Michael Flatley “in intense rehearsal” for anniversary dance performance on St. Patrick’s Day

MICHAEL FLATLEY hopes to unveil a special 25th anniversary show in London on St. Patrick’s Day 2022.

he popular dancer says these two years have been very difficult for the performing arts industry around the world. He believes the world is now clamoring for the “hope and inspiration” provided by live music, dance and theater.

The wave of Omicron variants – which hit the hospitality and live entertainment industry across the globe just as it braced for the peak Christmas season – has come as the final blow to the already battered industry.

Mr. Flatley – who rose to fame with Riverdance in 1994, launched his own hit show, Lord of dance, two years later.

Now he plans to mark the 25th anniversary of this blockbuster show with a special world tour.

“I’m currently in intense rehearsals for the 25th anniversary show,” he said.


Michael Flatley during a performance of ‘Lord of the Dance’. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Michael Flatley during a performance of ‘Lord of the Dance’. Photo: Brian McEvoy

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years, but we wanted to mark such a special anniversary with a special show.

“This is the best cast that we have had in years and we are just praying that the rules of Covid-19 will allow us to move forward.”

Mr Flatley said the show and the anniversary tour are scheduled to open at the Apollo Theater in London on St. Patrick’s Day, with all proceeds from the evening going to the Ireland Fund charity.

The Chicago-born dance star said that despite the setbacks of Covid-19 in the past 21 months, he wanted to focus on the positive – and the resumption of live entertainment in 2022.

He received the Freedom of London two months ago and also won the Best Actor award at the Monaco Film Festival for his role in the spy thriller. Blackbird.

He also used the year to launch a large-scale charity campaign to raise funds for those working with the homeless in Ireland and the UK.

Mr. Flatley continues to work with Focus Ireland in this regard.

“It has been a tough and difficult time for everyone, but I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of what we also need to be grateful for,” he said.

He acknowledged that the live entertainment industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“It’s been way too long – it’s been going way too long. We have to give people some entertainment. People are desperate to go and see a show. We’re all desperate to go put on these shows.

“My dancers were robbed of more than a year of their life in the prime of their lives.

“It breaks my heart to see so many talented young people not being able to perform when they are at their peak. We have to be able to get them back to work.”

Mr. Flatley contributed to the choreography of Riverdance before launching their own hit shows, first Lord of dance then Feet of Flames and Celtic tiger.

Considered the world’s leading dancer, his feet were once insured for 50 million euros.


Michael Flatley at his home in Castlehyde, County Cork.  Photo: Tony Gavin

Michael Flatley at his home in Castlehyde, County Cork. Photo: Tony Gavin

Michael Flatley at his home in Castlehyde, County Cork. Photo: Tony Gavin

He also spent 30 million euros to restore his north Cork mansion, Castlehyde, to its 18th century glory.

His dance performances have broken records in New York, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Sydney and Johannesburg.

Lord of dance generated so much revenue during his record breaking race in Las Vegas that he was personally honored by the Governor of Nevada.

“The developers went through a very, very difficult time (during the pandemic). A lot of them had to shut down.

“Others are going through a very, very difficult time. I know them and there is goodwill everywhere. Somehow, between all of us, we have to reclaim the entertainment business.”

Flatley said the world affected by the pandemic was in desperate need of the morale booster offered by the arts and cultural events.

“Nothing can be better for the mind than going to listen to live music or watch a live show. It’s inspiring. It’s what we all need.”

James C. Tibbs