Riverdancers in step with audiences

Updated: 2012-02-20 08:42

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Julian Erskine, the Irish senior executive producer of the musical sensation Riverdance, knows he's done a good job if people dance out of the theater after a performance.

That was how he felt when he came to China with Riverdance.

"We love the reaction of the Chinese people. It was such an interesting and special experience to be performing in the Great Hall of the People, the National Center for Performing Arts and many other great venues," the producer said in an e-mail interview with China Daily.

"We had an amazing moment on the tour when we were out for a walk in Shenzhen and came across a group of Chinese people trying to do Riverdance steps in a park. That made us feel really famous."

The team performed in Ireland for the state visit of former premier Zhu Rongji. They were subsequently invited to perform in Beijing and Shanghai in 2003.

When the sequined dancers of the musical Riverdance performed in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2003, they didn't merely usher in the biggest international production ever to hit China.

"I think it's because Riverdance is the original Irish dance show. We were the first and every other show is a copy of us. I think that really shows on stage, and the audience can spot the difference," said Erskine.

According to Jurek Zhang, general manager of Beijing Joyway Culture & Media Co Ltd, which manages the Riverdance tour in China, the popular musical Riverdance has been presented in China five times.

Riverdancers in step with audiences

Exuberant performers go through their paces in the Irish step-dancing extravaganza Riverdance at a performance in Beijing in February 2010. Vice-President Xi Jinping will see the show while in Ireland. Zhang Wei / for China Daily

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