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Theatre Review:Lord of The Dance: Dangerous Games

Lord of The Dance: Dangerous Games

Conceived by Michael Flatley

Capitol Theatre Until October 25

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP, on October 22

My story is that the first time I saw this type of choreography was one evening in a city far across the sea when I was walking past a theatre that was hosting Michael Flatley in Lord of The Dance. On the spur of the moment, I bought a ticket, and in the packed house, I had to sit in the back row of the stalls behind two tall men and I could only see the performers from the waist up. My appreciation of the entire show was bobbing heads turning from side to side.

Sans the creator, choreographer, producer and director of the show, Lord of The Dance is touring Australia and 14 other countries in its latest incarnation, Dangerous Games.

This show has a giant screen as the cyclorama, and onto it are projected animated scenes ranging from volcanoes, lava floes, forests afire and serene, the head of a machine-like arch-villain, meadows, horses, unicorns, rainbows, waterfalls and butterflies, lots and lots and lots of butterflies. These animated scenes reminded me very much of the Chinese touring production, Shen Yun, which played at the Capitol earlier this year. There are so many similarities: East meets West at the Capitol.

The upstage platform looks as if it’s suspended in mid air, but the scenes are also projected onto the lower part of the platform. This allows performers to enter and exit via trap doors and magically appear and disappear.

Then there’s the dancing. The entire ensemble is at the top of its game. Apart from the modern dance, classical ballet and other incorporated forms, the rapid-fire tapping with one foot crossed behind the other, in perfect unison, is impressive. I’d hate to think of the number of ankle and knee injuries that are inevitably sustained.

Dangerous Games, complete with tap dancing androids, tells the tale of good versus evil and it’s extremely clear as to who is who. The baddies wear black helmets and hard, black costumes. The goodies are attired in far more casual clothing, and when they mean business, they take their shirts off. On the opening night, the young girls in the audience seemed to like it when the goodies meant business.

The conflict was less a violent brawl, and more a non-contact tap dancing contest while squared off, looking harshly at the enemy.

Lord of The Dance: Dangerous Games is the latest variation on the productions that have sustained Michael Flatley’s Lord of The Dance for twenty years, and if you’re a fan of this type of performance, it’s a must-see, but you only have until Sunday, October 25.

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