WATCH: 25 years later, the power of Riverdance feels as strong as ever 1 year ago

WATCH: 25 years later, the power of Riverdance feels as strong as ever

Where were you for the first performance of Riverdance?

30 April 1994.

A Saturday.

Most of Ireland decided to give going out that night a miss, as Ireland was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in the then-named Point Theatre in Dublin.

That year, hosts Gerry Ryan and Cynthia Ní Mhurchú reminded viewers that Ireland had won the two previous contests.

That year, we were reminded that we had won it FIVE times overall, pushing Ireland towards record-breaking territory.

That year, the usual system of telephone voting was done away with, replaced by satellites, becoming the first year that viewers could actually see each country's spokespeople on the screen.

1994 would prove to be a big year for Ireland and the Eurovision, as our entry of 'Rock 'N Roll Kids' by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan would go on to win the competition, making it the third in a row for Ireland, and a record-breaking sixth time overall (we'd win once more in 1996, and our seven wins are still unparalleled).

However, all of that paled in comparison to what would take place during the interval.

The first performance of Riverdance.

During that seven-minute interval, the 4,000 people present at the Point Theatre, as well as the recorded 300 million viewers worldwide, witnessed the birth of a phenomenon.

The show's lead dancers Michael Flatley and Jean Butler took what was previously thought to be a very reserved form of dance, and transformed it into something vibrant, powerful, and emotional.

You can watch the full original performance right here:

Following that final stomp, the thousands in the theatre rose to their feet to give a thunderous standing ovation. People all over Ireland felt an irrepressible swell of pride for what was being generated on the basis of a homegrown art-form. Viewers all over the world were blown away by what they had just witnessed, and the one thing everyone knew was that they wanted more.

Upon seeing the reaction to the piece, husband and wife production team Moya Doherty and John McColgan decided to invest over a million dollars into producing a full-length show, which has since travelled around the world and been performed live in front of millions of people.

Right after that initial performance, the song and music accompanying the performance - titled 'Riverdance',  featuring Anúna and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra - topped the Irish singles charts and stayed there for 18 weeks, a record still unmatched to this day. It is also the second-biggest selling single of all time, after 'Candle In The Wind' by Elton John.

"Just as my life changed with Eurovision 1994," said Moya Doherty, "so the cultural image of Ireland was also transformed. Irish culture, expressed in this case through dance and music, and as part of a wider, cultural awakening, took its place with confidence on the world stage."

It is incredibly difficult to quantify just how profound an impact Riverdance had on Irish culture at the time. It is still an international badge of pride and honour for Ireland, one of the very few examples of something fundamentally Irish that has the full, unparalleled support of the Irish people.

U2, Saoirse Ronan, Robbie Keane, they've all got their nay-sayers.

But for one faithful night in April 1994, all of Ireland came together in support of something they had no idea was coming.

25 years later, the love for Riverdance may have dimmed slightly, but for those who remember that first performance, the memory of that night is as vivid as it ever was.

Where were you for the first performance of Riverdance?