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Lord of the Dance

Updated on June 12, 2015

She was "The Spirit" in the show and played a flute.

 "Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with "The Spirit".
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with "The Spirit". | Source

Michael Flatley

Irish dancer Michael Flatley
Irish dancer Michael Flatley | Source

Birth, heritage and other facts: Sidebar info

Michael Ryan Flatley was born on July 16, 1958 and he is an Irish-American. He is a dancer from Ireland who also became a choreographer a musician and every so often he is a television show presenter. He became known everywhere for his Irish dance presentations Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger.

Michael Flatley's early life:

He is from the South Side of Chicago. He is of Irish-American background because he was born from Irish parents. At 12 years old he undertook his dancing lessons. He also won the World Championship for Irish Dance as the first non-European resident, which was in 1975. Besides being trained as a beginner in boxing he is a talented flautist, he has won the All-Ireland completion twice. Dennis Dennehy* who owned the School of Irish Dance in Chicago, taught Flatley and then went on to direct and present his own show. Flatley opened a dance school after he graduated from Brother Rice High School which was on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

The life and death of Michael Flatley's teacher:

*Dennis G. Dennehy lived 1939-2013 - He was the youngest of seven who all came from Irish immigrants. He was in his teens when he walked into a dance studio in Chicago and began taking lessons in Irish dance.

His daughter Kathleen explained how because his moves were strong and rythmic he had a very masculine dancing style.

For over a half-century, being co-founder, - with his wife Margie - of the Dennehy School of Irish Dance, it was first open on the South Side and some time after that in other locations.

He passed away on January 6, 2013, which was a Sunday when he was 73. The end of his life took place at International Nursing and Rehab in Chicago. Mr. Dennehy's death was due to problems associated with his surgery for knee replacement over a year ago. He was an inhabitant at Oak Lawn for quite a while.






Tim O'Hare was also a founder of an Irish dance school in Chicago


** Continued in text capsule below quote 'callout' capsule.**


"Growing up in Detroit, I didn't have the opportunity to dance for the Dennehy school, but we heard story after story about the Dennehys," said Tim O'Hare, "To us, they were Irish dancing royalty."

— Tim O'Hare

Dennis Dennehys departure into the afterworld (cont.)

Continue from text capsule above:

Michael Flatley, formerly being a Southwest Side resident, was one of Dennis' star pupils. Flatley's fame was "Lord of the Dance" and he was the first non-European to win the World Championship in Irish Dance.

Dennehys daughter mentioned that Flatley had come to them when he (Michael) was about 12; but even though he was quite older than the other students her father knew immediately that he was extraordinary. Her father said, "Watch him win the world titile some day."

(Dennis Dennehy's biography information from: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-20/news/ct-met-dennis-dennehy-obit-20130120_1_irish-dance-dennehy-school-michael-flatley)


Early career –

He was touring with Green Fields of America, during 1978-1979, and also with The Chieftains in the 1980’s.

In 1988, he earned the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship. Michael set a tapping speed of 28 taps per second in May, 1989, making the Guinness world record book. National Geographic named him one of Society’s Living Treasures for mastery of a traditional art form by a living person, this was in 1991 – he was the youngest person at that time ever to earn this honor.

Some of the cast in Lord of the Dance

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts"."Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with dancing girls. "Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with "The Spirit".
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts".
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts". | Source
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with dancing girls.
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with dancing girls. | Source
 "Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with "The Spirit".
"Lord of the Dance" show of Michael Flatley, part 1 "Cry Of The Celts" with "The Spirit". | Source

Riverdance - opening scene

Final act of Riverdance

Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and beyond –

He designed and composed the original Riverdance and led the production to fantastic accomplishment as the intermission act in the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. He then starred in the entire presentation that was grown from the seven-minute number.

Flatley left Riverdance near the end of 1995, following the show’s opening run in London, due to problems over creative control. Then he created, supervised and choreographed Lord of the Dance, which was showing mainly in arenas and stadiums rather than theaters. He also composed a dance presentation and called it Feet of Flames which was in 1998. Not long after, he went on to present another version of that show with about 50% different numbers than the 1998 show. Renaming it Feet of Flames: The Victory Tour, he journeyed Europe in 2000 and then the US in 2001. Flatley also created the production “Heart Beat of Home”.

In February of 1998 he broke his own record – which he had set back in May of 1989. Back then he had set a record of 28 taps per second but he beat it by accomplishing 35 taps per second. Guinness Book acknowledged in 1999 and 2000 that he was the highest paid dancer, earning $1,600,000 per week, and also had the highest insurance policy placed on a dancer’s legs at $40,000,000.

It was December of 2001 that Michael received the first of the Irish Dancing Commission Fellowship awards – it is an Irish Dance honorary degree – and at the same time he was made a Fellow of the American Irish Dance Teachers’ Association. He was named Irish American of the Year in March 2003 by Irish America magazine. The University College Dublin gave him an honorary doctorate degree, he also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York in that same year.

TV/video version acts

Act 1: 1 Cry of the Celts 2 Erin the Goddess 3 Celtic Dream 4 The Warriors

5 Gypsy 6 Strings of Fire 7 Breakout 8 Warlords 9 Erin the Goddess

10 The Lord of the Dance


Act 2: 1 Dangerous Game 2 Hell's Kitchen 3 Fiery Nights 4 The Lament 5 Siamsa

6 She Moves Through the Fair 7 Stolen Kiss 8 Nightmare 9 The Duel 10 Victory

11 Planet Ireland

Strings of Fire (Two of the Celtic Women.)

TV bio about Lord of the Dance


'Lord of the Dance' was filmed in Dublin, Ireland in a theater named the Point Theatre. This play/movie takes the Irish form of dancing to grand tried and true heights. Anne Dudley conducted and orchestrated it, the moving and first rate music was by Ronan Hardiman and stimulating dance starring the “out of this world” Michael Flatley; with supporting characters Bernadette Flynn, Daire Nolan, Gillian Norris, Helen Egan and Anne Buckley. Lord of the Dance is a unique and fascinating experience.

Michael Flatley devours the stage in a number one Celtic dance so great he re-tells it to Irish folk legend in a bright and converted style.

There was a time which had stopped and Erin was goddess of all…join us for that time. The tales had all been composed and each had learned their roles. Only the age-old families, sitting in their stone circles, heard stuttering and the spirits vision was irritated. A new evil force had surfaced to test the Lord of the Dance.

Anne Buckley - Erin the Goddess

Show finale

My thoughts on the TV show

I have recently watched a favorite video of mine - “Lord of the Dance”. I have seen that a few times because it is a favorite of mine (besides which, I have it at home on video tape), but I enjoy watching it due to it being so entertaining.

I like it when the woman (Erin the Goddess) comes out by herself on stage and sings in Irish. I enjoy listening to the two Celtic Women play their violins/fiddles (Strings of Fire) - faster and faster. I can never figure out if that is just the number or if they are dueling each other.

It is also neat when the woman with the dark hair and the red dress comes onto stage to dance solo.

The above video with Flatley in it was the end to the show, but it went on for about 5-10 minutes!

Lord of the Dance


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    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Thank you very much for compliments and votes. :) He is one of my favorite dancers also and after watching the tape several times I became curious. Then I researched and found out all of the rest. You are very welcome for it and I am glad that you enjoyed it.

      Kevin - I hope that you have a nice week.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

      This is quite an article, my friend. Extremely well written and detailed...and of course it deals with one of my favorite dancers! I had no idea Michael Flatley had done so much or earned so much! His work reminds me in a way of Rudolph Nureyev because of his grace and beauty when dancing. Thanks for this one...I enjoyed every minute. Voted up!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      You are welcome Randall. I am glad that you liked it. By suggesting one over the other, do you mean one of the shows by Michael Flatley? Or one of the places which his play was in? I have only seen the video at home. It is on video, CD (probably DVD) and it has been on TV.

      I appreciate your reading it.

      Kevin

    • RandallJonas profile image

      Randall Jonas 3 years ago from Canada

      Thank-you! It peaked my curiosity and now I will go and have a look at one. Do you suggest one over the other?

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Hello Nadine, thank you for reading and what you said about it. I never saw the original Lord of the Dance, only the tape I have at home. I never saw it on TV either, it is a pre-recorded tape. Yes, they are talented. I recently read a Hub about Riverdance and I saw dances which reminded me of Lord of the Dance. I am also grateful for your votes, thank you. :-)

      Kevin - Have a nice weekend!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What an entertaining hub. I saw the original Riverdance on TV during the intermission act in the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. I was hooked! The whole music and dance scene took my on a dream journey of a past life! What talented artists and dancers. Voted up!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      You are welcome Deb, thank you for taking the time to read it and leaving your reply. I only see it on my V-8.

      Have a nice weekend.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That sure is pretty impressive material. Thanks for giving me the chance to see it.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Good for you, I am glad that you liked the show. All I have is the video but I still think its great! Thank you for your remarks Lady Guinevere. Have a nice day.

      Kevin

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I saw that and loved it! Thanks for the review and the videos.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Hi Suzanne,

      I have entered two Riverdance videos into the 'Lord of the Dance' Hub.

      Kevin

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I been waiting for you on here, lol. I figured that you liked it, but I knew I could have been wrong.

      I really appreciate your votes and sharing.

      Kevin

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      I am a great fan of this amazing and talented artist. I watched a programme following hi life not log ago and remember every single detail. Thank you Kevin for this great tribute and this has to be one of my favourites. Voting up, across, and sharing.

      Eddy.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Hi again Suzanne, I may look for other videos to add, especially Riverdance. I will try to get longer ones also. I also love the music from Strings of Fire because I have always enjoyed the Celtic Women.

      Yes, I can see on my video (at home) in the finale when Flatley wears that open shirt that he IS sweating, but smiling, dancing and loving it.

      Thank you again for your votes.

      Kevin

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Hi again Kevin, have come back with my cuppa to watch Riverdance (finally, after many years of trying to get around to it!). Watched a few vids of yours. I liked the music from the Strings of Fire one but not so much in the Michael Flatley one....I preferred the tapdancing in that. It would have been quite an experience to be in the audience for that production, but after watching the Michael Flatley video, I think it would have been rather hot for him to work under those lights! I have added an "up" to my vote too.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Okay.

      Kevin

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I thought I'd like to watch it rather than listen...I see the video in your hub (sorry have a blind "video" eye in hubs), so it looks like after my work this evening I might come visit with a cuppa and enjoy! Thank you very much.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I have the video but I figured that you would want the CD version.

      Kevin

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      No worries Kevin, I did want to see it, but life got in the way. Will have to hunt down a DVD or video of it...

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I may be wrong, but it probably is not on stage anymore. The cast has most likely split up. You can see it on CD (and maybe DVD) these days. He did have expensive legs - and fast! Thank you for your vote.

      Kevin

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I haven't seen Lord of the Dance yet, but your hub was very interesting, especially about Flatley's insurance policy for his legs! Voted interesting ;)

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I am glad that you enjoyed it Shyron, and I am happy that it brought back those memories. :-)

      Thank you for your votes and share.

      I used to play a recorder (I could not afford a flute). lol

      Kevin

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      I really enjoyed reading about Michael and the videos, which brought back memories of my mother who played the violin.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I only saw this one John. Thank you for what you thought of my Hub and your votes. :-)

      Kevin

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very entertaining hub Kevin. I enjoyed Riverdance and Lord of the Dance as well. Flatley was very talented as were the other dancers and performers. Voted up.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I am glad that I got your approval Frank, LOL, I love that show!

      Kevin

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      I'm not too big on anything dance, but Examiner you did justice here voted ..well... entertaining Yeah? LOL

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I thank you too Kim. I am glad that you liked it.

      Kevin

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Aaah...SO beautiful. Thank You. V++++

      kim

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I am happy that you enjoyed it Faith and I am very pleased with your votes.

      You have a nice weekend too!

      Kevin

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful hub, Kevin. I truly enjoyed reading it and watching the videos as well. I love to watch dancers performing.

      Great presentation here.

      Voted up ++++ and away

      Have a great weekend ahead

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Ruby for your share and comments. I guess when you had a chance to see it was when it was in a theater. I know that it is not as good but you can get it on CD these days. I only have the video which has been formatted for TV.

      Kevin

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This was really an enjoyable read. I love watching the dancers. The videos were good too. I had a chance to see them in Evansville, In., which is only 50 miles from my home, i didn't go and i regret it. I probably won't get another chance. Great hub. Well presented. Shared on twitter.