One generation hands the baton to the next.
Literally thousands of #IrishDance professionals have, at some point, been members of Team Lord. Many of them, as alumni, have gone on to open their own schools and teach the next generation -- some of whom are on our stage as part of today's troupe. The ripple effect of #LordOfTheDance, and thus Michael Flatley's art form atop Irish dancing, touches almost every aspect of the Irish dance world. From choreography that shows up virtually everywhere -- the treble-and-a-toe-down-heel step is ubiquitous now -- to the legendary work ethic that's at the core of Michael's ethos, a simple but powerful truth emerges:
Lord of the Dance -- its steps, its rhythm patterns, the foundational work it laid for using #IrishDancing as a method for dramatic storytelling -- is now *tradition.*
Just as competitive Irish dancing has its own trad set dances, so too does the commercial Irish dance world now have its own traditional choreography -- and the root of virtually all of that tradition, across multiple shows, comes from Michael Flatley.
Today you have competition dancers with aspirations of joining a show learning Michael's legendary choreography before they even audition -- oftentimes, learning from teachers who were themselves in the show years or decades prior.
What sustains all of this?
No, really. You. The commercial demand for Irish dance shows with Michael Flatley as the creative force is absolutely massive. It's an appetite that's still going strong a quarter of a century later, and it allows generations of young men and women the opportunity to make a living doing something they love, entertaining you all over the world, and then continue to make a living by becoming instructors themselves and teaching the next generation who grow up watching Michael's shows and say to their parents, "I want to do THAT."
Next year, of course, is the 25th anniversary year of Lord of the Dance. It brings the generational contrast into sharp focus, because we look at where we were, where we are now...and where we go next. It's a wonderful confluence for the old magic and the new magic.
This journey is much, much larger than anyone (except Michael) thought possible in 1996. And soon, it goes even further.
Planet Ireland arises: 2021.