Five years ago, I was supposed to go to Hong Kong to watch my most favourite show in the world: Riverdance. I was 11 or 12 when I first promised to see them live, but never got the chance. Five years ago, they were in Hong Kong for the first time, the nearest they could ever get to Manila, and I missed it. Life happened, dad passed away, and I was broke.
Fortunately, exactly 3 months ago today, I finally made my way to Hong Kong to see them on their second trip to the city. Best bloody plane ticket I had ever bought. Seeing the guys live for the very first time was amazing beyond my wildest dreams. I cried at the beginning, I cried at the middle, and I sure cried at the end. Three months later, I can still picture everything in my head and it still brings tears to my eyes. One life goal accomplished and I will remember it for ever.
As if the Fates had not already blessed me enough that day (and thank you ever so much, ladies, for doing so), I also got to meet John McColgan by chance right after the show. Wow. Of all places to be in that night, he was there in the same one I was in. BLEW MY MIND TO BITS. We had a chat, he signed my ticket, and he forgot to give back my pen. I was screaming for hours after; I just couldn’t believe it. He also shook my hand so tight that I had to take a picture for posterity:
I also got to talk to one of the dancers, Tom Brosnan — a handsome, talented chap — who was ever so kind to entertain my wide-eyed geekery:
Coincidentally — and I just realised this now — it also happens to be Riverdance’s 21st anniversary today:
Riverdance was first performed during the 7-minute interval of the Eurovision Song Contest 1994 at the Point Theatre, Dublin on 30 April 1994. It received a standing ovation. Later that year, the BBC commissioned a repeat performance of the act for the 1994 Royal Variety Show, when it was introduced on stage by Sir Terry Wogan. At Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest and Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits events, it was named as one of the most popular interval acts in the history of the contest.
Here’s to twenty more years, Riverdance! Do wait until I get my hands on actual hard shoes, so I can audition! (Why was I ever born in a country where Irish dancing shoes aren’t available?!)