Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Heart Riverdance!

As I write this, I am watching Riverdance on Ice (yes, you read that right, ON ICE!).  It's more like Riverdance next to ice and I'm not exactly sure it really works but I'm enjoying every cheesy minute of it.

I have loved Riverdance since the very fist time I ever laid eyes on it.  I was a junior in high school at a marching band event when my friend, Bernadette, pulled out the video and popped it in the VCR (remember VCRs?).  I had never seen anything like it.  I literally had no idea what Irish step dancing was before that night but I was instantly hooked.  The precision, the impressive noise of all those feet stomping in unison, it totally blew my mind.

It wasn't long before I had my own copy of Riverdance and was watching it over and over and over.  Then came the Live From New York version- the same Riverdance but now Michael Flatley free and it included more of the show!  I spent more hours than I would like to admit comparing and contrasting the two different versions of the show and geeked out with Bernadette over countless aspects of the Riverdance phenomenon.  

When the show came to the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, we were psyched out of our minds to be able to go.  My German teacher, "Frau" Pahner ended up going with us- we needed a ride out there and she was interested enough in the show to buy her own ticket so it was a win-win.  I remember her laughing at how excited Bernadette and I were to be seeing Riverdance live and in person and saying afterward, "It's like you guys thought you were at a rock concert or something."  We might as well have been.  

The excitement of seeing Riverdance carried us all the way through our senior year of high school.  We probably talked about it way too much.  I can picture our other friends rolling their eyes behind our backs because they were so tired of hearing about how cool it was when such and such happened in the show at the Pantages because that part wasn't in either of the videos. We discussed how we didn't really love Michael Flatley (something about him just bothered us) and decided we thought Colin Dunn was pretty good.  We jumped around imitating the dancers- probably looking all kinds of silly but being totally awesome in our own minds.

Those were good times.  They were simple times.  They were times when I wasn't so critical.  When I could like something and just enjoy it because it was fun or entertaining.  It didn't have to be terribly deep or ground breaking for me to think it was amazing.  These days I've noticed that I tend to like most things "ironically."  When I talk about my "favorite" things with people, I feel like I have to give disclaimers, for example- I listen to country music...but I know how ridiculous most of it is, I love the movies Newsies, Roadhouse, and Surf Ninjas...but I also love to make fun of them, I have an ongoing love affair with yarn...but I'm not a weirdo, I eat Spam...but I know how gross that is, I'm a drummer in a Scottish bagpipe band...but even I get tired of bagpipe music sometimes, I prefer hand-made items...but I'm not a crazy hippie.

I do still love Riverdance but not with the same reckless abandon that I used to.  I don't talk about it all the time and I don't watch instructional videos on Irish step dancing in hopes of someday joining the cast.  I do however watch Riverdance every year on St. Patrick's Day (you know, because it's Irish) and I admit, as soon as the music starts and the dancers begin stomping, I'm taken right back to my geeky high school days.  This year, the "On Ice" version is standing in for the real thing since our VCR has been eating tapes and I don't dare trust it with my precious Riverdance tapes (hmmm, do you think it's time to get the DVD?!).  Riverdance On Ice is not quite the same but it's good enough- especially after lots of green beer!  Sláinte!


q5bernie said...

I couldn't have said it better... That trip was the highlight of my highschool career. I still have my tape too! I think I'll steal your st patty's day idea. Kinda like A Christmas Story on Christmas day...

Sherida said...

Very cool! I love Riverdance, too. And, I LOVE figure skating. Wonderful combination!