The Best of River Dance
The DVD debut of Michael Flatley's performance in Riverdance (or at least part of it) is one of the highlights of The Best of Riverdance, a generous survey of the Irish hard-shoe sensation that has riveted live audiences and PBS viewers for a decade. Beginning with the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest performance that led to the full-length stage show, the program compiles a number of highlights from the show's history, taken mostly from three sources. There's the original 1995 televised show starring the flamboyant, record-setting tapper Flatley and his partner, Jean Butler. There's the 1997 New York City concert, with Colin Dunne opposite Butler. And finally there's the 2003 performance from Geneva headlined by Brendán de Gallaí and Joanne Doyle. Because elements of the show and numerous performers have changed over the years, each performance has its own character, and The Best of Riverdance even takes the unusual step of blending segments of various shows into a single number. For example, "Riverdance" switches back and forth among the three shows and the three sets of leads. "Lift the Wings" begins with two verses of the solo voice of Áine Uí Cheallaigh, then segues into segments from the ensemble-sung version from New York and Geneva.