On 7th December 2012, Riverdance embarks on a 10 week tour of China, performing to an anticipated audience of 86,000 people across 24 major cities.
A Chinese language website www.riverdance.com.cn has been launched to support the tour.
The tour includes performances at the world renowned Beijing Exhibition Centre Theatre from 30th December to 2 January and after 10,000 kms of touring, the final performances will take place at the Shanghai Grand Stage on 14 February 2013.
Riverdance will also perform in a large number of newly constructed, state of the art venues on this tour and Riverdance will have the honour to take part in the official opening of many of these new venues.
Venues where Riverdance will perform – Click on photos to view Photo slideshow
The 2012/2013 tour will be the show’s 5th visit to China:
Following a special performance in Ireland for the state visit of former premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhu Rongji , in 2002, Riverdance was officially invited to perform in Beijing and Shanghai . In October 2003, Riverdance became the largest international production ever to hit China with eleven sell out performances in The Great Hall of the People, Beijing and the National Center for Performing Arts in Shanghai. The spontaneous reaction was uncharacteristic for a Chinese audience with standing ovations at each and every show.
According to Jurek Zhang, general manager of Beijing Joyway Culture & Media Co Ltd, which manages the Riverdance tour in China, the arrival of the Riverdance illustrated China’s growing maturity as a cultural market, aided by the increasingly open rules of recent years that have allowed more international artists and troupes to perform.
“We are glad to see that the Chinese audiences are excited to watch Riverdance. We’ve found that Riverdance has become a phenomenon among both ordinary audiences and professional dance troupes in China,” said Zhang. ”Now that the show has been to China many times, Chinese audiences feel connected to the show.”
In the run up to the 2008 summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Riverdance performed 14 shows in Beijing and Xi’an in celebration of the event.
In 2009, the show was even part of China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala watched by an audience of millions across China.
Riverdance returned to China in winter 2009 /2010 and was the first international, non Chinese show to tour China extensively, playing to a record breaking audience 150,000 people of across 12 cities. In February 2010, the DVD Riverdance live from Beijing was recorded with a live audience in the Beijing Exhibition Centre to celebrate the show’s 15th Anniversary. The most recent China tour was winter 2010/2011, when the show performed in 9 major cities.
In February 2012, the vice president of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping made a special request to see Riverdance during his historic state visit to Ireland. His wish was granted at a special private performance in the O’Reilly Theatre at Belvedere College, Dublin.
“Riverdance is hugely popular. Chinese audiences are often bored by Western theatre productions, shifting in their seats and sending text messages, but they love Riverdance with a passion, and one of the most remarkable sights is watching a Chinese audience stamp their feet and clap as the Riverdance troupe goes through the motions.” www.irishtimes.com
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