Turlough museum to celebrate Mayo’s Riverdance inspiration

It has been 20 years since Riverdance burst onto the stage as the interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, prompting the whole world to sit up and take notice (and fall in love with ) the power and beauty of Irish music and dance.

But what a lot of people may not know about Riverdance is that the spectacular display actually had its origins in Mayo the previous year, in 1993.

In that year, Mayo was celebrating Mayo 5000 - a year of events to mark 5,000 years of human habitation in the region.

As part of the celebrations Riverdance composer, Bill Whelan, provided the musical genius for a National Concert Hall performance called the Spirit of Mayo.

That show went on to become the inspiration and catalyst for the Riverdance composition the following year and a worldwide phenomenon was born.

Now, as part of Culture Night and to mark 20 years of Riverdance, the Museum of Country Life, Turlough, and Irish TV, are hosting a special evening of conversation, reminiscence, music, and dance focused on Mayo’s connection to one of Ireland’s most iconic cultural attractions, on Friday September 19, at 7pm.

The night will see Irish TV in conversation with Des Mahon, Brian Quinn, Sheila Coll, and other key players involved in the fascinating story of how Riverdance found its origins in the Mayo 5000 celebrations.

Entertainment will be provided by guests including musician Robbie Harris who regularly performs with Riverdance around the globe.

The audience will also be entertained by the Nolan Bailey School of Irish Dancing, featuring Jordan McCormick, a local world-champion Irish dancer, and friends.

The event will also be broadcast in early October 2014 on Irish TV’s County Matters on Sky 191, Freesat 400; www.irishtv.ie

For more information, contact the Museum of Country Life on (094 ) 903 1755.


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