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Follow Your Dream, Day #383: 1996 OG Troupe Stories #2

Ask yourself this:

A.) What are the odds of success in creating a commercially successful stage show?

B.) What are the odds of success in creating a comercially successful #IrishDance stage show?

C.) What are the odds of success in creating, choreographing, directing, starring in, *and* self-financing such a show?

D.) What are the odds of success in doing all of the above when you have a chorus of influential voices actively working in concert against you?

There's a reason why Lord of the Dance isn't a polite evening of ivory-tower theatre. There's a reason why it comes out swinging for the fences. It's an all-or-nothing Hail Mary by a man who literally bankrupted himself to prove a point as a creative artist.

And it worked.

By God, it worked.

The most audacious long-shot bet in the history of show business went on to gross more than one-billion dollars worldwide. Michael Flatley was vindicated. The point was hammered home with all the force of a fusion bomb.

The one part of the story that's never been told until now is what it was like for the dancers themselves. The legendary 1996 OG Troupe -- the only people who believed in Michael Flatley, who left schools and jobs to take a chance on him, who brought Michael's vision to life in only ten weeks, who were willing to go toe-to-toe with Michael's first show and deliver something even better -- were the absolute pinnacle of Irish dancing, establishing the ethos of Team Lord: work *harder* than everyone else, work *longer* than everyone else, do things no one else can do, and blow the roof off the building every single night.

Since social media didn't exist in 1996, very little about the OG Troupe's journey from their perspective is actually documented. Today you can follow Team Lord's adventures in real time and interact with the troupe live as the shows are being performed; back then, however, the only way you could get any sort of info was to be on the original LOTD website's Visitors' Book or a small handful of websites from hardcore superfans. On one hand this somewhat adds to the mystique of that original journey -- the sheer authenticity of a bunch of wide-eyed kids selling out massive arenas and doing stadium tours with a one-of-a-kind rock 'n roll show built around folk dancing -- but today we're less than a year away from the show's 25th anniversary.

It's time to tell the story.

And the best way to tell it? In their own words.

Join Gillian Norris, Denise Flynn, Michael Donnellan, and James Devine as they talk about bringing the original show to life. If you enjoyed the first OG Tour Stories episode with Kerrie Connolly and Caroline Greene, you're going to love this one!

The best part? This is just a small piece of a much larger conversation these four legends of Irish dancing recorded.

Want more OG Troupe Stories? Let us know in the comments below!


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