“Lord of the Dance” spectacular but sexist
Michael Flatley's Irish dance show gives its women too little to do.
Lord of the Dance electrified the air in the Milwaukee Theater Friday evening, as the North American touring company made a one-night stop. Irish dance sensation Michael Flatley created, choreographed, produced and directed Lord of the Dance, which has played to packed houses the world over since its inception in 1996. The mythic tale of Good vs. Evil and Love vs. Desire, based on folklore, creates a world of enchantment, mystery and passion.
Antagonist Zoltan Papp as Don Dorcha, Lord of Darkness, vies with hero Zachary Klingenberg, in the title role that Flatley created. They battle for ascendancy in this mythic land through barrages of intricate Celtic footwork and modern stage combat. The conflict rises in ever more demanding choreography that propels the story with ever-increasing intensity.
Klingenberg’s precision footwork, athleticism and charisma captivated the audience, who cheered wildly whenever he threw a glance in its direction. His nemesis, Zoltan Papp was mesmerizing. Aisling Nally, as Saorise, the object of their desire, was lovely, but her dancing was often disappointing. Nally mostly stood behind the female corps or somewhere in their midst and waved her arms about in a sultry fashion. Sometimes she skipped across the stage like a little girl. The talented Andrea Kerns was sadly limited by a a role that required little more than writhing in a unitard as the lusty temptress, Morrighan.
Still, Lord of the Dance won a standing ovation and hearty cheers. As an encore, the dancers lined the stage and exhibited the synchronized percussive footwork that’s made Irish dancing so popular and spectacular, outstanding, breathtaking.