recovery and letting the dancers rest to avoid tour fatigue.

7. The tour has travelled over 70,000 miles, with London always a favourite stop. The show even played Orange, Texas in the USA, arriving not long after hurricane Katrina ravaged the northern coastline. Many shows had pulled out following the storm, not a surprise when the basement of the venue was still flooded. Not that easily put off the Riverdance show went ahead. The grateful audience responded with seven standing ovations.

8. The dancers have danced their way through 20,000 pairs of shoes — one dancer can rotate up to three pairs of shoes a night. All the dancers have their own favourite Irish shoemakers, going back to them time and again for the all important footwear.

9. They have worn 15,000 costumes, made especially for them in Dublin at what they jokingly refer to as the 'Riverdance costume mill'. When on tour the company takes along a wardrobe mistress and assistant to keep them looking their best. In emergencies they have been known to hire in local help for last minute mending operations, there can be a lot of sequins to sew back into place!

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10. It’s thirsty work, over the years the dancers have consumed more than 400,000 gallons of water and 75,000
gallons of sports drink Gatorade.

11. Since it started touring, Riverdance has sold 300,000 t-shirts and 2,000,000 show programmes to loyal fans.

12. It’s taken over 14,000 light bulbs to keep the famous spotlights shining, all the better to see that impressive footwork with.

13. The house band have plucked their way through 16,250 guitar, base and fiddle strings.

14. The team physiotherapists have used 50,000 rolls of griptape, taping up everything from sprained ankles to pulled hamstrings. It is also crucial to protect dancers against the dreaded shin splints, one of the most common causes of repetitive strain injury in high impact dancing.  Many dancers will have their shins taped up as a preventative measure.

15. The hungry dancers have munched their way through 70,000 bars of chocolate, however times are changing. The backstage chocolate of the early days has been replaced by nuts, seeds and dried fruit, as the performers look towards healthier options to maintain energy levels. Such is the focus on maintaining a healthy diet, when touring internationally the team often have protein powders shipped out. There is one treat they haven’t given up though, with the performers packing boxes of Irish teabags to take on tour.

16. Riverdance has sold over three million copies of the Grammy award-winning soundtrack to the show. The soundtrack was composed by Limerick-born Bill Whelan. Whelan has also worked with some of the biggest names in Irish music, from U2 to The Dubliners to the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

17. If that wasn’t enough, fans have snapped up over 10 million Riverdance DVDs and videos.

18. The tour has been seen by over 25 million people, in 467 venues, including New York’s prestigious Radio City Music Hall, in 46 countries across six continents.

19. The show has led to romance for many of the dancers with over 60 marriages and plenty of Riverdance babies. Baby number 90 was born just weeks ago. There must be something in the water.

20. On July 21, 2013 Riverdance officially broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest Riverdance, 1,693 dancers from around the world came together in Dublin to dance their way into history.

21. This year’s show will feature dancers, who were born the same year as Riverdance started, 1995.

Riverdance returns to the UK at the end of March and will visit 13 venues across the UK, starting in Leicester on Tuesday, March 29. Tickets are on sale now or

Watch the Riverdance troupe in action here...

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Riverdance | Santander Arena

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show is Riverdance, as you’ve never seen it before! A powerful and stirring reinvention of this beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. Twenty-five years on, composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his mesmerizing soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have completely reimagined the ground-breaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection, stage and costume designs.

Immerse yourself in the extraordinary power and grace of its music and dance–beloved by fans of all ages. Fall in love with the magic of Riverdance all over again.

The critically acclaimed 25th Anniversary North American Tour was shut down in March 2020 during a sold-out return engagement to New York City’s Radio City Music Hall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Riverdance celebrated a return to the stage in the United Kingdom, where the iconic show played to sold out audiences in 27 cities across the country. Then followed its debut at Expo 2020 Dubai with a special production of Riverdance presenting a multi-cultural experience including artists from the Middle East region. A highlight of the four-week run was the Riverdance performance at the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai for their Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

Riverdance The Animated Adventure was released on Netflix in the United States on January 14, 2022, where it swiftly landed a spot on the streamer’s Global Top 10 list. With an original score by Grammy Award-winning composer Bill Whelan, the animated musical comedy features the incredible craft and skill of the Riverdance troupe by utilizing motion capture of their performances to create the animated dancing in the film. Tour lead dancers Maggie Darlington and Anna Mai Fitzpatrick and Executive Producer/Director Padraic Moyles were involved with the dance production for the film, while tour musicians Mark Alfred and Tara Howley play on the film score.

Riverdance began its journey as the interval act in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, produced for television by Moya Doherty. This electrifying and innovative seven-minute dance piece was then developed into a full-length stage show by Producer Moya Doherty, Composer Bill Whelan and Director John McColgan. With its fusion of Irish and International music and dance, the show broke all box office records during its world première run in Dublin in early 1995. When the show transferred to London the reaction was unprecedented. There followed a hugely successful tour starting in New York in March 1996, where 8 sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall heralded the start of more than two decades of touring by Riverdance companies throughout North America. Since its inception, Riverdance has packed theatres throughout North America, Oceania, Asia, Europe, South Africa and South America.

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show has been designed by lead designer Peter Canning, featuring Set by Alan Farquharson, Lighting by Andrew Voller and Video by Cosmo AV along with Costumes by Joan Bergin and Sound by Michael O’Gorman.

Group Information

Group rates are available for this show for ticket purchases of 10 or more - to book your group outing today call our box office at 610-898-7257!

Shen Yun Performing Arts | Shen Yun Performing Arts

About view

You will go on a journey through the wonderful historical eras of China, as well as visit its recent past. Ancient stories and legends, Chinese ethnic and folklore traditions, villains and heroes come to life on stage through classical Chinese dance, live music and stunning digital scenery. The performance not only entertains, but also enriches your life and inspires you. You will not get such an unforgettable experience anywhere else. nine0007

The Shen Yun concert lasts approximately two hours, plus an intermission. There are about 15 short dance numbers in each performance, with great variety in terms of tempo and style. Some numbers are based on ancient Chinese history and mythology, others are based on modern Chinese history, and others simply show the dance styles of different dynasties.

Live orchestra performs author's music to accompaniment to dance numbers. The host briefly introduces the contents of each number in two languages, so that you can get a more complete impression. The program also includes 2-3 classical vocal or instrumental musical numbers. nine0007

Shen Yun's performance is an unforgettable experience with a combination of music, dance, gorgeous costumes and breathtaking digital scenery that will surprise you!

"Shen" means divine or divinity and "Yun" means feeling or rhythm . Can you imagine that beautiful beings have descended from Heaven and are dancing for you? This is the point. nine0007

"Shen Yun" means "The beauty of the dancing celestials." Sounds magical, doesn't it? Yes, it's magic!

You don't need to prepare yourself. You will have a performance brochure that describes each performance so that you can get the most out of the performance. Before each dance number, two hosts will briefly introduce its content and talk a little about classical Chinese dance, our unique orchestra, and other aspects of the performance and culture. nine0007

If you still want more information in advance, we recommend that you check our website. The About Us section will tell you what to expect from the show, the amazing art form of classical Chinese dance, and the mission of Shen Yun.

Certainly. In fact, among the audience there are often permanent viewers of the theater where we perform. Each performance of Shen Yun is bilingual, and they accompany the entire performance and introduce the contents of each performance so that you can fully understand it. Lyrics translated and broadcast on screen; the programs also have a description of each performance number. nine0007

Most importantly, dance and music are universal languages ​​that transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. Mercy, courage and hope - special themes for Shen Yun - are also universal. If you're into beautiful costumes, exciting music, professional dance performances, stories and legends, you'll love Shen Yun.

(See what people around the world have to say about the performance.)

About two hours plus intermission.

Yes. Each Shen Yun performance is accompanied by a unique orchestra that combines Western symphonic and traditional Chinese instruments, such as the erhu two-string instrument, the pipa plucked instrument, and a range of percussion instruments. The Shen Yun Orchestra was the first in the world to include these categories of instruments as permanent ones. As a result, it was possible to achieve what many could not do, although they tried, namely: to bring two different musical traditions to one harmonious sound. nine0007

Shen Yun is located in New York, because the revival of traditional Chinese culture is only possible outside of China.

In the past 70 years, the ruling Communist Party has tried to systematically destroy China's traditional culture and replace it with its own type of culture. Due to campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution in 1960-1970, traditional Chinese culture, especially its spiritual heritage, was on the verge of extinction. nine0007

But in 2006, classically trained Chinese artists from all over the world came together in New York on a common mission to revive traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts. Many of them had excellent jobs or were at the top of the world of performing arts in China, but they realized that with a government that had been trying to destroy traditions for decades, it was impossible to restore authentic traditional culture. Therefore, they founded Shen Yun in New York, where they have the freedom to create and perform, where they can rediscover the once lost legacy and share it with the world. nine0007

Most of our choreographers and composers are from China, while most of our dancers are ethnic Chinese from the US, Canada, Australia, China, Taiwan and Japan. Our musicians are a unique combination of performers from China, as well as from the USA, Germany, Spain, Armenia, Bulgaria and many other countries.

Ironically, although Shen Yun celebrates traditional Chinese culture around the world, the company cannot perform in China. What's more, you won't be able to see a concert like this in China. Shen Yun would love to speak there, but the Chinese Communist Party does not allow it.

Of course, in China there are a huge number of performances that seem traditional, but after decades of political campaigns to eradicate cultural heritage, they are devoid of content. The uniqueness of Shen Yun lies in the fact that in addition to external craftsmanship and beauty, the company honors the spiritual nature of Chinese civilization with its ideas such as harmony between Heaven, Earth and humanity. nine0007

But it is this aspect of Chinese traditions that the communist authorities are trying to destroy. She sees the cultural renaissance and Shen Yun as a threat and therefore does not allow Shen Yun to perform in China.

Moreover, Shen Yun artists believe that art should not only be a means of spreading beauty and culture, but should include a humanitarian aspect. Every year, the Shen Yun program features at least one dance number that depicts a very sensitive topic in China that no artist in China has dared to touch on until now: the history of Falun Gong (see below). We think it's an important topic and worth talking about, and that's another reason why we can't play in China. nine0007

Meanwhile, among the Chinese, there are those who constantly fly to Taipei, Tokyo, Los Angeles and other cities to see Shen Yun. Countless people write to our website, expressing the hope that we will perform in China soon.

Falun Dafa is also known as Falun Gong. It is a method of practice that combines self-improvement teachings and meditation exercises. The teaching is based on three basic principles: truth, kindness and patience. Shen Yun artists practice Falun Dafa, which is the inspiration for our performances. nine0007

Both in the history of China and in the West, there have been artists who managed to incorporate spiritual aspects into their work. In ancient China, artists practiced meditation and sought inner silence and connection with the universe; they believed that in order to create real art, one must cultivate virtue and maintain inner purity. Today, Shen Yun artists follow this noble tradition.

You may have heard about the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa in China today. It began in 1999, when tens of millions of people could be seen doing the Falun Dafa exercises every morning in parks across China. But fearful of the popularity of this worldview, independent of party control, the Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign of persecution in an attempt to eradicate the practice. In fact, at that time, the number of Falun Dafa practitioners outnumbered the members of the Chinese Communist Party. nine0007

Today, after 20 years of torture, imprisonment and murder, these spiritual people continue to follow their faith and continue to resist, always using non-violent methods. Inspired by their courage, Shen Yun artists are broadcasting these stories all over the world. The courage of these people and their hopes touch the hearts of millions of viewers.

There are two reasons. One is that the artists themselves practice the Falun Dafa system, which includes gentle exercises and self-cultivation teachings. They have benefited from the practice and feel it is worth sharing. nine0007

The second and most important reason is that good people in China who practice the Falun Dafa method are being severely persecuted because of it. It's true that if you go to a park, sit down and practice Falun Dafa meditation now under the current Chinese communist rule, you will be arrested and possibly tortured or killed! It's hard to imagine, but ask a friend from a post-communist country and he can confirm that this is possible. nine0007

A large number of Shen Yun artists have themselves been arrested or even tortured for practicing Falun Dafa or their family members. Some of the dancers you see on stage performing with such joy and inspiration have lost their parents to torture in Chinese camps. For them, it's all reality. They believe that they must do something to help not only their loved ones, but the entire Chinese people.

First, we try to ensure that every seat in the hall has a good view of the stage and screen. Secondly, we present a large-scale program. Each of our teams consists of approximately 80 dancers, orchestra musicians who perform with us on a permanent basis, singers, entertainers and technical staff. Each concert uses 400 handmade costumes (made in the state of New York!), not to mention digital sets. In addition, we are a touring company and try to show the performance in every corner of the world. We rarely stay in one city for more than a few days. This is different from concerts that perform in the same location for weeks or months. nine0007

In addition, we create a completely new program every year! This means that every year in the world we premiere with completely new choreography and musical compositions, as well as completely new costumes, digital animation designs and much more. When you imagine how many artists and artists are involved in creating a performance, you will understand that there is no other creative team of this magnitude anywhere else.

Here's what we heard from the audience: "This cannot be compared to any other entertainment. " For example, if you bring a child to a concert, compare the cost of a Shen Yun ticket and the memories that will last a lifetime with the cost of their education, cultural and artistic activities, and a healthy lifestyle. Some say that the inspiring energy of the concert and the feeling of hope that remains after the performance is truly priceless. nine0007

Our dressers produce thousands of suits, hats, shoes, boots and other accessories every season. Shen Yun dance costumes are mainly based on the traditional clothing style of various dynasties in China, the unique clothing of more than 50 ethnic minorities living in China, and the attributes of deities from folklore and mythology. They are adapted to the requirements of the dances. nine0007

Shen Yun's costume designers select countless traditional designs and take them as the basis for their costume creation process. From the sheer robes of the celestial maidens to the robes of the dragon emperor and delicate flower-shaped shoes, they are all handcrafted in New York State for each artist.

Shen Yun's musical compositions are specially created to accompany the dances, which are developed annually by choreographers for a new premiere. New solo vocal and instrumental numbers are also created each year. nine0007

Shen Yun has several in-house composers who create compositions based on musical styles spanning China's rich history and vast regions, as well as based on their own inspiration.

Each performance is paired with the perfect mix of Eastern and Western classical instruments, then carefully coordinated with choreography and on-screen animation. Music is always performed live.

The short stories embodied in the dance are like little pieces of Chinese history. They can be about the Yellow Emperor of ancient times, about modern times, about heroes, deities and bright characters that have appeared over the millennia of the reign of different dynasties.

A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been recorded and transmitted continuously for about 3,000 years, sometimes in colorful detail. For Shen Yun, this is the richest material to revive the ancient culture on the stage of the twenty-first century. nine0007

Each of these mini-dramas, lasting less than 10 minutes, conveys an ancient legend, tells about the heroes of the past; illustrates literary classics, shows a heavenly paradise and much more. Each dance embodies and celebrates the virtues that have underpinned Chinese civilization for thousands of years: loyalty, courage, mercy and faith.

No, Shen Yun dancers perform classical Chinese dance along with various traditional Chinese ethnic and folk dance styles. nine0007

While ballet is rooted in European culture, classical Chinese dance is rooted in traditional Chinese culture. Classical Chinese dance has its own training system and includes many types of jumps, flips, somersaults, spins and acrobatic moves that were not historically part of ballet. This dance form is as ancient as the Chinese civilization itself, and it carries the deep cultural traditions of China. This makes the dance movements so expressive that the character of the characters and their feelings can be expressed very clearly. nine0007

Performing classical Chinese dance in its most pristine form is the hallmark of Shen Yun. In fact, on stages all over the world, no other company has successfully performed the original classical Chinese dance!

(Learn the 7 Key Differences Between Ballet and Classical Chinese Dance.)

Remarkably, the answer to this question is not at all what you might think! In acrobatics, you can meet the techniques of classical Chinese dance, and not vice versa. nine0007

Moreover, Olympic gymnasts, especially in the freestyle program, also borrow movements from classical Chinese dance. How can this be? During the thousands of years of development of classical Chinese dance, somersault and somersault techniques, the ones you see in gymnastics and acrobatics, have become an important part of classical Chinese dance.

In the 1970s, Chinese gymnasts demonstrated these high-level somersaults in international competitions, introducing them to the world. Over time, various forms of performing arts have adopted these techniques: gymnastics, acrobatics, cheerleading, and even modern ballet are just a few of the arts and sports that have borrowed elements from classical Chinese dance. nine0007

So when you see these amazing somersaults on stage, remember: this is not an acrobatics, but a classical Chinese dance.

gong fu ?

Although the performance does not include elements of Chinese martial arts, classical Chinese dance and martial arts (Gong Fu or Wushu) do share some common features.

Thousands of years ago, when Chinese martial arts emerged, flips and techniques from them had a strong influence on other forms of ancient art, including opera and dance. Some movements, originally intended for combat, have turned into a means of entertainment both at informal holidays and at the celebrations at the imperial court. Over time, martial arts and classical Chinese dance became separate art forms that we know about today. nine0007

In the Shen Yun performance, you can see not only martial art-like movements, but also traditional weapons such as sticks, spears, swords, etc. used in both martial arts and Chinese dance.

(Read more about the similarities and differences between classical Chinese dance and gong fu ) (English)

Every year the Shen Yun performance is brand new. The format of the concert remains the same, but the choreography, music, vocal numbers, costumes, digital sets and stories are all new. nine0007

Attending a show

Shows start right on schedule. Please arrive early, taking into account traffic congestion and other unforeseen delays. Our show leaves a holistic impression. Don't miss a single number!

It is better for the audience to dress in evening or business style for the concert. It can be a tuxedo or evening dress, suit or jacket with a tie. We recommend wearing what you look and feel best in. You've come to a special show, so why not dress appropriately for the occasion? Who knows, you might decide to take a photo in front of Shen Yun's promotional booth in the theater lobby and post your photo on Facebook or Instagram, and you naturally want to look good. nine0007

After you have bought your tickets, of course! As for applause during a concert, it is customary to applaud at the end of each number and after the entertainers announce the next one. Of course, if any moment in the performance particularly excites or delights you, you can freely applaud in the middle of the performance (the exception is solo vocal and instrumental parts).

nine0180 Is the concert suitable for children?

Families make up the majority of our audience, and each year the kids have their favorite numbers, such as The Monkey King or the mischievous little monks. But please think about the other audience as well: will your child be able to sit through the whole concert without disturbing the neighbors in the hall. For this reason, children under the age of four are not allowed in most theaters. Some theaters and local organizers require children to be at least five or six years old. You can find this information by selecting your city and then on the right side look in the "Show information" section. nine0007

Sorry, no. "What about smartphones?" Also no. "What about..." No. Photo, audio, and video recording of any kind at Shen Yun performances is strictly prohibited. Even without a flash, the work of a photo and video camera distracts the artists - the dancers see them! In addition, it distracts other viewers who want to enjoy the performance. Moreover, it is a copyright infringement. The theater and security personnel take this very seriously. nine0007


Today, speculation is a common problem in event ticket sales. Some people buy tickets directly and then resell them (usually online) for twice the price! Please be aware that tickets sold through third party websites or organizations may NOT be accepted when you arrive at the concert. Moreover, if tickets are resold at a higher price, they may be canceled without prior notice, and the people who resold them may not be able to purchase tickets in the future. nine0007

You can find Shen Yun branded products in most theater lobbies during intermission, and before and after performances. You can also shop online at

We do not sell DVDs of our dance performances. We believe that the full impression of the show can be obtained only by visiting the theater and directly feeling the harmony of dance, costumes and live music of the orchestra. nine0007

Live performance creates an energy that no record can replace. For this reason, we do not sell recordings of programs. We want you to enjoy Shen Yun the way it was meant to be, with all your senses and sensations.

However, we sell Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra DVDs and CDs. These are live concert recordings featuring 100 members of our symphony orchestra performing favorite Shen Yun original compositions as well as selected classical masterpieces that you may be familiar with. They can be purchased at the Shen Yun store. nine0007

Yes. We have CDs and DVDs of the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, which performs original Shen Yun music from the dance program, vocal and instrumental solos with orchestral accompaniment, and selected classical masterpieces. Discs can be purchased at

We have a monthly newsletter in English. You'll find news, videos, stories, blogs, photos, interviews with artists, and a glimpse of what's going on behind the scenes. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

We hope to perform in your city! You can check the Tours and Tickets section to see the cities included in the upcoming season's tour. We also have a Notification function, with which you can select your city and subscribe to an automatic notification when we arrive at your place.

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