Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Riverdance and Blue Man Group

I know it sounds odd, but after seeing Riverdance on Tuesday and Blue Man Group on Saturday, I'm struck by how a celtic dance show and a alternative rock performance are telling a similar story about the human need to be unique and to belong.

Riverdance tells the story of the Irish/Scottish immigrants struggle to survive cultural genocide by the British and starvation during the potatoe famine by sailing to the new world enslaved to the British. It tells of their fight for freedom, for opportunity, for acceptance in America.

Blue Man Group's show "How to be a mega-rock star, 2.1" pokes fun at the American Idol/Guitar Hero phenomenon. The three men in blue makeup and black suits watch and learn the basics of rock-star poses, music and light-show affects along with the audience. Behind the group, however, is a video that shows ordinary people in office cubicles longing to belong and 'be stars' in their own lives.

Both shows were colorful, entertaining, beautiful, funny, and poignant. Both showed that people are still trying to better themselves whether it's by finding a new place on the earth or on the video screen. Both showed the enduring human need for acceptance whether it's based on native culture or popular culture.

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