Interview conducted by Marie-Christine Tayah, Editor-in-Chief
The Innovative Dance Scenery
To understand it, you must feel it. To see it, you must live it. To connect with it, you must be passionate. Lord of the Dance is impressive in its innovation, colossal in its creation, and free in its movements. The folks behind the ultimate Irish musical and dance production answer Lifestyle’s questions in an exclusive interview just before their live tour in Dubai.
Where has the show toured so far?
Lord of the Dance has toured and performed sell out shows in 68 countries worldwide. It has been seen by over 60 million people in stadiums, arenas and theatres across the globe.
How did it feel for Michael Flatley to be the creator, choreographer, producer, and to participate in the show at first, all at the same time? Could he still have an overview over the whole show?
Lord of the Dance was Michael Flatley’s conception and all aspects were his creation. There could be no one else to deliver this to the worldwide audiences other than the world’s most famous dancer responsible for creating this new wave of Celtic dance mania.
How long did it take to put together the first show?
Lord of the Dance was conceptualized and staged in only 16 weeks with its debut performance in 1996, quickly becoming the most popular touring dance production in history.
In what ways does a dance show that plays in stadiums differentiate from the ones that play in traditional theatres?
Lord of the Dance has played in venues all over the world from stadiums and areas to theatres. The strength is the show and its values.
From creation to the audience, what was the key motivator?
The key motivator was to bring to worldwide audiences the traditional Celtic values of dance and music in a format that not only brought these values together but in an entertainment format that could be enjoyed worldwide.
How many hours does it take to train for each and every show?
The dancers rehearse for a minimum of 2 hours a day on stage before each and every show as well as time in rehearsal rooms and whenever possible on tour, as well as the time they spend in their rehearsal rooms, whenever possible on tour, and at the gym, keeping up their fitness.
What was the common ground between Walt Disney world including the performance at the Disney Paris resort in terms of spirit and creation?
It was a wonderful experience to perform at Disney, the home of such long-lasting entertainment. The audiences were able to experience both Disney’s entertainment as well as seeing a world class quality show. The two elements complemented each other.
Within a mixture of folklore and contemporary, does a Lord of the Dance performer have to compromise artistically in order to let go of sharp techniques for the sake of contemporary “letting go” movements?
Irish show dancing encompasses all the values of traditional Irish Dance but then takes it to another level. It is a marriage and certainly not a compromise. All the dancers were top level competition dancers and many are world and national champions. They have auditioned for the show and it always takes a minimum of five weeks of intensive training before they are ready to perform in the show.
Does the movie “Michael Flatley Returns as Lord of the Dance” reflect the spirit of the Lord of the Dance?
A movie can never replace the atmosphere and feeling at being at a live event, but the 3D Lord of the Dance is the closest thing to being at the show.
Do you have any messages to Lifestyle readers?
Lord of the Dance is very proud and feels very privileged to have been invited to perform in Dubai. We hope to see all the Lifestyle readers at the World Trade Center Arena. We guarantee you an evening where we will captivate you with an eclectic blend of dance styles rooted in the traditional form of Irish dance that has evolved for more than 2.000 years. The story is a classic tale of good versus bad based on old Irish folklore. The show comprises twenty-one scenes filled with heart stopping dance, colorful costumes, dramatic music, and elaborate scenic sets.