For those captivated by faeries, leprechauns, and soaring flutes that evoke images of green isles and boggy meadows, the thundering choreography of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance satisfies longings for Ireland. From the first moment when a cadre of druids enters the stage, accompanied by a flute-bearing sprite, the audience realizes it is about to be transported into the world that W.B. Yeats might have called an “evocation of spirits.” That spirit world comes alive through the leaps and athleticism of the dancers as they embody the battle of good and evil.
When Flatley first brought his Lord of the Dance tribute to Irish dancing to the stage in the mid-1990s, few realized his legacy would be a show that still enthralls audiences almost 20 years later. But this show which combines world-class dance with enchanting musical elements from the Green Isle shows no signs of stopping. To date, Lord of the Dance has been seen by more than 60,000,000 people throughout the world, and has become so popular that there are two traveling versions of the show, which is dubbed the number-one dancing show in the world.
The Durham Performing Arts Center welcomed the second troupe to its stage for a one-night event on Sunday, March 10th, before the troupe continues its tour of the United States and points further south. Lord of the Dance‘s first troupe is currently touring Europe.
The show takes the audience on a journey through time as the Little Spirit, charmingly portrayed by Sophia Ereminowicz, helps the Lord of the Dance (Zachary Klingenberg) protect his people from the Don Darcha, the Dark Lord (Zoltan Papp). A troupe of more than 20 dancers choreographed in military unison provides support for the two factions as they are drawn closer and closer into a dance-battle-challenge that puts any street challenge to shame.
In addition to the incredibly agile choreography that defines the show, Lord of the Dance showcases Irish singer Mary-Anne Roddy, a soprano whose soaring voice adds another layer of Celtic mystery to the story; and violinists Giada Costanero (born in Italy) and Anne Hatfield not only play with the frenzy of spellbound fiddlers, but also move across the stage as quickly as the dancers.
When the finale brings both male and female, good and evil, magical and realistic factions to the stage, the DPAC audience erupts with cries of wonder that this phenomenal dance troupe can move in such precision that their steps sound like one. This is a reason that Michael Flatley’s show has remained popular throughout the decades, and the Durham audience was rightfully impressed and thankful for the early St. Patrick’s Day present from Flatley and his magical troupe.
Michael Flatley’s LORD OF THE DANCE (Durham Performing Arts Center, March 10th).
Lord of the Dance (background): http://www.lordofthedance.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Dance_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).
MagicSpace Entertainment: http://www.magicspace.net/ (official website).
Global Entertainment Group: http://www.globallv.com/ (official website).
Dawn Reno Langley is a Durham, NC-based author who writes novels, poetry, children’s books, and nonfiction books on many subjects, as well as theater reviews. She is also Dean of General Education and Developmental Studies at Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, where she oversees the theater program at the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex, and a member of the Person County Arts Council. To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/. To read more of her writings, click http://dawnrenolangley.blogspot.com/ and http://poetryandgardening.blogspot.com/.
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