Palace Theatre Manchester celebrates 25 years of Lord of the Dance
By Jay Darcy
Michael Flatley first found fame starring in Lord of the Dance – which celebrated its 25th anniversary back in 2020. A theatrical show that consists mainly of traditional Irish music and dance, it originated as an interval performance act during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, featuring Flatley alongside fellow Irish dancing champion Jean Butler – and the vocal ensemble Anúna.
Shortly afterwards, husband and wife production team John McColgan and Moya Doherty expanded it into a stage show, which opened in Dublin in 1995. Since then, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world.
Flatley left the show in late 1995, due to conflicts over creative control. He dreamed of, and put into action, a plan of putting together a dance show capable of playing in arenas and stadiums instead of traditional theatres. That show Lord of the Dance.
Since its premiere in 1996, Lord of The Dance has visited over 1000 venues worldwide and been seen by over 60 million people in 60 different countries on every continent.
The show has gone on to receive unparalleled accolades, and it has broken theatrical records across the globe. Like Riverdance before it, it brought Irish dancing to the world stage and catapulted the art of Irish dance to a higher plane, unprecedented worldwide recognition, and dove straight into the hearts and minds of millions worldwide.
Lord of the Dance has dazzled audiences around the world with its unique combination of high-energy Irish dancing, original music, storytelling and sensuality. The beloved Irish dance show transcends culture and language, soaring into the soul on astounding aerial moves, unparalleled precision dancing and state-of-the art theatrical effects.
Much of the secret to its phenomenal success is that it speaks to all, crossing boundaries of age, gender and cultural diversity. Its timeless, universal appeal has made Lord of the Dance one of the modern-day wonders of the world, a myth to a living legend.
Michael has revived and updated the original Lord of the Dance for new generations of fans. The show, described by the Los Angeles Times as a “showpiece extravaganza”, features more than 150,000 taps per performance as it transports the audience to a mythical time and place, capturing hearts in a swirl of movement, precision dancing, artistic lighting and pyrotechnics.
Lord of the Dance plays at Palace Theatre Manchester from 14th until 17th July – the final stop of its UK tour. After a short break, the world tour resumes in early September, playing around Europe until early December.