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The Road to Riverdance HB Bill Whelan

The Road to Riverdance HB By Bill Whelan

The Road to Riverdance HB by Bill Whelan

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The Road to Riverdance by Bill Whelan is a skilfully attuned record of one of Ireland's most famous and influential composers.

The Road to Riverdance HB Summary

The Road to Riverdance HB by Bill Whelan

Riverdance exploded across the stage at Dublin's Point Theatre one spring evening in 1994 during a seven-minute interval of the Eurovision Song Contest hosted by Ireland. It was a watershed moment in the cultural history of a country embracing the future, a confident leap into world music grounded in the footfall of the choreographed kick-line. It was a moment forty-five years in the making for its composer. In this tenderly unfurled memoir Bill Whelan rehearses a lifetime of unconscious preparation as step by step he revisits his past, from with his Barrington Street home in 1950s Limerick, to the forcing ground of University College Dublin and the Law Library during the 1960s, to his attic studio in Ranelagh. Along the way the reader is introduced to people and places in the immersive world of fellow musicians, artists and producers, friends and collaborators, embracing the spectrum of Irish music as it broke boundaries, entering the global slipstream of the 1980s and 1990s. As art and commerce fused, dramas and contending personalities come to view behind the arras of stage, screen and recording desk. Whelan pays tribute to a parade of those who formed his world. He describes the warmth and sustenance of his Limerick childhood, his parents and Denise Quinn, won through assiduous courtship; the McCourts and Jesuit fathers of his early days, the breakthrough with a tempestuous Richard Harris who summoned him to London; Danny Doyle, Shay Healy, Dickie Rock, Planxty, The Dubliners and Stockton's Wing, Noel Pearson, Sean O Riada; working with Jimmy Webb, Leon Uris, The Corrs, Paul McGuinness, Moya Doherty, John McColgan, Jean Butler and Michael Flatley. Written with wry, inimitable Irish humour and insight, Bill Whelan's self deprecation allows us to to see the players in all their glory, vulnerability and idiosyncracy. This fascinating work reveals the nuts, bolts, sheer effort and serendipities that formed the road to Riverdance in his reinvention of the Irish tradition for a modern age. As the show went on to perform to millions worldwide, Whelan was honoured with a 1997 Grammy Award when Riverdance was named the 'Best Musical Show Album.' Richly detailed and illustrated, The Road to Riverdance forms an enduring repository of memory for all concerned with the performing arts.

The Road to Riverdance HB Reviews


About Bill Whelan

Bill Whelan's production and arranging credits include, among others, U2, Van Morrison and Kate Bush. He has also worked extensively in theatre. His adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore had successful runs at London's Old Vic, Melbourne and Sydney and received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. In 1989, he was appointed composer to the W.B. Yeats International Theatre Festival at Dublin's Abbey Theatre, he wrote original music for 15 Yeats's plays. He has also composed scores for films including Lamb starring Liam Neeson and Dancing At Lughnasa starring Meryl Streep. His most famous work, Riverdance, was composed especially for the interval act of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. As a single release, Riverdance spent 18 weeks at No. 1 in the Irish charts and was a Top Ten hit in the UK. Since then it has gone on to play to millions of people world-wide with both the album and video topping the charts around the world. Bill was honoured with a 1997 Grammy Award when the Riverdance record was named the 'Best Musical Show Album'.

Additional information

The Road to Riverdance HB by Bill Whelan
The Lilliput Press Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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