Today's a travel day for Team Lord, so we're providing you with a treat: the first ever filmed performance of the show's title number, Lord of the Dance, from a first-person perspective!
Filmed by "Pops" Connor Smyth, this is really amazing to behold. We've filmed a few other numbers from the show onstage in first-person: Cry of the Celts (also filmed by Pops), Warriors, Cats, Execution/Duel, Victory. But we've never tried filming the title number itself at the end of the first act.
The result is amazing. You're seeing *exactly* what Connor saw. You're there onstage with him as he's performing. It's a totally different way of experiencing the show. You can *feel* the excitement as the dancers emerge onto the stage and launch into those timeless rhythm patterns that have captivated audiences for nearly a quarter of a century.
We chose Taiwan as the place to film this number for the first time because Taiwan has always been excellent for Lord of the Dance. The show has a long history with that fantastic island, which will continue for an equally long time to come.
Today we travel from Taiwan to Mexico. The challenge here is that since we were in China just under two weeks ago, we can't connect through the United States. Needless to say, this is quite a logistical challenge! Flight itineraries, shipping, etc. are all planned out well in advance for maximum efficiency. Moving a massive show like Lord of the Dance is like moving a small army; details have to be meticulously planned out, because any forgotten detail can negatively impact the show and its timetable.
But let's face it: there really isn't a way to plan for the extraordinary cascade of global circumstances that occurred several days after Lord of the Dance set foot in China. This is where having a good support infrastructure, especially a phenomenal tour manager, becomes critical.
Fortunately, our tour manager, Pete Mersey, is made of sterner stuff than you or I. Over just the few tours I've been on with him -- and his tenure with the show goes back a *long* time -- I've had the distinct privilege of working alongside him on the road, and the simple truth is this: short of our sun going out, I'm not sure there's a problem he can't solve. On no sleep and no food, he managed to take an impossible situation -- getting Lord of the Dance's cast, crew, and gear -- halfway around the world with practically no time on the clock and no easily accessible travel routes. It looked like the only remaining option was to go *west* from Taiwan to Mexico, which everyone wanted to avoid.
Most people, regardless of industry, would just email the main office and say, "Please advise."
Personally, I hate emails that say "Please advise." When you're on the road, things have to get *done.*
The end result is an absolute masterpiece of ingenuity. I won't go into the specifics -- honestly, you wouldn't believe it if I told you -- but this is a stone-cold fact: Pete Mersey did the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
Pete perfectly encapsulates the philosophy of "Jugaad". If you're not familiar with Jugaad, it's a concept from India: take whatever you've got, use some ingenuity, and make things *work.*
There's an old (apocryphal) joke that best explains Jugaad: NASA spent billions of dollars on a pen that could work in space. Russian cosmonauts just used a pencil.
And Pete is a freaking twelfth-level Jedi master at it.
It takes *grit* to be part of Lord of the Dance. This is a show that was created on a shoestring budget in only ten weeks, went commercially toe-to-toe with Michael's first show that used his rhythm patterns even after they parted ways with him, and *won.* And as the opening monologue from Dangerous Games states, whenever you come across obstacles, go over them, under them, around them, or straight through them -- but find a way to the other side.
It is when tested that we as human beings find ourselves -- or find ourselves lacking. And Lord of the Dance is a team with a lot of grit. Today is "just" a travel day -- one of a million travel days -- but from the behind-the-curtain logistical standpoint of moving from point A to point B, in the finest tradition of The Show Must Go On, today might just be Team Lord's finest hour.
Today's journal entry is written from Taiwan.
Tomorrow's journal entry will be written from Mexico.
And the show goes on.