Irish America Hall of Fame: Michael Flatley
The man who brought Irish dance to the global stage.
What is it about Lord of the Dance and Riverdance that has made them such cultural touchstones?
We are so blessed. I just think the gods were favoring me somehow. The harder we worked for it, the more luck we got. You know yourself, some of our dance numbers, they’re 30 seconds long, but you work on them for hours. It’s not easy, but if you do it right and build it to last then it will last.
I think that both of those shows are built to last.
Where are you living these days? I’ve read that you are based in Beverly Hills.
We were in Beverly Hills for a couple years, but we really didn’t like it. I’m more of a New York guy than an LA guy. Right now we’re living in London – actually we’re splitting our time between
London and Castlehyde, a place which is heaven on earth. Little Michael rides his little red tricycle up and down those hallways. He has more energy than me!
Is Michael Junior showing any inclination to dance given those amazing genes he has?
Yeah, he definitely has movement there. He’s spinning around the house all the time. Any time any kind of music comes on he’s up on the floor shaking it. I told him, take up something safer like cage fighting!
Where will he go to school?
It’s hard to say right now. The big problem is that I just cannot be away from him. I have to be close to him all the time and all my offices and businesses are based in London, so he might have to go to school in London, at least for the first two years. We just don’t know.
What do you make of the death of the Celtic Tiger Irish economy?
Well, it’s been heartbreaking. But money has never been the god of the Irish race. I don’t think a few rotten bankers are going to keep us down. It’s looking tough now, but we’ve gotten up from the canvas many times before.
What is next on your agenda? Your wheels are always turning.
That’s true. A new flute CD should be out by St. Patrick’s Day on iTunes called On a Different Note, and that’s kind of nice. And we’ll be doing lots of promotion for the film. I’m counting on all of the Irish to come and see it. They won’t be disappointed!
(Visit www.michaelflatley.com for information on advance tickets and showtimes for Lord of the Dance 3D)
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