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Ireland Unveils “Riverdance at Expo”

The Irish Pavilion, in partnership with Expo Dubai 2020, is excited to announce that Riverdance, the Grammy Award-winning music and dance performance, will take to the stage at Expo 2020 Dubai with a specially curated rendition of the Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show, “Riverdance at Expo”.

The cultural phenomenon of Riverdance, inspired by Irish traditions and heritage, will grace the stage of Jubilee Park and Al Wasl Plaza from the 4 – 27 November. For the first time, the show will comprise of Arabic influences to guarantee a memorable Middle Eastern effect for audiences. UAE residents will also have the once in a lifetime opportunity to audition for a coveted place in the lively cast, and put their dancing skills to the test with regular masterclasses led by the professional Irish dancers.

Riverdance at Expo 2020 Dubai

This year, Riverdance celebrates 25 years of success with a unique 25th Anniversary Show; a stunning reinterpretation of the classic composition which has graced stages across the world from the USA to China. The exclusive show for Expo 2020 Dubai, “Riverdance at Expo”, will build on this new version further with unique musical and theatrical cues to Arabic culture, specially curated for the Middle Eastern audience.

Pat Hennessy, Commissioner General of the Ireland Pavilion at Expo noted:

“Ireland’s theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is Putting Creativity at the Centre of Human Experience with music, art and design at the heart of this theme. Riverdance is a fitting expression of this innate cultural creativity which has garnered Ireland a global reputation for excellence in the arts. We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to Expo 2020 to experience this unique and memorable cultural phenomenon”.

Padraic Moyles, Executive Director of Riverdance noted that:

Riverdance at Expo is something truly spectacular, and we cannot wait for visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai to witness the vibrant performance we’ve worked on over the last few months. We’re so proud to be able to bring Ireland’s most iconic production to the Middle East at Expo 2020 Dubai. We encourage everyone in Dubai to get involved in our exciting competition and masterclasses for a chance to experience traditional Irish culture.”


Committed to bringing the passion and palpable energy of Riverdance to residents of the UAE, and building on important themes of diversity and inclusivity, Riverdance will hold auditions for a coveted place in the cast. Residents with a passion for dance are invited to audition for the chance to train with the professionals in Dubai. The lucky winner will immerse themselves in the Riverdance culture and perfect their skills daily for 25 days straight before joining the cast on stage during the Grand Finale Show on the 27 of November. Auditions are open to anyone aged 16 and above for the chance at becoming the first UAE cast member to join the Riverdance family. 


Over the duration of their Dubai residency, the Riverdance team will host 52 free masterclasses and pop-ups performances at Expo 2020 Dubai at its various stages, as well as Kite Beach Dubai. The professional dancers will lend their skills to guests who wish to get involved and brush up on their Irish dancing. Those who take part in the masterclasses will showcase their skills on 27 November at a must-see flash mob performance in Jubilee Park. Riverdance is aiming to break the current world record of flash mob participants at Expo 2020 Dubai currently standing at 1,667, therefore everyone is encouraged to part with friends and family.

Catch “Riverdance at Expo” from 4th – 27 November at Expo 2020 Dubai, guaranteeing a memorable performance for all visitors who attend the World’s Greatest Show. Don’t miss the chance to see the exclusively orchestrated production, with a Middle Eastern twist.

For more information on the performance schedules and auditions, please visit: or   


Follow up on social media on:

Twitter @Irelandatexpo @riverdance

Instagram @Irelandatexpo- @riverdance




Notes to Editors


About Riverdance:

Originally a 7-minute Eurovision interval act performance that dazzled TV audiences in 1995, Riverdance has become a full-length musical, dance and theatrical performance achieving worldwide acclaim. To date, Riverdance has been performed over 12,160 times and has been seen live by over 27.5 million people in 546 venues worldwide. 

Twenty-five years on from the first time Riverdance the Show premiered at The Point Theatre Dublin, composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his mesmerising soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have completely reimagined the ground-breaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection and stage designs with new costume designs by Joan Bergin, to create Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show.


About Ireland at Expo


Ireland’s Theme

Irelands programme has been developed around a theme - human creativity - that speaks of our history and culture, but also addresses important issues for mankind in the impending age of artificial intelligence and robotics. 

In the Fourth Industrial Age the key skill will be the ability to apply knowledge and expertise in previously unimagined ways: to be creative and inventive, to work collaboratively and experimentally, to think conceptually and imaginatively.

Irelands Expo theme addresses the crucial issue of future competitiveness and also the ethical issue of ensuring fulfilled, purposeful lives in an age when many of today’s skills may be redundant.

Ireland is  expressing this theme through participation in debates and forums at Expo and through a cultural programme built around music, design, literature and creative writing and film.


Music and Creativity

The music programme has been developed in partnership with Ireland’s National Concert Hall.

  • The Irish Songbook will focus on iconic Irish songs. During the 6 months of Expo, these songs will be explored and reinterpreted live at the Ireland Pavilion and other venues, leading to a new album. The Irish Songbook Reimagined, which will be recorded during Expo and released internationally for Saint Patrick’s Day 2022.
  • The Expo Players are drawn from a deep well of young Irish musical talent. They will introduce audiences to Irish music, its history, instruments and stories. They will also create their own interpretations of songs from the Irish songbook.
  • Expo World Choir, Ireland’s Gift of Song to the World, willbring all of the participating nations at Expo together in a special Christmas concert curated by conductor David Brophy.
  • St Patrick’s Day event: Martin Hayes, one of Ireland’s most revered traditional musicians, will lead a specially created new concert exploring Irish music from its roots right through to a highly charged, contemporary rendition. 


Design and Creativity

From the We are the Makers exhibition to the clothes Ireland’s Expo staff will wear to interior design of the pavilion, the Design and Craft Council of Ireland is the principal design partner, showcasing outstanding Irish design.


Literature and Creative Writing

Literature Ireland has undertaken a translation of Seamus Heaney’s ‘100 Poems’ into Arabic to mark Ireland’s participation in Expo Dubai.


Architecture and Creative Learning

The emergence of Irish Architecture onto the world stage will be highlighted in a pavilion exhibition - The Architecture of Creative Learning - showing the globally acclaimed work of leading Irish architects on education projects in Ireland and around the world, from primary to third level.


Film and Creativity

Screen Ireland has provided a portfolio of Irish film, including animation, for screening at Expo. 


Expo - the Business opportunity for Ireland

There will be a strong focus across the six months of Expo on business and enterprise, including:

  • Enterprise Ireland will resume (post-Covid) trade missions to the region, including to WETEX (Water, Energy, Environment Technology Exhibition, Dubai Airshow, and Arab Health - aligning with Expo - bringing Irish companies to the fore creating continual business opportunities throughout Expo.
  • IDA Ireland will present Ireland’s FDI story and proposition in the Ireland pavilion and will have focused communications campaign in the region to coincide with Expo. 
  • Ireland as a great place to study, undertake research, and innovate will be highlighted through seminars, networking events and keynote addresses, led by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS).
  • Bord Bia will showcase the very best of Irish food and drink, including events that will gather top chefs, hotel & restaurant owners, and sectoral influencers. 
  • Tourism focused events and communications initiatives will feature throughout Expo, with a comprehensive programme with Tourism Ireland & Failte Ireland.
  • Irish business will feature in all of the 10 thematic business forums of Expo, and opportunities to engage with international companies during relevant business events within and aligned with Expo, including Arab Health, will be maximised.
  • Ireland’s ‘We are the Makers’ exhibition will show world leading examples of Irish science, innovation and creativity.  
  • The Dubai Irish Business Network (IBN), working with Ireland’s Embassy in UAE, and State Agencies will hold a series of business events throughout Expo, with a focus on opportunities in the region.
  • Ireland’s presence will amplify the importance of technology in the Irish economic success story, and the value proposition of Ireland and Irish companies.