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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Lord of the Dance’ technically superb

December 11, 2002

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Take any traditional Irish dance performance you've ever seen, inject it with attitude, fairy dust, electrified Celtic music and a light show fit for a Pink Floyd concert, and you get "Lord of the Dance."

The Celtic dance extravaganza tapped its way Tuesday night into the Lied Center with a vengeance, bringing a cheering packed-house crowd to its feet.

The Michael Flatley creation tells a simple story of good vs. evil through the lens of Irish folklore. The loose plot is easy to follow. Boy (Lord of the Dance) meets girl (Saoirse.) Boy is tempted by seductress (Morrighan) and challenged by villain (Don Dorcha, the Dark Lord). The Little Spirit helps good prevail by running fairy dust interference throughout.

The uncomplicated story lets the audience focus on what's most impressive about the show: the technically superb Irish dancing. Flatley, who no longer tours with the show but maintains the helm of artistic director, has blended traditional Irish dancing with full, swinging arm movements, ballet-like lifts and athletic leaps.

But don't worry; the classic breakneck-speed tapping of Irish dance still dominates the choreography. It's a wonder sparks didn't fly as a dancer who played the Lord worked his feet into a rhythmic frenzy time and time again.

Other standouts were the woman who danced the part of Saoirse, the good girl, whose grace and lightness softened her athleticism. Morrighan, the temptress, was delightfully seductive and danced her solos beautifully.

Violin duets by on-stage musicians and vocal solos by Erin, the Goddess, added texture to the show.

"Lord of the Dance" concludes its Lawrence stay at 7:30 p.m. today at the Lied Center.

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