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Follow Your Dream, Day #229: Bad Guy GoPro

One thing we can all agree on: the Dangerous Games version of Warriors is metal.

Most of the fanbase for Lord of the Dance has been around since the early days -- which means that, by default, the classic iterations of the show are the ones which have the most emotional resonance. Fair enough. Back then the genre of professional Irish dancing was still brand new, and since the show exploded onto the scene nearly a full decade before YouTube and video strreaming, the only audiovisual content that was out there were the commercial video releases.

Today it's a different story: the genre's been around for a quarter of a century and the audience is often a sea of camera phones. Which means you have to keep upping the ante. If you stagnate, you die.

There are have been multiple iterations of Lord of the Dance over the decades. Just the stage design history alone is a fascinating journey. But the simple truth is that a lot of people have a visual identity of the show based on what they've seen on their TV, and thus the best way to really shock you into seeing newer material on its own terms is by showing it to you in a way that you've simply never seen before.

Having cameras onstage isn't anything new -- but what we began implementing last summer was cameras *on the dancers themselves* as they performed. If you've been following LOTD TV, you've seen us do this live -- we actually put the broadcast backpack on the dancer as the camera is streaming, and send the dancer onstage to stream while dancing. It's utterly insane footage, because it's the ultimate reality TV: a live stream of a live performance in front of a live sold-out arena.

Recently we've taken this further with GoPro cameras, allowing us to shoot up to 4K at 60 frames per second, and they're a lot easier to conceal and lighter to perform with than the broadcast backpack. Of particular note, it means that we can also still get onstage footage even when we don't have the broadcast backpack available, as is currently the case.

Which brings us back to Warriors.

I will not accept any argument on this point: the Dangerous Games iteration of Warriors is simply the best version. Everything about it just *works* -- the costumes are great, the onscreen visuals are perfect, the updated choreography takes the established rhythm patterns to another's just brilliant. And it's probably my favorite number to film from a first-person perspective, because suddenly you're seeing the number from the inside-out. You *feel* the hardcore power on that stage. You see what the dancers see. It's a completely new way of consuming Irish dancing -- and yeah, Lord of the Dance got there first.

The video attached to this journal entry was filmed here in Taiwan by Conor Rodgers. He joins a very small fraternity of professional Irish dancers who have actually filmed professional Irish dance videos onstage *while dancing.* Playing Don Dorcha that evening was the Human Earthquake, Zoltan Papp. Any time you can get Zoltan on camera, you absolutely have to; his performances are from another dimension.

Tomorrow we head to Taichung for our final Taiwan performance. Taiwan's been absolutely fantastic to Lord of the Dance for a long time, and we're proud that our first onstage performance video of 2020 is coming from Taiwan. Enjoy this special glimpse of Dangerous Games!


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