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Follow Your Dream, Day #256: Love Versus Lust

Lord of the Dance has one prominent message: to follow your dream. This message is conveyed through two primary themes: good versus evil, and love versus lust.

It's the latter theme that we're examining here today. If you were to compile a list of signature moments from Lord of the Dance, Stolen Kiss would undoubtedly be one of them. As a number, it has evolved considerably over the decades; from the original version, to a very edgy iteration in the Feet of Flames World Tour (with a wonderful simulated slow-motion sequence where Morrighan puts the Lord under a spell), and now a remarkably different version in Dangerous Games that specifically incorporates the title belt, this is a number that changes its shape and form -- but always tells the same story: love versus lust.

In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan is often associated with war and fate, foretelling doom, death, or victory in battle as the guardian of the land and its people. Is her temptation of the Lord a test? Would only a worthy hero be able to resist her? It's telling that the Lord, as all heroes must in the Monomyth cycle, enters an underworld, is killed, and thus reborn.

So we decided to do something special with this number: with James Keegan as the lead, we put the camera on Morrighan. (Specifically, we put the camera on Mary Mirasola.) What does Stolen Kiss look like from her perspective? There's an incredible moment with Katrina Costello where Saoirse wins over Morrighan, and seeing it onstage like this is fascinating.

Of particular note, by the way, is Zoltan Papp's entrance at the very end of this video. Seeing him up close like that, in such an intense scene as Mary hands him the title belt, is a truly frightening image. You really do get the emotion of the moment, in a very powerful way. Remember, Lord of the Dance is a drama; to dance in this show requires not just tremendous techncal skill but the ability to act and portray emotions onstage. The expression on Zoltan's face, at the moment he receives the belt, is fascinating and terrifying in equal measure.

We all encounter trials in our lives, and find ourselves -- or find ourselves lacking -- when tested. Lord of the Dance, in the finest tradition of the Hero's Journey, takes you through this adventure in big, bold primary colors. Michael Flatley himself has often talked about his strong belief in good versus evil and love versus lust; these themes play out throughout the show's narrative, reinforcing the point that to truly be a hero, you have to be willing to face -- and overcome -- these trials.


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