Riverdance, the thunderous celebration of Irish music, song and dance that has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe, will play five Farewell Performances at Shea's Performing Arts Center "Since 1996, the success of Riverdance in North America has gone beyond our wildest dreams," said producer Moya Doherty. "The fact that the show continues to draw and excite audiences 14 years after its debut in Dublin is a tribute to every dancer, singer, musician, staff and crew member who have dedicated themselves to the show." Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, to date, Riverdance has played over 10,000 performances, been seen live by more than 22 million people in over 350 venues throughout 40 countries across 4 continents. They have traveled well over 600,000 miles (or to the moon and back!), played to a worldwide television audience of 2 billion; sold over 3 million copies of the Grammy Award-winning CD (certified Platinum in the US) and over 10 million videos making it one of the best-selling entertainment videos in the world! Riverdance had its world premiere at the Point Theatre, Dublin, in February 1995, where it opened to unanimous critical acclaim. What began as a seven-minute dance segment on the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest (televised to over 300 million people in Europe) and then quickly turned into a full-scale production has become much more than an international theatrical success. "I believe Riverdance has been basically a pathfinder," said Niall O'Dowd, founder of Irish America Magazine and the Irish Voice newspaper. Along with the peace process in Northern Ireland and the economic miracle in Ireland proper, the show "has been a hugely important part of a transformation of the image of Ireland in the last 20 years." In a flash, Riverdance became Ireland's greatest ambassador and the thirst began. Riverdance changed the face of Irish dance and despite its imitators, has remained on top and was voted the #1 Variety/Family Entertainment Show in the US (1998). There have been many milestones along the way including the distinction of being the largest Western musical to play China; a record-breaking line of 100 Irish dancers mesmerizing 85,000 people at the 2004 Special Olympics in Dublin; a 10th Anniversary celebration at Radio City Music Hall; dancing in Red Square and on the Great Wall of China and much more. Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland in the past decade, nothing can compare to the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance. An innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song, Riverdance draws on Irish traditions and the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music to the present day capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. This extraordinarily unique show features an international company all performing to the magic of Bill Whelan's music.