Susan Granger’s review of “Lord of the Dance 3D”
Even in 3D, the screen is no substitute for the collective experience of being in a theater and appreciating the energetic excitement of international superstar Michael Flatley, along with the extraordinary grace and precise athleticism of his dancing extravaganza, filmed last year in Dublin and London by Marcus Viner, an expert at multi-camera shoots of live music events, filled with dazzling projections and wide-angle pyrotechnics.
Based on Irish folklore, the iconic good-vs.-evil concept revolves around the Lord of the Dance’s fancy, if repetitive, footwork to protect his people from the Dark Lord. Since it premiered in 1996, the stage show has grossed more than $1 billion in its various incarnations in 44 countries around the world.
According to his 2006 autobiography (“Lord of the Dance: My Story”), Michael Ryan Flatley is an Irish-American, born on July 16, 1958, on the South Side of Chicago. He began dancing lessons at 11, studying with Dennis Dennehy, and, in 1975, he became the first non-European to win the All-Ireland World Championship for Irish dance. After touring with Green Fields of America and The Chieftains, he choreographed the original Riverdance, an experience that led to his creation of Lord of the Dance, followed by Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger. In addition to garnering a multitude of dancing honors, Flatley broke his own record for tapping speed in Feb., 1998, by achieving 35 taps per second and has received Guinness Book recognition for being the highest-paid dancer, earning $1,600,000 per week, and for having the highest insurance premium ($40,000,000) placed on a dancer’s legs. Married to dancer Niamh O’Brien with a son, Michael St. James Flatley (born in 2007), he maintains homes in Ireland, London, France, Chicago and Barbados. And last year, he launched The Garden of Music and Memory in Culfadda County Sligo, the Irish village his father left to seek a new life in America.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Lord of the Dance 3D” is celebratory Celtic 6, a performance pic playing limited runs for St. Patrick’s Day.