The Irish hard-shoe sensation Riverdance
underwent its second incarnation with Live from New York City
, a 1996 performance filmed at Radio City Music Hall. The dazzling choreography and energetic score remain, but Michael Flatley was replaced by less-flamboyant Colin Dunne, a superb technician who works well with Flatley's former co-lead, Jean Butler.
About a half-hour longer than the 1995 original, Live from New York City expands upon the second act's theme of the Irish leaving their homeland for other parts of the world. In the most engaging new number, "Trading Taps," a trio of Irish dancers faces off against two urban American tappers. While much of this show will be familiar, it's different enough to be enjoyed on its own terms. It's also more stylishly shot, but that's also its biggest drawback--frenetic editing that allows only brief glimpses of the dancers and leaves the viewer dizzy. --David Horiuchi
The DVD offers a minimally informative 11-minute promotional video consisting mostly of performance clips and a text version of the story, numerous text biographies of the performers (including instrumentalists), Dolby Digital 5.0 and 2.0 sound, and an anamorphic widescreen picture. Inconveniently, the disc is two-sided, with one act on each side. --David Horiuchi