Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Riverdance - Live from Radio City Music Hall |
Two-Disc Collector's Edition
Actors: Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, María Pagés, Katie McMahon, Morgan Crowley
Directors: John McColgan, Ruan Magan
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Television, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/19/2008 Run time: 102 minutes
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Wonder, Amazement - Dance
Sandra Bruckner | 02/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had not been exposed to the phenomenon of Riverdance before. I had heard about the amazing performances given around the globe by this dance company, but this DVD was my first real exposure. I have to say I saw totally blown away by the skill, visual and total sensual experience of this DVD. The dancers and musicians were awesome.
This DVD was almost like two performances in one. You had the dance and you had the music. The orchestra performed a couple of songs that can standalone in my book as some of the best music -- sort of new age in nature. In fact it reminded me a bit of Yanni or John Tesh at times. But it would harken back to the Irish tones and bring you back home to its roots.
The dancers and singers were just wonderful. The solo artists had the most crisp and clear voices I've heard in quite some time. The principal dancers for the company clearly enjoyed their art -- dancing quite challenging pieces with smiles on their faces and a love of dance written all over them. One can only imagine the amount of time it has taken to perfect this dance -- totally in step with each other and in harmony with the music. The segment that mixed a bit of street dance with the traditional Riverdance format was lively and demonstrated the universal nature of dance to culture.
I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone who loves music and dance. You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into making this DVD and the Riverdance company. It is just amazing.
New York Performance Brought to DVD
T. J. Fuller | Pensacola, FL | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In truth, the (or "a", rather) 1995 performance of Riverdance at the Radio City Music Hall has been released on DVD before, but I have not seen them (half-and-half dual-sided DVD and the single-sided Superbit DVD was missing half or so of the entire performance (including the midway "Riverdance" itself!). We, my family, have had a VHS recording of the show for years, and aside from the high-pitched vocal shortcomings (at least to our ears) in the beginning, the energy of the performance, not to mention the charm of its leading performers, has kept it as a favorite, and one of the only members, of our not-a-movie video collection. To finally get a proper DVD release, bearing everything that we love about the VHS version in one continuous strand, would've been great.
Then, on a trp to Best buy, I happen to spot it when my sister and I were over at its little section of the isles. It was recent, it was classy (think "hardcover"), and it was... thirty-five dollars or so, too much for my pocket at the time. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to snag this bit o' memories at a much better price (mid to low twenties), and as soon as it arrived (the day I'm typing this review), popping it in made me reasonably confident. The case itself is very solid, with an interior featuring the principal dancers, Jean Butler and Colin Dunne, one a fire-haired beauty and the other a lovable 'jerk' (watch and you'll get what kind of ramp I'm talking about), whose movements sweep your mind, and likely your own hands and feet, along with the music, which I feel outshines anything else this show offers (really, I'm no good at following stories told through dance, and only slightly less worse at catching the lyrics of the songs). It is a broad scope, but throughout it all, you feel the emotions shown on that stage, and you'll definitely crack a smile and get goosebumps as the show carries on.
A mild gripe I have, though it might be our TV (an LCD) or our DVD player, but you can see lines and flicker of the sort that you might expect on an analog broadcast. Still, these are rarely noticed (mostly during the opening text, the flamenco intro, and subtitles), as the rest of the performance is so fluid that there's no chance to catch any interlace. There was also a levels-of-light effect akin to altitude mapping as I fast-forwarded, but this sort of thing occurred in FFVIIAC on normal play, so for when it occurred, this is a non-issue. Speaking of fast-forwarding, the segments seem to be broken into ranges rather than individual pieces, so if you want to scoot past the singing, you should fast-forward, in case it's the middle of that segment; the scene listings on the back of the box (synonymous with the VHS box, as other text) doesn't fully match up with the in-DVD titleage, but a quick look into the section should give one a point of reference, so another non-issue. All in all, the video quality at least matches, though likely supercedes, the video I remember from our VHS. To boot, it's widescreen, which gives you even more scope of the lines of dancers. Oh, and there's native stereo sound along with a couple surround sound options (one being Dolby Digital).
Ah, I remember in another reviewer's take on the performance itself that they were disappointed with the editing job done. To a degree, I agree, since the constant switching of angle to angle somewhat disrupts the scope the stage allows. However, watching it again, I feel the clips work in tandem with the energy and the focus at any point in time, and while at first something that happens through the stage (for example, three male dancers doing toe-touches one after the other) isn't apparent due to focus on an active member, but things like this are given a full-scene shot, so you see the effect at least once, with the addition of seeing the motions up close. Plus, you can't beat those pan shots of the lines.
Ah, and bonus content. This is all relegated to the second disc, and includes a documentary of Riverdance's first ten years (1994-2004), a documentary of their experience in China (also 2004), and an interview that I haven't yet watched. The documentaries (which overlap at least once, to my bemusement) really give you a feel for the creators and casts of the various troupes and their performances, which could only make watching the first disc more emotionally drawing. For a single show, these bonuses cover a lot, and make me want to see the other performances throughout the years. You'll hear the finale music over and over, but the sheer energy of it and the dancing in tune never gets old.
Riverdance is a powerful force, if nowhere else then with the movements and sounds of few to many people visually demonstrating the power of the musical compositions, and to finally see this showing brought to DVD so well is a pipe dream for me. If you have the money, and you love music, dancing, or, hell, even singing that transcends any brought to film or stage, get a Riverdance DVD, with this one being my own recommendation to start (or continue) in a love for this blend that plucks your excitement out and throws it back into you. You'll dance a jig for sure...at least if no one's watching, eh?"
Excellent Show, Average Video
Anton Kulchitsky | Fairbanks, Alaska United States | 10/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this show on VHS 6 or 7 years ago and was waiting for the DVD release. It is hard to find the proper words to describe how amazing the show is. The disc is a compilation of the famous Riverdance Show live from Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Now, what is on the disc? First of all is the gorgeous Irish step-dance couple Colin Dunne and Jean Butler. They are just amazing; it is hard to stop watching their performances, expressions, speed footwork, and beauty. They are unbelievable and their scenes are never boring to watch again and again! I might like the performance with Michael Flatley a little bit better than that with Colin Dunne but again, it is very subjective and Colin Dunne is unbelievable too.
Although I am not a huge fan of Flamenco, Maria Pages's Firedance is special in the show. Even I am speechless when watching Maria's expressions in this dance. You might ask what Flamenco is doing in an Irish Music/Dance show? I have no idea but it just fits in perfectly.
The show has a very impressive scene when Colin Dunne and two more dancers from the Riverdance group try to "compete" with Tarik Winston, an African-American tap dancer from the Bronx, and another tap dancer. To me, Tarik won... I like this part (Trading Taps) the most after the Finale.
You should be warned - the show is not dancing only. It includes a musical performance and singing. I like all the outstanding voices and heartwarming tunes, though I personally am waiting for the dancing to begin.
Overall, the content is still super hot even about a dozen years after the performance. The DVD just appeared in 2008 and is much better than VHS. It contains a lot of special features with interviews and the history of this show (and is worth watching too, by the way). The Riverdance Show became a very refreshing event in the history of dancing and has its own special place there.
So, why 4 stars only? The reason is that I am not supposed to evaluate the show. It has been evaluated many times by many people and their evaluation is simple: Riverdance is a historical event that is hard to overestimate. I am supposed to evaluate the DVD I purchased. I am sorry to say that the video is, at most, of average quality. I can accept that a video recording from 1996 might not be as bright and sharp as a modern recording. Indeed, it is 16:9 but it cannot be called High Definition. I believe that the lighting was not good for the recording.
The real problem, however, is the editing of this recording. The video is taken from a few cameras and the producer (who deserves a dozen spoiled tomatoes thrown at his head for his cutting work) switches between them quickly, unpredictably and annoyingly. Sometimes you barely can see the dance composition. Instead the video can show you the feet of a random dancer for many seconds. It is awful and sometimes produces sea sickness due to loss of space orientation (at least for me). I cannot give the product less than 4 stars because it is a DVD any dance fan must have. However, you have been warned that the video quality is below average. Although it is watchable and very enjoyable, I am very dissatisfied by the quality of the video.
I highly recommend this DVD for purchase but be warned about the below average video composition."
The real deal!
C. Trumbo | El Paso , TX | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm very happy that Riverdance: Live from Radio City has been reissued. It looks as good as ever, and much more convenient that the disc doesn't need to be turned over to watch the second half.
Colin and Jean are the best leads together, dancing in a beautiful duet with one another. These two are experts, and it shows. Colin Dunne projects a passion and refinement in his step dancing that no other male lead has. His speed and timing are perfect, but the main interest is his graceful technique and his musical sense of rhythm so evident in all of his solos. He really shines in his Heartbeat of the World duet with Flamenco dancer Maria Pages, and of course, the ever favorite, Trading Taps with the American tap dancers.
Jean Butler, as always, dazzles the audience with her regal beauty and her flowing, graceful soft shoe solos. She has a powerful stage presence and brings out the beauty of Irish dance.
The band is excellent. The sets are beautiful, authentic hand painted sets. The company is tight and well-rehearsed. This truly is the best recorded version of the phenomenon Riverdance. The documentaries alone are well worth the purchase of this reissue.