Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley celebrated the 25th year anniversary of his spectacular Riverdance show this week.
The veteran Chicago-born star has been one of the key driving forces behind the rise in popularity of Irish dance over the past few decades.
He led his Riverdance crew in the performance of a lifetime during the interval of the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest.
The show was a roaring success and ever since Flatley and his team have been creating and innovating new Irish dance routines and performing them around the world.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of that first Riverdance performance, Flatley released a video that follows the incredible journey.
In his Facebook post, the Lord of the Dance said: “Today, July 2nd, 2021, is the exact 25th Anniversary date of Michael Flatley’s #LordOfTheDance.
“And this video is a love letter to you.
“Because whether you’re a fan, a performer, or a crew member — past or present — you helped make this show the most successful dance show in history.
“You know the statistics. Over one-billion dollars grossed. Seen live by over sixty-million people. Outselling tours by U2 and the Rolling Stones. The records go on and on. But this video isn’t about numbers.
“This video is about the magic of a place called Planet Ireland.
“Planet Ireland is the name of the show’s encore number. But it’s also the name of the setting in which the show takes place. And the world of Planet Ireland is a living, breathing fantasy land, filled with heroes, villains, temptresses, clans, and realms yet undiscovered.
“This is the story of an artist who took an obscure folk dance, created a new art form and genre of entertainment out of it, had it taken away from him, and fought back against impossible odds to even greater success.
“It’s the story of a timeless drama, told through dance, about good versus evil and love versus lust — a story that came from the mind of an “uneducated” blue-collar construction worker.
“It’s the story of literally thousands of artists, performers and crew alike, whose adventures and memories all make up the tapestry of this saga, from the handpicked 1996 OG Troupe dream team to the New Generation of today.
“Planet Ireland is real. The magic is *real.* Twenty-five years of standing ovations. Every night, a live outpouring of positive high energy between audience and performer, like nothing else ever seen. Lord of the Dance isn’t just a stage show; it’s an *experience.* It reaches deep into people and pulls out raw emotions in big, bold primary colors.
“For this special 25th Anniversary supercut, we have incorporated *seven* Lord of the Dance performances:
* Lord of the Dance (1996)
* Feet of Flames (1998)
* Feet of Flames World Tour (2000)
* Feet of Flames (2009)
* Lord of the Dance 3D (2011)
* Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games (2014)
* Feet of Flames: The Impossible Tour (2020)
“Different eras. Different stage sets. Different performers. But all part of the same magic: the magic of Planet Ireland.
“Today we celebrate twenty-five years of standing ovations.
“Planet Ireland arises — NOW.”