Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show


Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show
Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show

Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show


Dublin, Ireland, 2014 – Marking its 20th anniversary, the internationally acclaimed Irish performance, Riverdance, has joined forces with Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin to announce ‘The Riverdance-Trinity International Summer School’.

Participants will travel to Trinity from all over the world to learn from special guest tutors on aspects of the performance, choreography and the Irish cultural context. They will also examine the development of the music from its ethnic roots through to its Grammy Award-winning success.   The international summer school will be hosted by Trinity’s School of Drama, Film and Music, The Lir − Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

“This is an innovative coming together of culture and higher education, where international participants will gain insight into the award winning performance that has contributed to the re-shaping of Irish cultural heritage.  Trinity is delighted to host the international summer school, where our global participants will be provided with a deep understanding of one of Ireland’s great success stories and cultural milestones,” said Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity.

The summer school’s seminars and workshops will provide the theatrical, historical, social and cultural contexts of Riverdance, its emergence from the Eurovision Song Contest where it was first performed in 1994 to its global success. It will also provide an overview of the use of popular culture in the construction of a national success narrative for Ireland. Seminars will include guest speakers such as the show’s producer, Moya Doherty and director, John McColgan, costume and set designers, Joan Bergin and Robert Ballagh, and Professor of Drama and Theatre at Trinity, Brian Singleton.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music will host the musical component of the summer school, including a master class with Riverdance score composer Bill Whelan, as well as practical workshops with the show’s percussionists who will explore the relationship between the rhythm of music and the rhythm of dance.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Trinity, Ireland’s auspicious seat of learning and the leading cultural institutions, The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in this summer school.  Twenty years on, the journey that is Riverdance continues, and with the aid of our prestigious collaborators we hope to share some of the knowledge that we have gathered along the way with our international participants,” said  Moya Doherty, Riverdance producer.

The Riverdance – Trinity International Summer School will take place in August 11th-22nd, 2014 and prospective participants are currently being invited to apply. There are 45 places available. Application details will be made available on the Lir website shortly.

Notes to Editor:

Trinity College Dublin

Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, is situated in an historic campus at the heart of Ireland’s capital city, Dublin. Many of its alumni have helped shape history and include two Nobel prize winners – Ernest Walton for physics and Samuel Beckett for literature. Today, Trinity College Dublin offers a multicultural environment with 16, 646 students from 122 countries. It is recognised internationally as Ireland’s premier university. Cutting- edge research, technology and innovation places the university at the forefront of higher education in Ireland and globally.  It encompasses all major academic disciplines, and is committed to world-class teaching and research across the range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social and health sciences.   Trinity is Ireland’s leading university across all international rankings, and is ranked 61st globally in 2013 QS World University Ranking  www.tcd.ie.


Riverdance was first performed 20 years ago in May 1994  as the interval Act in the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin before being developed into a full length stage show with Grammy winning music and lyrics by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan,  With its fusion of Irish and international music and dance, the show has broken box-office records all around the world and has now been performed over 11,000 times in 46 countries to a live audience of over 24 million.   The most popular western show in China, Riverdance has three companies playing around the globe and in 2014 for its 20th anniversary tour Riverdance will have over 1 million tickets on sale in theatres and arenas from Limerick to Leipzig to Lanzhou.

The Lir − Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art

The Lir − Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin is the first academy in Ireland to offer conservatoire style training to theatre practitioners including actors, directors, playwrights as well as stage managers and theatre technicians.  It is formally associated with the world renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  It was developed by the partnership of the Cathal Ryan Trust and Trinity College Dublin. The Lir has sourced highly acclaimed Irish and international directors, producers, voice coaches, movement tutors, playwrights, singing coaches and designers to work with students and offers the ideal environment to nourish talent.

Royal Irish Academy of Music

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) is Ireland’s leading music conservatoire. A home of musical excellence and dynamism, The RIAM maintains the highest standards of performance and appreciation in all musical disciplines. Founded in 1848 the RIAM is Ireland’s oldest musical institution.  Its teachers include many international and national prizewinners, members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert orchestra and individuals whose names have become synonymous with music education in Ireland. As an associate college of Trinity College, Dublin, the RIAM’s reputation has grown worldwide and is known as an institution which offers the finest Irish musical training to students from all corners of the world.


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