Monday, March 31, 2008

Michael Flately - Lord of the Dance

Finally, went to see the show at Cairo Opera House. Waiting for friends, realised that a show like this is probably as much a social occassion as it is a performance. Cairenes were there, dressed to the nines, so were the expats.

Lord of the Dance is an Irish musical and dance production that was created, choreographed, produced by Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley. He used to be a part of the famous Riverdace show till he parted company with them in 1995 and then concieved this show. The show premeiered in 1996.

The story follows the character "Lord of the Dance" and his fight against the evil dark lord "Don Dorcha" from taking over Planet Ireland. The Lord of the Dance defeats his invasion with a little help from a little spirit. There is also a story with a "love vs lust" theme expressed through dance throughout the show. "Saoirse, the Irish CailĂ­n" fights for the love of the "Lord of the Dance" against the wicked "Morrigan, the Temptress". The stories are based in ancient Irish folklore and a bit of Biblical references.

The music was typically Irish and one associated with tap dancing. It has been oft rumured that the dance is supplemeted by taps-on-tape but if it was, it was not apparent to me.

The dances are broken up by songs and musical numbers. The singer had a nice voice but the songs did not seem very relevant to the plot, but maybe that was because I could not really understand all the words. So to me, they were more a break in the performance rather than advancing the story, though I'm sure they were intended to.

The other dancing break came in the form of a pair of violinists. They were exciting, and wonderful.

Other than that, the dancing was brilliant. The lead dancer was very good, though I thought the Dark Lord Dorcha, brought more passion/ acting to his performance. Plus the conflict between the Lord of the Dance and the Dark Lord was not too well sketched and they relied more on the music than on dance to depict that effectively.

Having said, the whole performance was a treat to watch and the tap dancing excellent. Watching them tap dance effortlessly (at least it seemed so though I'm sure years of practice goes into it), makes you marvel at their co-ordination, precision, sense of rythm and the level of fitness. All in all, def worth a watch!!

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