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Follow Your Dream, Day #434: OG Stories #8 -- Planet Ireland

Join Team Lord OG Troupe legends Gillian Norris, Denise Flynn, James Devine, and Michael Donnellan as they discuss the immortal endpiece to #LordOfTheDance: Planet Ireland!

Planet Ireland is a long number; at this point, you've already danced for over two hours onstage, and *that's* after at least two more hours of rehearsal and warmup. But you've got to save the best for last, and Michael Flatley's immortal rhythm patterns interlock in this number in a way that's simply timeless. This is where the interplay of energy between the audience and the troupe really takes center stage; this is what the audience has waited all night to see, and you've spent a brace of hours building everything up to this moment.

If you've ever seen the show live, then you know that it is a truly intense, primal, almost otherworldly sensation: the energy between the crowd and the troupe is perfectly in sync. The roar of sound from the crowd is like a warm wave that infuses the whole building with a power that just keeps going, and the more the dancers give, the stronger the rebound effect. Things are at such a fever pitch that it feels like the encores could go on forever.

The reason for this overwhelming reaction, night after night, is because the magic is real. If you're standing in the audience, you've just seen the most hardcore #IrishDance professionals on the planet go twelve rounds with the limits of human endurance, making it look utterly effortless in the process -- and now they're back for extra rounds.

Remember, Lord of the Dance is 100% Irish dancing. If you're a pro Irish dancer, this isn't a show where you only pop up in a few well-spaced numbers and call it a night; this show is *war.* Lord of the Dance was born in the white-hot fire of an enraged artist out to prove a point, and it drives that point home with a sledgehammer: Team Lord goes harder, works longer, and sells out entire stadiums. This is not a polite evening of ivory-tower theatre; this is a full-throttle explosion that grabs you by the lapels and shouts primary colors into your eyeballs. *That's* how you gross over a billion dollars with an obscure folk dance no one's ever heard of, and put Ireland on the map in a way everyone on Planet Earth wants to find out more about.

It was true in 1996, and it is true today. It will be true tomorrow as well.

Tonight's forecast for Planet Ireland: thunder, with a chance of explosions.

We didn't come here to finish second.


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