Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
There is something innately impressive about Irish dancing. The speed at which the dancers move their feet. The way their upper body remains still and graceful. And the athleticism required to pull off the intense choreography. They all demand the awe of an audience and quite clearly show why this traditional dancing style has continued to captivate crowds.
And it definitely captivated the Melbourne crowds at last night’s opening of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games!
When it comes to Irish dancing, there is one man who is as iconic as the traditional dance style itself. Michael Flatley. He has taken Irish dancing across the world selling out shows from London and New York to Tokyo and continues to set the standard for this traditional dance, if not himself, through the incredibly talented dancers in Lord of the Dance who show off his impressive choreography.
Centred around a story of good-versus-evil, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games shows off the full range of Irish dancing. The traditional routines are by far the most popular amazing audiences with their speed and accuracy and earning rapturous applause. But the show also delves into newer dancing territory.
The Dangerous Games theme allows for intense dance battles as the Lord of the Dance tries to overcome the evil forces of the Dark Lord in routines that would make West Side Story wish they had Irish tap shoes. And the influence of breakdancing is even incorporated in group numbers where a fusion between these two defining genres shows off the versatility of the performers.
The Lord of the Dance, a role originated by Michael Flatley, is played by Morgan Comer who deftly leads the cast through traditional routines and carefully balances power and grace in his solo moments. He knows how to work a crowd and often brings them to an early applause clapping in time with the dancers. Starring opposite Morgan is the Dark Lord himself, Tom Cunningham, whose solo turns on the stage are some of the most impressive moments of the show.
These two men are joined by Erin Kate McIlravey and Andrea Kren who battle for the attention of the Lord of the Dance (although one of their motives is not in the name of love) and lead the female cast in beautiful ballet-like routines strongly contrasting with the tap. But while these leads clearly stand out on the stage, it is the whole cast numbers which show the skills of the company. All the dancers take to the stage at several moments in the show and perform these complex and quick routines in perfect synchronisation . . . something which has to be seen to be believed!
However, the show isn’t only about dancing. Intertwined throughout the narrative are moments which show off the diversity of Irish music with singer Rachael O’Connor (The Voice UK) and duelling Irish fiddlers Giada Costenaro Cunningham and Eimear Reilly playing and dancing in incredible stilettos.
Combine all this talent with some pyrotechnics and a full LED screen providing scenery and storyline, and you have an impressive spectacle on stage which is exactly what Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games delivers. If you have ever been a fan of Irish dancing, or just world-class standard dance performances, then you have to check out this show before it leaves Melbourne on Sunday before travelling around the rest of Australia!
Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre until October 4. Visit artscentremelbourne.com.au and grab your tickets quickly or you will need the luck of the Irish to get in the door!