Michael Flatley, former star of Irish dance spectacular Riverdance, is planning an open-air show in London's Hyde Park for an audience of 25,000. The Feet of Flames event, scheduled for 25 July, will be the star's last as the Lord of the Dance, and he has hinted it may also be his farewell live performance.
The one-off event will see 84 dancers performing at the same time, making it the biggest dance show ever staged in the UK. One of the biggest sets ever built will be erected to accommodate the unprecedented number of dancers. The show is currently being designed and Flatley, whose famous feet are insured for $40 million, has begun work on the complex choreography.
Irish-American Flatley became famous in 1994 when he appeared in the Eurovision song contest's interval show with a dance routine that became the international touring hit Riverdance - The Show. Flatley later split with Riverdance and launched his own show, Lord of the Dance, which has performed in 100 cities around the globe and grossed nearly £100 million to date.
After the Hyde Park performance, Flatley plans to embark on a film career or, possibly, move into professional boxing. At a press conference held this week to launch the summer show, however, he admitted that it would be hard to walk away from the art which made him famous, especially when he is still on top form.
"Show me someone who can fill stadiums with 20,000 people, take five standing ovations a night, do 35 taps in a second and make a million quid (pounds) a night and I'll take my hat off to him. I'm still king of the ring," he told reporters. Feet of Flames will be filmed for a worldwide television broadcast and video release. Tickets, for those unsatisfied with a small screen view of the event, cost £27.50 - £30. They go on sale 9.00 am Friday, 15 May and are expected to sell out quickly. For booking information, phone +44-171-420-1000.
--By Terri Paddock