52 Weeks Of Eurovision: Week 3 -Riverdance

When I started writing this post, I thought long and hard about writing about a ‘non-competing act’ at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest – Then I thought…I make the rules. If you missed last week’s edition on Celine Dion you can find it here.

Riverdance was introduced to our screens for the very first time during the interval at the Point Theatre in Dublin….(you know…that bit after  everyone has sung when the ‘juries’ decide which next door neighbour they are going to vote for).

The UK entry this year was Frances Ruffelle, who had previously played Eponine in the original west end cast of Les Miserables as well as roles in Starlight Express and Roxy Hart in Chicago. Frances also happens to be the mother of  ‘pop- star’ Eliza Doolittle.  (Fancy naming your kid after an Audrey Hepburn character in ‘My Fair Lady’ …how very camp).

Frances went on to finish in 10th place with her song ‘Lonely Symphony‘, and the contest was won by Ireland for the third time in a row with Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan’s ‘Rock and Roll Kids‘.

Incidentally this year was the first year that the European juries (still 4 years before tele-voting) ,received the votes via satellite and not over the phone.

During the interval act, Michael Flatley , Joan Butler and a team of leggy Irish jiggers filled the stage with a spectacular show of Irish ballet and tap. This was intended to be a ‘one-off’ performance, however the act really stole the show, forcing it’s composer, Bill Whelan to write an entire production which has gone on to tour the world for the last 22 years. From then on, the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest was famous for one thing…..Riverdance.

Just listen to the pin drop moment before the standing ovation and jubilant cheers!

 

 

                                              

100 thoughts on “52 Weeks Of Eurovision: Week 3 -Riverdance

  1. I didn’t actually know that is where Riverdance was born. Gosh! How lovely to see it in it’s infancy, and I’m afraid I much prefer this form of Michael, compared to the Michael of later years that flounces in with such self importance (but I still love him). Fabulous stuff!

  2. I didn’t actually know that is where Riverdance was born. Gosh! How lovely to see it in it’s infancy, and I’m afraid I much prefer this form of Michael, compared to the Michael of later years that flounces in with such self importance (but I still love him). Fabulous stuff!

  3. Being Northern Irish and all we were no strangers to Irish dancing, not me personally I might add, feet like an elephant. Up until that year it was kinda cool but boring, but Riverdance was real hairs standing on the back of your neck stuff. After that we were all jigging about, usually after a few pints of Guinness mind lol

  4. Being Northern Irish and all we were no strangers to Irish dancing, not me personally I might add, feet like an elephant. Up until that year it was kinda cool but boring, but Riverdance was real hairs standing on the back of your neck stuff. After that we were all jigging about, usually after a few pints of Guinness mind lol

  5. Didn’t realise this was where/how Riverdance was born! And as for Eurovision….it’ll never be the same without Terry Wogan 🙁

  6. Didn’t realise this was where/how Riverdance was born! And as for Eurovision….it’ll never be the same without Terry Wogan 🙁

  7. Didn’t realise this was where/how Riverdance was born! And as for Eurovision….it’ll never be the same without Terry Wogan 🙁

  8. I just showed this to my daughter, an Irish dancer. We have seen Riverdance but never knew the origin of it. Thanks for posting!

  9. I just showed this to my daughter, an Irish dancer. We have seen Riverdance but never knew the origin of it. Thanks for posting!

    1. I know you must admit I am a little in awe of that talent… I tried doing Riverdance once with a friend when there was an Irish band at a local bar when we were wasted……we got thrown out for the stage invasion.

  10. I’ve loved Riverdance since I first saw it on television. I won’t say how long ago. With my Irish heritage I thought it would be genetic so I tried dancing once when I was home alone. It’s not an inherited skill. But the hip healed nicely.

  11. I’ve loved Riverdance since I first saw it on television. I won’t say how long ago. With my Irish heritage I thought it would be genetic so I tried dancing once when I was home alone. It’s not an inherited skill. But the hip healed nicely.

  12. I’ve loved Riverdance since I first saw it on television. I won’t say how long ago. With my Irish heritage I thought it would be genetic so I tried dancing once when I was home alone. It’s not an inherited skill. But the hip healed nicely.

  13. I was once told by a friend that he went to see Riverdance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. He said that during the act, some of the dancers fell over and the others all stopped to help them up. One of the dancers even broke her leg. However, he said that while all this was going on, the sound of tapping could still be heard around the theatre. To this day, I’ve never known if he was telling the truth.
    Riverdance was very entertaining to watch on TV. It’s a great way to keep yourself fit (not that I’ve tried it).

  14. I was once told by a friend that he went to see Riverdance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. He said that during the act, some of the dancers fell over and the others all stopped to help them up. One of the dancers even broke her leg. However, he said that while all this was going on, the sound of tapping could still be heard around the theatre. To this day, I’ve never known if he was telling the truth.
    Riverdance was very entertaining to watch on TV. It’s a great way to keep yourself fit (not that I’ve tried it).

  15. I was once told by a friend that he went to see Riverdance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. He said that during the act, some of the dancers fell over and the others all stopped to help them up. One of the dancers even broke her leg. However, he said that while all this was going on, the sound of tapping could still be heard around the theatre. To this day, I’ve never known if he was telling the truth.
    Riverdance was very entertaining to watch on TV. It’s a great way to keep yourself fit (not that I’ve tried it).

    1. Oh it still is…. we sit down every year to watch our country lose to the likes of the Ukraine 🇺🇦. Still it’s a good old patriotic party and an excuse for a rant when it’s over ..

    1. Oh it still is…. we sit down every year to watch our country lose to the likes of the Ukraine 🇺🇦. Still it’s a good old patriotic party and an excuse for a rant when it’s over ..

  16. I remember this moment so well, it is probably the best ever Eurovision moment for me

  17. I remember this moment so well, it is probably the best ever Eurovision moment for me

  18. I didn’t know thats where riverdance started, I can imagine it was the highlight if the show is anything like they are now

  19. I didn’t know thats where riverdance started, I can imagine it was the highlight if the show is anything like they are now

  20. I didn’t know thats where riverdance started, I can imagine it was the highlight if the show is anything like they are now

  21. I loved the Frances’s Ruffelle song that year and i have to say I didn’t appreciate Riverdance at the time! I have to say I’m much a fan of Lord Of The Dance. Whenever I watch it on youtube and it comes to he Finale I still get goosebumps. I have been guilty of Irish dancing at Christmas Office parties and building up a crowd around me cheering me on. That’s still a bit surreal and if only they knew that once I’d finished my ‘performance’ I went to the toilet and almost fainted and had to swiftly go outside and have 3 cigarettes to recover. Haha, ahhh the memories 🙂

  22. I loved the Frances’s Ruffelle song that year and i have to say I didn’t appreciate Riverdance at the time! I have to say I’m much a fan of Lord Of The Dance. Whenever I watch it on youtube and it comes to he Finale I still get goosebumps. I have been guilty of Irish dancing at Christmas Office parties and building up a crowd around me cheering me on. That’s still a bit surreal and if only they knew that once I’d finished my ‘performance’ I went to the toilet and almost fainted and had to swiftly go outside and have 3 cigarettes to recover. Haha, ahhh the memories 🙂

  23. The best ever interval act at Eurovision not involving the hosts…

    Petra and Mans take the accolade for being involved in 2016… “Love Love, Peace Peace…” 🙂

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