Based on Irish folklore, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is a classic tale of Good versus Evil, expressed through the universal language of dance. The story is of the Little Spirit who helps the Lord of the Dance protect his people from the evil threat of Don Dorcha, the Dark Lord. His aim is to rule the world and take the title, and the jewelled belt, of Lord of the Dance for himself. St James Theatre in Wellington was packed full of people keen and eager to enjoy the best of Irish dancing.
We had managed to secure excellent seats in the Circle, and waited, full of anticipation, as patrons filed into the theatre, looking for their seats. I took a quick snap of the stage before the show started. Then a disembodied voice requested that everyone put their phones and cameras away, as the show was about to start. It was pleasing to note that everyone heeded the request, and not a single camera or cell phone flash disrupted the whole performance.
Who needs movable stage backdrops when you can have fantastic back projection these days. And it is all done by “Holo-Gauze”, a 3D display solution. The show started with a giant clock ticking down the minutes, before exploding, and being replaced by a giant evil head with glowing red eyes – surely the embodiment of the evil which is coming to terrorize the world. The backdrop changes to waterfalls, butterflies, unicorns frolicking in green pastures, pretty girls start dancing, and we can see that all is fine with the world and the evil ones have not yet arrived. But arrive they do – a band of black clad warriors looking for all the world like aliens from outer space, intent on causing chaos and destruction, and the backdrop changes to burning forests, fire and brimstone.
One memorable moment was when the troupe of pretty girls were dancing clad in their Irish costumes, and the Evil Lord’s girlfriend arrived on the scene to mock their very proper dancing – her own dance was full of sexy moves and innuendo. The theatre gave a collective gasp when the girls whipped off their costumes, and danced a spirited dance clad in their black underwear. Take that – bad girl!
The fight between the two sides took place with much posturing and high energy tap dancing duels – wonderful to watch. We watched in awe, wondering just how they could move their feet and legs so fast! And I must admit, I had never seen baddies going push-ups on stage before – trying to intimidate with their power, I presume.
Face off between good and evil
The two young violinists were excellent, full of energy as they strutted their stuff around the stage, playing their hypnotic tunes.
The Lord of the Dance looses his belt to the Dark Lord, and all seems lost. But good always triumphs over evil, and the Dark Lord was finally vanquished, thank goodness. The grand finale was a wonderful tap dance of the whole cast, which drew hoots and hollers from the crowd. More please! And they repeated it all again for us. The cast left the stage, no doubt to have a little sit down and take off their shoes, I expect. Then the show finished with a dance battle featuring a holographic triptych of Michael Flatley on the screen. He may well be older, but his feet can certainly move with the best of them.
Though the girls dancing in their soft shoes was very pretty, it was the raw noisy hypnotic speed of the tap dancing which got the blood flowing and the heart beating. It was easy to get caught up it it all - I may well have Scots blood in my veins, but perhaps I’ve got a little Irish blood too? Yes, we loved it, what a wonderful show!