THE iconic clack was deafening as boots struck the sprung floor in sync at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre, with an excited crowd clapping and pulling.
The Riverdance troupe's dancers danced and spun in perfect time to break their finals, still overflowing for two hours of energy.
I had been awestruck for a long time, lost on stage in the mesmerizing choreography and sheer talent-not just the dance, but also the professional musicians and exquisite ethereal singing.
As the curtain dropped, a daring thought came to me: that was the best theatre performance I've ever seen.
Even now, after the night's electricity has faded, I don't remember having so thoroughly enjoyed a production.
The show that made Irish dancing worldwide famous is Riverdance.
First recorded at the end of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in April 1994 was the original seven-minute version.
About 300 million people were watching around the world, and the following year's success led to the first stage show in Dublin.
There were a world tour and numerous honours, including a Grammy for the Riverdance album by composer Bill Whelan.
In 1995, lead dancer Michael Flatley broke ties with the series and went on to create his own Lord of the Dance production, but the popularity of Riverdance also snowballed.
The audiences ranged from Pope Francis to Prince Charles and the show remained largely unchanged-so far.
Next year's 25th-anniversary show will go on tour, and it's coming to the New Theater in March at Oxford.
While the choreography will be consistent with what fans are familiar with, it will update the visual backdrops on the stage.
Production 2020 is being advertised as a' powerful and stirring reinvention of the show' with more spectacular designs for lighting, projection, stage and costume.
I was confused about the improvements, having been so taken by the original performance.
Nonetheless, a sneak preview of rehearsals showed that the Riverdance reimagined would be even better than before.
The new backdrops provide a more immersive experience for the audience, rather than detracting from the dancers.
The plot and events remain unchanged, portraying the history of Ireland and praising creation, illustrating powerful forces from rivers to thunderstorms.
A solo artist strikes an elegant profile in a sun-inspired scene in a fiery, flamenco-like style.
Dance-focused acts like that are interjected with chillingly good performances by musicians on stage, including the uilleann pipes ' unmistakably' Irish' sound.
Child prodigy Haley Richardson, with her exuberant solo on the fiddle, captivated the audience, an incredible feat just 17 years old.
Another of my favourite acts was a quick-footed' dance-off' between two competing street dancers pairs that infused some humour into the choreography.
Before the show, I was told that once a record-breaking Irish dancer was recorded tapping 38 times in a second.
I nodded and smiled, confident that he was wrong with that fact-my knowledge of Irish dancing was, of course, limited to Ed Sheeran music videos and a few TV talent contest auditions.
I can only believe it after seeing the amazing pace for myself, and no scene reveals it better than the dance-off.
When the troupe gets together on stage, the real magic happens, flicking their arms and stomping in perfect unison on the cement.
Tags : Riverdance 25th years, Prince Charles, mesmerizing choreography, Pope Francis, dancer Michael Flatley ,