Irish Dancing At It's Best
Aubrey Ward III | Englewood,NJ | 09/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually rented this before buying it and it looks like this will be added to my shopping cart real soon because this DVD is great. The show itself is just really good. The story is your basic love triangle fairy tale where the the betrothed lady, Grania, goes for the "other man" Diarmiud. So we see where they meet and the consequences of their actions especially after the hubby, Finn McCool finds out. Major bonus points to the editors who titled each segment making the story a cinch to understand. It's obvious that Jean & Colin wanted to push Irish dance into a new direction and they have succeeded. They really utilize the form to tell the story with dynamic and innovative performances that still embody traditional Irish dance values. Along with sensational music and beautiful costumes this is a must have. The most impressive aspect of this DVD is the behind the scenes documentary on the process of bringing "Dangerous Ground" to the stage. It was so eye-opening to see what it takes to bring these seemingly simplistic shows to life. And hearing input from the dancers, especially Colin and Jean, added more depth to the actual show because I had a sense of what they felt before the curtain raised on opening night. I would actually recommend watching the doc. before watching the show to get the full experience of this amazing show. I truly hope that Dunne and Butler continue to make more "ground" breaking shows such as this one. Definitely a must have for dance and theatre lovers."
Dancing at its Best
Jack Frecker | Tucson, Arizona United States | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike the other two reviewers I have only watched my copy of Dancing on Dangerous Ground once. The performance section is about an hour and a quarter long, totally dancing. That is good. Compared to 'Riverdance,' 'Feet,' or 'Lord,' this is an improvement, since the latter DVDs are about half dancing and half singing-and-orchestra. I will take the dancing any day.
Both Dunne and Butler are fine, although aging, dancers. Jean can also express emotions realistically, and it is a joy to watch her face and hands as she expresses love for Colin Dunne. Dunne, on the other hand, does not look so much love-sick as just sick. He looked like he was getting ready to hurl, to barf, instead of to kiss the girl.
I would assume the Irish legend behind this DVD was more complex than appeared in the dance itself. Basically an old lech marries a young chick, but she has the warmies for a younger dude. On what I assume was their wedding night old lech gets drunk, maybe drugged, and the chick runs off with the younger dude. A war is started, but somehow Colin Dunne ends up with Jean Butler. This is enough of a story line for watching them dance, but I would hope the legend itself had more going for it.
The costuming for the New York performance was excellent. Colin Dunne's long white coat was an inspiration. Jean Butler's white wedding dress, short in front for dancing and long in back, was very nice. I am sorry the show died for financial reasons. I would think they could have put together a repertory company that toured Britain doing an assortment of Irish legends put to dance and done well. But I may be totally wrong. In the United States people will pay large amounts to see almost anything Irish on stage.
I have seven DVDs of Irish dance performances, and like them all. This one is good because it is all dancing, and shows that a story can be told with tap-dancing as well as ballet. It will never become as popular as, for instance, Nutcracker or Swan Lake. But it is still worth buying and watching. It could very well be called Investing on Dangerous Ground. Some day, performance Irish dancing to tell a story, an Irish legend, could become not only popular but financially viable. I would hope so. Then we could see more of it."
An Incredibly Lucky Find
B. E. Taylor | Exeter, New Hampshire United States | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a former Riverdance nut, I am amazed that I actually missed this! As it is, that incredibly lucky discovery came from a most unlikely source, but I feel so lucky that I found it. Having seen (as it turned out) clips that were posted against permission, I HAD to buy the DVD.
Jean Butler and Colin Dunne are perfectly matched, and I still feel that the world will have to wait a long time to see their equal - and that DEFINITELY includes the bombastic egotistic Michael Flatly. I've seen both Colin Dunne and Michael Flatley in person, and my feelings remain unchanged. I missed a live performance by the incredibly beautiful Jean Butler. Alas. Just to see these beautiful dancers together is alone worth the price of the DVD.
They chose an ancient Irish myth as their vehicle, and they could have gone in 2 directions. Either overdo it, or try to keep their production as spare as possible the more the show the myth. Fortunately, unlike Flatley's garish productions, they chose the latter. Also, fortunately, they DID chose to stretch the envelope of traditional Irish dancing, but in a very valid way and totally in context.
The setting and the costumes do take some getting used to, but used to them I did getDancing on Dangerous Ground. I've adored Riverdance, most particularly when both Butler and Dunn were the leads, but watching my beloved VHS of their New York show, strangely Riverdance looked stiff, albeit still beautiful, by comparison.
Their ARE uneven spots in Danching on Dangerous Ground, I won't deny it, but on the whole I LOVED it and would highly recommend it to anyone who truly does want to see where Irish dance CAN go - especially in the hands (or feet) of two of the greatest Irish dancers in the world. It will be a long time before any make us forget THEM! I so wish I had been able to see THIS live, and I can only hope that we haven't seen the end of their dancing."
You will love this!
Dance Again | Australia | 09/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dancing on Dangerous Ground is my favourite Irish dance show. It is very different to any of the other shows that I have seen, either live or on dvd. If you are a fan of Lord of the Dance or Feet of Flames, you will find that DODG is not as flashy, there are no explosions or skimpy costumes!
I think I would describe it as sophisticated, elegant etc. The music is beautiful and the dancing is the best you will see. Great male characters with strong dancing and beautiful female dancers who float in their lovely simple but feminine costumes. Jean Butler is stunning and the chemistry between herself and Colin is visible and adds to the excitement of the performance.
This is a two part DVD. Part one is the full live performance of the opening night in London and part 2 is "Dare to Dance", a documentary of the making of the show. This documentary is as good as the performance and just as enjoyable to watch. You see the dancers arriving for their first rehersal, meeting the producers and hearing for the first time about the show and what is expected of them. You are in the room with them as they learn the difficult new steps. See Jean and Colin work together as they develop the choreography for the dancers and themselves. There are also interviews with Colin and Jean as well as other members of the troupe who include Jeans sister and other well known Irish dance show dancers. See the dancers backstage before the show, feel their nerves! Witness also the troubles between the producers, backers, Jean and Colin that most probably lead to the show's eventual downfall. For any dancer who aspires to one day dance in a show, this documentary is a "must see".
I have now watched my copy of the DVD most probably a dozen times and never get tired of it. I have read on message boards that other people have found it boring, I can't imagine why! They are talking about a version that was aired on American television which I believe was a cut down version of the show and maybe they are used to seeing MF strut his stuff! I also own copies of Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames so you need to be aware that DODG is at the opposite end of the Irish Dance spectrum ( if that makes sense! ) Maybe the cut down version didn't include the fantastic pub scene or the beautiful wedding or the......you will have to buy it to find out!
Also, lastly,, there is only Irish dancing in this show, no Spanish or tap as in Riverdance. It is truely a show for lovers of Irish dance. I hope that you will love it as much as I do. Thanks."