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Some of the best and some bits edited to death
on 8 October 2006
It would be unfair to judge this DVD too harshly just because it's not what I expected. If you purchased a CD entitled 'The Best of Eric Clapton' or 'The Best of Pink Floyd', you'd expect to get a fine selection of their best songs - whole songs, probably from a variety of concerts. That was the sort of thing I was hoping for from this DVD: a simple collection of the best performances spliced seamlessly together in sequence to give the impression of a pleasingly coherent whole. There are a few sections where we're treated to a whole dance and I enjoyed those very much. However, an unbelievable amount of savage butchery was carried out on too many of the dances, making them seem terribly disjointed. In these sections we see a few seconds of a group dancing on say, a brightly lit stage wearing green dresses in one country, then it suddenly changes to a group performing a different dance (or possibly a different part of the same dance) to the same music, wearing red dresses on a darkly lit stage in another country, then it quickly changes again, and so on. This is so horribly disorientating that I stopped watching until the dance finished and the next nice, smooth, unmangled dance was shown. And in addition to this awful jerky presentation, the dances and songs were interspersed with sections where a lady stands or walks about talking to the camera, explaining what the next bit will be about. I wish they'd included a printed programme in the DVD box instead of subjecting us to these constant annoying interruptions. If only I'd known what to expect, I might have enjoyed it more. It's almost like buying what you expect to be a concert and discovering when you get it home that you've accidentally bought a documentary about the concert instead. There's enough on this DVD to make me want more than ever to see an entire, unmutilated and uninterrupted performance of Riverdance. Most of the parts that the editing hackers left unscathed are truly wonderful. So my recommendation to anyone wishing to buy a DVD of Riverdance is, try to get a version that's unadulterated and entire. I see that there are other DVD versions of Riverdance for sale here at Amazon. But if you want a documentary and a montage of Riverdance, this DVD will probably suit you well enough.