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REVIEW: Lord of the Dance in Lord of the Rings territory

REVIEW: Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games hits Wellington.

Heralded as the world’s most successful dance show, I was curious to see what all the hype surrounding Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games was about when I heard it was coming to Wellington.

If I loved The Lord of the Rings, I would also love Lord of the Dance, right? Right. I'm fairly sure that's maths.

Irish Dance connoisseur I am not, but I know a good show when I see one.

The overarching theme seemed to be one of good versus evil. One minute I was watching an otherworldly whistle-blowing contortionist dance in front of an ethereal animated backdrop, and the next I was watching angry leather-clad men furiously stomp-tapping around in front of a fiery red background.

Of course there was conflict aplenty, which came to a crux when the Lord of the Dance went head-to-head (or heel-to-toe, if you like) with the most terrifying of the aforementioned angry leather-clad men.

If that weren’t enough to keep the already-delighted audience entertained, the male dancers got topless, the females stripped down to their underwear, and there was even some saucy salsa.

Irish dancer Cathal Keaney stood out as the Lord with the unbeatable pairing of incredible talent and an invigorating stage presence. I have never seen legs move so fast or kick so high as his.

The complexity of Keaney’s dancing was so inconceivable that a day later, I still feel a little giddy from trying to follow his feet.

The special effects were complementary, not overpowering. The only time the special effects were more important than the dancers was when the dancers actually left the stage and three holographs of Michael Flatley himself appeared.

As would be expected, Flatley clacking away in time with two other Flatleys brought the house down.

Now that I have seen the show, I can certainly understand why it sold out both at London's West End in 2014 and now at Wellington's St James Theatre.

The final Wellington show is on Sunday, August 30.


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