Ireland Calling
Ireland Calling Store

Jean Butler feared dress would undo during first Riverdance

The original star of Riverdance Jean Butler has revealed that she feared that her dress may come undone in a ‘Janet Jackson’ style wardrobe malfunction during the performance that made her a star.

Butler was speaking on a new RTE documentary Insiders: Riverdance to mark the 20th anniversary of the original performance.

Jean Butler and Michael Flatley in Riverdance

An estimated 300 million people were tuned in as Butler and her Irish dance partner Michael Flatley introduced the world to Riverdance. It put Irish dancing on the map and the show became a global phenomenon.

The whole cast looked fantastic and the show was spectacular but just minutes before it all began costume designer Margaret Crosse was frantically pinning Butlers off-the-shoulder dress to make sure it wouldn’t come undone.

Butler said: “I didn’t know if the dress was going to stay on me or fall off me and to complicate matters even further the floor was like an ice skating rink. It was very, very slippery.”

Crosse said: “Jean didn’t really wear the dress for rehearsals because she wanted it to be fresh and new on the night.

“It had fitted her perfectly but now when she did her steps for me the top of it flopped and I could see her boobs. It was a total disaster. I felt it in my stomach. It was the only dress. That was it. I had to get black elastic and two pins and try and secure the top of the dress.

“This was all happening at the side of the stage as they were preparing to go on.

“I ran behind her and pinned her and pulled the elastic through and put a big knot in the back and said ‘It will stay up’. It was like we all had this secret. We knew hiding in the back about the dress but the audience didn’t know.”

Ten years later Janet Jackson suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl half time show. Justin Timberlake accidently pulled off part of Jackson’s clothes to reveal her right breast. The incident caused huge controversy and became known as ‘nipplegate’.

It was even credited with being responsible for the creation of YouTube.

Irish dancingMore on Irish dancing
Is this how Irish dancing really started?
Cork trio perform best Irish dance video of the year
Leading Irish dance choreographer keeps raising the bar
Is there a flash mob of Irish dancers heading to a town near you?
Fantastic Irish dance video from Fusion Fighters
Cutest Irish dancing baby will have you seeing double
Flashmob of Irish dancers stun Sydney Central
Irish dance group wow fans with great new video
Hip hop Irish dance troupe stun America's Got Talent
Irish dancing: go back to basics for our kids' sake
Hip hop Irish dance troupe wows Simon Cowell
Flash mob of Irish dancers stun Portugal
Fake tan ban for Irish dancers?
World champion dancer wows guests at wedding reception
Dozens of Irish dancers wow guests at wedding
Irish dancing across the world video is a YouTube hit
Clever video merges Crip walking with Irish music
Irish cab driver wows YouTube with his dancing
Duelling dancing priests light up YouTube with feet of flames
Try Guys see if they can Irish dance
Flashmob of Irish dancers wow Dublin Airport
Ultimate dance-off as tap takes on Irish
Video - Daniel O'Donnell waltzes to 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling'

Riverdance - where it all began in 1994
Michael Flatley to end career in 'the greatest place on earth'
Michael Flatley: 'Why I wear tuxedo for dinner with my wife'
Animal rights groups want answers from dance star
Makers of Riverdance bring new Irish dance show to America
Riverdance stars joined onstage by TV presenters Ant & Dec
Thrilled students given masterclass by Riverdance stars
Jean Butler feared dress would undo during first Riverdance
Riverdance star's video shows Irish dancing is cool and manly
Irish dancers wow judges at talent show
Flashmob Irish dancing on the streets of Argentina
A video history of Irish dancing throughout the last 70 years
Flash mob of Irish dancers perform all over New York City
Riverdance enthusiasts flock from around the world for crash course
Michael Flatley given rare Broadway honour
Video - world record breaking Riverdance line on the banks of the Liffey in Dublin
Former cast of Lord of the Dance perform at wedding reception

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

XSLT Plugin by Leo Jiang