This is a photo of OG Troupe members Caroline Greene-Parfery, Kerrie Connolly Mcateer, Sharon O Brien, and Bernadette Flynn. (Photo credit: Denise Flynn.)
Did they know, when they and the rest of the OG Troupe began their journey all those years ago, that they were going to change the world?
Did they know that their passion for an obscure folk dance would see them, as teenagers and early twentysomethings, captivate an entire planet?
Did they have any idea they would perform in arenas and stadiums around the world, witnessed by literally billions of people?
Did they think they would inspire generations yet unborn to follow them? That their work would be not just immortalized, but enshrined?
Did they realize they would become de facto ambassadors for Ireland herself, helping to revitalize and redefine an entire nation's cultural identity?
One-hundred years from now, in the year 2120, the kids in this photograph will still be talked about. One-hundred years from now, their legacy will live on, echoed through dance schools and on stages across this planet. Lord of the Dance is not "just" a show; it is a philosophy -- that if you're willing to put in the work, and reach for the stars, you *can* change the world. And they are the living symbol of that belief.
Today, a new generation continues the work they started. Many of them were trained by the OGs. And with next year being the 25th anniversary year of Lord of the Dance, there is a tremendous upsurge in rediscovery of this billion-dollar dance show that changed the world, and continues to take it by storm.
It started with the defiant rage of a man determined to prove a point as an artist, and the handpicked few who left jobs, loved ones, and careers to follow him. They dared to be great -- and succeeded.
Planet Ireland arises: 2021.