The Jig Is Up

Riverdance sells out while the dance world goes hungry.

Or can it? Riverdance's formula is not a Band-Aid for the entire field. As Siegel notes, "Most of what we call art dance isn't popular. It just doesn't command a big mass audience ever, no matter who puts it on or where it is. It doesn't play on a mass scale. I don't necessarily think it should. I don't thinkall art should be all things to all people. We have television for that."

But like all arts, the dance world needs resources to survive. And as Zimmer concludes, "The combination of emerging technology that encourages audiences to stay home and the economic bombshell that the live arts have taken have taken a serious toll on dance." Revitalizing the U.S. dance scene lock, stock, and barrel, will require vision, insight, and probably--if you'll pardon the expression--the luck of the Irish. Competition in the entertainment world is profound (even the music industry is experiencing a downturn) and sometimes it seems that to make a dent you have to make a splash. And Riverdance has done just that.

Riverdance opens Saturday and runs through February 25.

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