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Michael Flatley  

Choreographer, Producer, And Director of "Lord of the Dance"

Michael Flatley’s path to stardom proves what the human spirit can accomplish when relentless drive and determination converge with dreams. His long and arduous journey from construction worker on Chicago’s South Side to one of the world’s most accomplished and innovative artists alive today is an inspiration to all who face overwhelming obstacles and challenges along the road to success.

Dance was in his blood. Though Michael was born and raised in the United States, he often visited family in Ireland . His mother and his maternal grandmother, Hannah Ryan, were both champion Irish dancers. Hannah taught Michael his first few steps at the age of four and always encouraged him to follow his heart and his dreams. Years later, when these dreams became reality, an empty front row seat at every show marked his silent tribute to the late grandmother he so adored.

Riverdance was born April 30, 1994—the culmination of everything Michael had been striving to perfect through all his years of touring. That seven-minute breath of fresh air simultaneously electrified thousands at the Point Theatre in Dublin and a television audience of millions. The surge of energy released by the fusion of Ireland’s history and Michael’s vision propelled Irish dance into worldwide attention and made Michael Flatley a star overnight. In an effort to satisfy the international clamor for more, the original centerpiece was further developed into a full-length show. It opened to critical acclaim at Dublin’s Point Theatre in February of 1995 and continued on to a successful London run. But by October fate took a hand and Michael left the show amid great controversy.

Michael’s sudden, unexpected departure from Riverdance presented him with a choice that would alter the entire course of his career. He could keep the money he had earned and go home to probable anonymity, or redefine his future. His choice became apparent when just 11 days after leaving that show he began choreographing, producing, and directing his own production, Lord of the Dance—a venture for which he risked all his personal financial resources.

Michael’s achievements and awards are countless, including entries in the Guinness Book of World Records for tap dancing speed, highest paid dancer, and highest insurance premium placed on a dancer’s legs – a mind-boggling $40,000,000. He exceeded his first tap speed record of 28 taps per second, set in 1989, by executing a phenomenal speed of 35 taps per second in 1998 at the age of 39.

On July 9, 2005 in Budapest, Hungary Michael unveiled Celtic Tiger, his most controversial and innovative production yet. Celtic Tiger, an epic masterpiece that fuses the spirit and history of Ireland with music and dance is the fulfillment of a life-long ambition, showcasing Irish dance as a dynamic, powerful art form. Celtic Tiger premiered in the US on September 27, 2005 at Madison Square Garden where Michael and his troupe gave the audience a stunning performance that received five standing ovations and many great reviews.

Michael’s unprecedented career as a creator, dancer, choreographer, and producer is proof positive of his “follow your dreams” philosophy. One of his most fulfilling achievements is paving the way for young Irish dancers to have the opportunity to make a living doing “what they love to do”. His ardent resolve has opened the door for future generations and provided a viable foundation upon which they can build and showcase their talents.

Michael is committed to his art and to bringing his audiences, “the world’s greatest dance show”. Through his company, Unicorn Entertainment Inc., Michael is planning many exciting new projects including movies and television.

Michael himself would say,

“Fasten your seatbelts.”


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Michael Flatley to make Broadway debut _ and then retire - Yahoo ...

NEW YORK (AP) — Former "Riverdance" star Michael Flatley, who helped spark a worldwide Celtic dance craze, will make his long-awaited Broadway stage ...

Irish dance star Michael Flatley gets a rare Broadway honor - Yahoo ...

From Yahoo News: NEW YORK (AP) — Few performers making their Broadway debuts get a street on Broadway renamed in their honor. Michael Flatley is an ...

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