Mark Gilley, formerly of the smash-hit Irish dance show “Lord of the Dance,” has died.
Gilley died “suddenly and unexpectedly at his home” on Friday, May 26, according to a post on RIP.ie.
He is the “beloved son of the late Donal and Maureen, loving brother of Jackie and Caroline" and will be "sadly missed by his loving family, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends."
A requiem mass for Gilley will be held this Wednesday, May 31 in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ballinlough, Co Cork, to be followed by a funeral at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Blackrock.
Michael Flatley, the creator of "Lord of the Dance," said on social media on Tuesday: "Rest in Peace Mark Gilley.
"I am overwhelmed with sadness to learn of your passing.
"You were part of the original team that changed the world with Lord of the Dance.
"You were a such a talented young man and a true gentleman.
"May God bless you and may you 'Dance, dance, wherever you may be.'"
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"Lord of the Dance" premiered as a stage show in Dublin in June 1996 and the following month, the Irish dance production was filmed for a video in which Gilley is credited as a troupe member.
"Rest in peace Mark Gilley," the official social media accounts for "Lord of the Dance" said on Tuesday.
"This is such devastating news for the entire #LordoftheDance family!
"Mark was a much loved part of the original troupe, the team that laid the foundations for all the generations that followed!
"You will be dearly missed by all of us, Mark. Forever in our hearts."
Back in 2020, Gilley joined with other "Lord of the Dance" original cast members for the pandemic-era "Dance for Hope II," which saw the Irish dancers recreating the iconic choreography to Ronan Hardiman's "Lord of the Dance" from their homes during the height of lockdown.
"This video is dedicated to the medical personnel and essential front-line services keeping us all safe," the caption to the video said. "They are the true heroes, and it is for them that we assemble now and pay tribute."