Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Riverdance record set in Dublin

Jean Butler and Padraic Moyles lead the cast of Riverdance on Samuel Beckett Bridge

Irish dancers have set a world record for the largest performance of the Riverdance spectacle.

A troupe of more than 2,000 people from 163 dance schools in 44 countries gathered in a snaking line along the banks of the River Liffey in central Dublin for the attempt. The previous record of 652 people dancing in a continuous line was held by Nashville, Tennessee in the US.

Dancers from as far away as Mexico, Uzbekistan and Japan taking part in the Dublin performance were led by New Yorker Jean Butler, the lead dancer in the first ever show of Riverdance in 1994.

The record attempt was organised as part of The Gathering, a year-long tourism drive to entice people around the world with Irish links to visit the country.

"I am delighted to have had the opportunity to celebrate The Gathering through Irish dance with thousands of people over the course of this weekend," Ms Butler said.

"Riverdance has played a big role in my life but it has also played a big part in bringing the joy of Irish dance and music to many people throughout the world."

The exact number of dancers who lined the Liffey around the Samuel Beckett Bridge will be verified by Guinness World Records. More than 2,800 dancers had been named to take part.

The final tally for dancers in a line performing Riverdance was 1,693. Rules state that for a new record to be set in the Guinness World Records the single line of dancers must perform continuously for five minutes.

A spokeswoman for the organisers said more than 2,000 people were on the streets dancing but invigilators could only process the 1,693 in time for the record attempt.

"We had to be off the bridge by 12.30pm, so that's as many as we got through the turnstiles and verified by Guinness World Records," she said.

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