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Lord of the Dance
She was "The Spirit" in the show and played a flute.
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 –
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 DanceClick thumbnail to view full-size
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
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!