‘Riverdance: the Animated Adventure’: Meet Irish dancing in a movie for all generations
January 14th is the day the movie Riverdance: the Animated Adventure premiers on Netflix. Hop on for a mythical adventure, a good laugh, and a valuable lesson.
The movie is an animation, which follows the adventure of Keegan and Moya in the world of Irish mythology, alongside Megaloceros Giganteus, and how they learn an unforgettable lesson about the importance of traditions.
Definitely a family movie, with something each generation will enjoy, it impressed the public by how captivating the storyline gets, its adorable and funny characters, the heartwarming message, and a charming animation style.
Besides all of that, the movie creates an educational environment, by teaching children about grief. The approach to the loss of a loved one is very comforting and presented in a positive manner. It provides guidance regarding such sensitive matters of life, through the eyes of children, which is what makes it so special.
The entire storyline is built around Irish tradition, as almost every scene of the movie incorporates, in a subtle manner, an element of culture. Definitely, the most prominent motif invoked is the tradition of Irish dancing.
In the movie, “Riverdance” is a tradition passed from generation to generation, a way of celebrating both life and death, and a form of bringing and keeping the community close together. There are various dancing and music scenes and everyone can do the Irish dance. Both humans and animals or other forces of nature are brought together by this tradition.
The movie is, of course, inspired by reality. In Ireland, this traditional dance has its origins back to the 1500s and includes various dancing styles that can be performed in groups or solo. The step dance, one of the most popular solo styles of Irish dancing, has gained more attention from 1994 onwards with the show Riverdance.
But, perhaps, the most fascinating and interesting element of Irish dancing showcased in the movie are the Irish dance shoes dancers use to perform. When it comes to Irish dancing, rhythm and foot placement are very important, but it’s all about the shoe.
Irish dance shoes come in two types: soft shoes, also known as ghillies or pumps, and hard shoes. The soft shoes are lace-up shoes, similar to ballet slippers, made of black leather. Female dancers usually wear a specific type of shoe, with a very flexible body that does not make any sounds on the dancing surface.
Male dancers wear “reel” shoes, also made of black leather, but with fiberglass heels that are clicked together while dancing. Hard shoes on the other hand are much bulkier, with fiberglass tips meant to create louder sounds.
The cultural baggage carried by a simple pair of shoes is fantastic and such pieces are not even a hard find! Many Irish manufacturers produce traditional dancing shoes, such as Corr’s Irish Shoes.
Enjoy some music, dance, and laughs by watching Riverdance: the Animated Adventure this weekend and, maybe, even get inspired to start Irish Dancing – you know where you find the shoes!