‘Riverdance is a powerful expression of Irishness’ – dancers line up at Samuel Beckett Bridge for cancer ahead of summer run

Riverdance announces Childhood Cancer Ireland as charity partner

More than twenty members of Riverdance performed a show on the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin this morning, ahead of their highly anticipated summer run.

Each year Riverdance announces which charity it will be working with throughout the season – and this year it has chosen Childhood Cancer Ireland.

By 11am, a unique show of gossamer blues and greens greeted passersby to mark the announcement.

Patricia McColgan, sister of Riverdance director John McColgan, whose son was diagnosed with cancer as a child, said: “It’s just amazing. Riverdance is such a powerful, hopeful expression of Irishness. It is a wonderful opportunity for our children to be involved. Some of them have been through some very difficult times and it is a fantastic celebration for them to take center stage.”

Ms McColgan added that she felt both proud and privileged to be associated with Riverdance and its ability to be positive while raising awareness of the challenges faced by children with cancer. She drew attention to the standard of treatment in Ireland which is generally high, but said it still does not meet some needs after treatment has ended.

She also emphasized the importance of dispelling the idea that recovery means immobility. “Even if children are undergoing treatment, physical activity is useful. It’s great to make that connection,” she says.

The highly anticipated Riverdance summer run kicks off on Wednesday 5 June and promises to empower young people and their families at all stages of diagnosis, treatment and remission. The culmination of this collaboration will take place on June 20, with a 12-hour Riverdanceathon for the Gaiety Theater.

All money raised will go to Childhood Cancer Ireland and the show’s finale is a chance for children and loved ones to join the group during the finale.

Anna Mai Fitzpatrick, member of the Riverdance group, said: “I think this collaboration will touch the hearts of many people.

“I think everyone can resonate with it in some way. Whether they have lost a loved one to cancer or not, they will know someone who has sadly lost someone to cancer.

“We represent Ireland here and abroad when we tour. We feel that when we travel the world. We are fortunate that people associate Riverdance with the wider music and culture of Ireland.”

Riverdance runs at the Gaiety Theater from June 5 to September 8, with a sensory-friendly show on June 23.

All proceeds go to Childhood Cancer Ireland.