REVIEW: Rhythm of the Dance 20th anniversary tour at Eastbourne

Eastbourne SUS-190619-161015001
Eastbourne SUS-190619-161015001

Since Ireland’s interval performance of Riverdance in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest captivated the vast majority of the world, Irish dancing along with traditional music has become more popular than ever before, writes Annemarie Field.

So really, it’s no surprise that the Rhythm of the Dance show – set up for a three week tour in 1998 – is still running more than 20 years later with the same foot tapping and breathtakingly wonderful performances.

SUS-190619-161001001

SUS-190619-161001001

On Tuesday night the talented troupe of dancers and musicians danced their way through another successful two hour show at the newly renovated Congress Theatre.

The backdrop for the show is scenes of Ireland – as the audience is taken on a through hundreds of years of Irish dance and music featuring no less than 22 award-winning world and Irish dance champions.

There were plenty of slip jigs, perfectly synchronised dances and intricate fast footwork but as great as the dancers were, the real stars of the show were – on this occasion for me – the musicians.

Pipes, flutes, whistles, fiddles and the traditional bodhran drum mixed together for some perfect numbers with traditional ballads sung by singing from a man who looked very much like tennis player Andy Murray.

The Eastbourne crowd clapped their hands and tapped their feet and joined the 5 million fans across 50 countries, who have enjoyed the enduring celebration of the Emerald Isle and the culture of this ever popular show.

I am looking forward to the 25th anniversary tour already.