The Lord of the Dance will be taking his last bow on one of the most sought after venues for professional entertainers- the Broadway stage. Michael Flatley, who charmed the world with his fancy footwork and mesmerizing stage presence, has announced that he will be retiring from professional dance after his highly acclaimed show “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” makes its Broadway debut during its 8 week run over the holidays at the famous Lyric Theater.
“Dangerous Games” has been well received in London, where it played to sold-out crowds, thanks to its unique combination of acrobatics, special effects, and the best of the best in Irish dance. While a majority of the show is lead by Flatley’s protégés, Flatly himself will appear in the show’s finale, and will continue to direct and do choreography for the show after retiring from performing. For a glimpse of the show, check out the clip below:
Flatley single handedly changed the face of Irish dance in the 1990s when he brought new energy and life into traditional step dancing through his creation of the sensational style of dance known as Riverdance. The Riverdance phenomenon, which later developed into Lord of the Dance, has taken the world by storm over the past few decades, and continues to be a great source of culture and entertainment throughout the world. In an interview with the New York Times, Flatley, who is 57, discussed the abuse his body has taken over the years by performing the intense style of dance, and said that it is the “icing on the cake to end with Broadway.”
But his lifetime accomplishments, incredible wealth, and fame almost never happened. Despite being the son and grandson of champion Irish dancers, Flatley didn’t start taking lessons until he was 11 years old, and was almost turned away because he was seen as being too old by the teacher. His persistence paid off, and Flatley excelled and went on to open his own dance school prior to making the jump to being a performer.
It is impossible to say how much influence the Lord of the Dance has had on the popularity of Irish dance here in the U.S., and the enrollment of students around the country who seek to follow in his footsteps. However it is not a stretch to say that the masses are grateful for the extreme impact his art has had on the world of Irish dance.
Can you remember the first time you saw the theatrics of Riverdance?