Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley has chosen to end his career at the one place he has never performed – Broadway.
The Irish dance legend has spoken about his plans for retirement, and wants to go out on a high in what he called “the greatest place in the world”.
Flatley will star in his Broadway debut in Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games which will play at New York’s Lyric Theatre from 7th November 2015 until 3rd January 2016.
Then it will be time to hand the mantel of Lord of the Dance on to a younger man.
Flatley spoke openly about his career and explained that he knows that now is the time to hang up his dancing shoes after decades of dancing have caused irreparable damage to his body.
He said: “My spinal column is in bad shape. Last year, I decided my legs and my back had taken such a beating over the years. I said, ‘You know, it’s time.’ It’s time. If this was a football match, I’d be in injury time now. I have a beautiful wife and a lovely, beautiful eight-year-old son and I said ‘I’ve got to spend more time with them.’”
The Chicago-born star will bow out in the same spectacular fashion that has been his trademark throughout his career. Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games will feature dancing robots, acrobats and holographs as well as dozens of professional Irish dancers with Flatley centre stage.
It will be a fitting end to an incredible career that has seen Flatley transform the image of Irish dancing around the world. Since it was first performed during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, Riverdance has been seen by more than 60million people in 60 different counties.
Flatley has accumulated an estimated fortune of €340m and lives in an incredible Cork mansion with his wife and son.
Looking back at the early days of his career, Flatley said: “When I started this whole thing, dancers were always the guys in the background. I wanted to change that. My dream was that dance could be the main event around the world. My dream was that one day we could compete with the big rock ‘n’ roll bands and perform in those big arenas.”
He has certainly achieved that with Irish dancing now as big as it has ever been.
Its popularity is evident in the length of the run that Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games has been given in a Broadway theatre such as the Lyric.
On his final tour, Flatley said: “Broadway is my last dream. My wife and my team asked, ‘Is there anything else we haven’t done in this career?’ I said, ‘I’ve never done Broadway and I want to dance in the greatest place in the world.’”