Why do some things just feel right?
A lot of work goes into making something feel inherenly *right.* You know instantly what Coke and Pepsi taste like, or what a classic episode of Star Trek looks and feels like. When you get to that point, it's an unspoken agreement between the product and the audience: they don't have to worry about *if* they're going to enjoy it, because they know what they're getting up front.
In the case of Lord of the Dance, what you get is easily summed up: the biggest, loudest, most outrageously uplifting dance spectacle ever seen. A rock concert and a title fight fused with Flatley-style Irish dancing and choreography: a unique formula which sounds unexplainable on paper, but works astonishingly well when staged.
And it works because, again, you know exactly what you're going to get going in. If you go to see Led Zeppelin, you know you're going to get Stairway To Heaven; if you go to see Lord of the Dance, you know you're going to get Planet Ireland.
This doesn't mean that things don't change and evolve. They have to; it would be the easiest trap in the world to calcify the show as it was in 1996, but rose-tinted nostalgia only goes so far; you have to keep innovating. Sometimes that means pushing the envelope all the way to the cancel postage stamp, but like any successful touring act that's stood the test of time, you have to have a mix of old and new.
And if you do it right, it *feels* right. You can let go and be in the moment.
When Feet of Flames came out in 1998 -- a turbocharged version of the original show, blown up on a massive new set, with several new numbers added -- it *felt* right.
It makes you wonder what 2021, the 25th anniversary year of the show, might just bring.