Riverdance. Where does that word take us? The O2 arena? possibly. No doubt it would
be Bill Whelan’s stunning classic that was first performed in 1994 during the interval of the
Eurovision Song Contest springs to mind.
That however is not the riverdance that filled me with wonder and fascination; the one that
I am referring too is the one that performs daily on the River Lung in Co. Roscommon.
Much to my shame it was a sight that I had not experienced before. For generations this
stunning river has offered it’s hospitality to many fish such as the roach, bream, rudd, eel,
trout, perch pike and many breeds of aquatic bugs. The reason for my presence on the
shores of the river, was not to fish, but to paint. I am a member of a local art group and the
theme for our group this particular week was “water” pure, simple and humble.
As I sat down amidst the beauty and splendour of this river the beat of my heart resonated
through the silence. I took out my easel and brushes, then, as if waiting in the wings, the
performance bagan. An orchestral delight of instrumentalists led by the robin, then the
song thrush, then the wren, followed by the chaffinch. A medley of songs unfolded. The
gentle ripple of the river set the tempo as precise as a metronome. Unaware of their
captive audience, the opening dancers took to the stage. The banded damselflies and
dragonflies executed their dance with fine precision. The caddis flies revealed their hidden
talents to perform their leaps and jumps. The warm April sunshine then lured the bees to
take part of this magnificent spectacle of music, song and dance. This breath-taking
execution was not created by man but by nature alone.
Vision is a gift an artist brings to society. My day on the banks of the river Lung brought to
me an unexpected vision of “Riverdance” in its purest unadulterated form.