Review: Dangerous Games, Lord of the Dance tour, Birmingham Symphony Hall
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★★☆☆☆ There’s a fine line between Michael Flatley and Michael Flatline, and unfortunately the “glorious” sequel to the biggest selling dance show of all time, Lord of the Dance, is the latter. In 1994, Flatley changed the face of Irish Dance forever with Riverdance, later on creating Lord of the Dance in 1996. Now 19 years later he’s back, as stale and wince-worthy as ever. It’s a tad disappointing that the most iconic Irish Dancer and Irish choreographer of all time, with the world record for most taps in a second (35) would stoop so low to create Dangerous Games. By all means, buy a ticket if you love predictability, the perpetuation of gender roles, the “weakness” of women and dominance of men, and boring power ballads. It’s your typical good vs evil storyline, following some cliché named Dark Lord threatening the tranquil peace of the Lord of the Dance’s realm; yawn. Don’t get me wrong, the scenes with Irish Dance actually in them were superb and Flatley truly has chosen 40 of the best Irish Dancers to hand for the production, with enough taps to make anyone go mad. But unnecessary droned out ballads and a video backdrop that resembled an extremely low budget Avatar scene ruined every essence of ok-ness about the show. Levels of unprofessionalism were painfully obvious with our beloved Lord of the Dance reacting to off stage matters before he had even left our view. Costumes clung onto proud Irish heritage projecting exactly what you’d expect from an Irish Dancing show, collars and all, but Dangerous Games broke free of what was expected and reached out with more daring costumes, with the Dark Lord’s soldiers resembling Action Men. Apart from that, it’s the usual lines of white teeth and plenty of tapping , impressive chorus numbers and cocky begs from self indulgent principles for more applause that leave the hands red raw.