(Joan Acocella’s article appeared in the New Yorker, 11/9.)
Michael Flatley is retiring! This is terrible news. But you can see why he’d want to go home. He started Irish step dancing when he was eleven, as he was growing up on Chicago’s South Side, and this is a discipline that takes a lot out of you, especially the way he came to practice it. (His Web site says that he once produced thirty-five taps per second. How is that possible?) He’s now fifty-seven, and he doesn’t need money. Reportedly, his shows—“Riverdance,” which débuted in 1994, as an intermission act at the Eurovision Song Contest, and then “Lord of the Dance,” “Feet of Flames,” and “Celtic Tiger”—made him at one point the highest-paid dancer in the world, earning 1.6 million dollars a week. Now he’d like to go on cashing the checks and let someone else do the dancing. If you want to see him one more time, get a ticket to “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games,” his most recent production, which just had a triumph in London and will open in New York, at the Lyric, on Nov. 10, for an eight-week run.
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