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Lord of the Dance... Live and on Tape

June 28, 2007

Several months back I went to see a performance of Lord of the Dance. It began with a flute player, who was obviously a cast member with a prop. The costumes were brilliant and the dancing tack sharp. For years I had dreamt about seeing this in person and feeling the energy of the foot stomps (-foot percussion, or taps, etc. ) Most anticipated were the violins, because I had watched them several times on DVD and thought it was amazing! I started to notice they really were not playing-and I thought it was very odd. I also noticed the sound I heard in the speaker was out of synch with what my eyes were seeing. I wondered why such a reputable production would not be performed live? I was so disappointed as I realized I was listening to pre-recorded music and added tap sound at a LIVE performance! Sort of defeats the whole purpose I figure. Is this practice any different than TV or movies? I am curious if this would bother anyone else as they walked out of the show? Or do I need to get out more...
Shannon McDaniel

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at June 28, 2007 11:27 AM


So were they really dancing or was it just a big hologram? I'm thinking something went very, very wrong at one of these performances and they figured out how to keep it from ever happening again.

That plus violin-holders are easier to replace than violinists.

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at June 29, 2007 2:36 PM

This is a pet peeve of mine. When I purchase tickets to a performance, I expect a PERFORMANCE, not a mime show played out over a pre-recorded soundtrack. Unfortunately most folks aren't so discriminating, they seem to be fat and happy just sitting there with a bunch of their friends, sucking up the canned atmosphere.

Promoters have realized this lack of audience discrimination, and now capitalize on it by slapping together cheap road shows where no actual performance is required. Much less expensive. And, as Joan points out, instrument holders are much easier to replace than instrumentalists.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at June 29, 2007 3:30 PM

That is a disconcerting tale. I would have walked out, too, in disgust.

My wife and I walked out of a performance of Juiius Caesar at the Ordway years ago because we thought the opera staging, costumes and castrato (countertenor) singing were too strange. I mean, we had no idea there would be actors whose left side was a Roman uniform and right side was a Nazi uniform. We left at intermission time and had a nice walk in Rice Park. So much for my avant garde-classical opera education.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at June 29, 2007 5:25 PM

P.S. They had two big Harley motorcycles roll onto the Roman Forum stage set. How's that for anachronism?

Posted by: Richard Schletty at June 29, 2007 5:28 PM

The good news is that the orchestra and singing was was all live. No Memorex, no lip synching, no pitch correction software at this performance!

Posted by: Richard Schletty at June 29, 2007 5:31 PM

The good news is that the orchestra and singing were all live. No Memorex, no lip synching, no pitch correction software at this performance!

Posted by: Richard Schletty at June 29, 2007 5:31 PM

I guess I should make it clear, that though I did walk out, it was well before the encore. We hit the door as soon as we knew we would disrupt the people next to us. Sorry to paint a picture of some political statement!

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at June 29, 2007 7:49 PM

OOOps, that's not disrupt!

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at June 29, 2007 10:30 PM

Aw, shucks. I had an image of Shannon the Disgusted leaving halfway through the second dance number, clapping hands in perfect time while doing a fluid Song of Solomon contrapposto dance while shouting, "THIS is real, my friends!"

Posted by: Richard Schletty at June 30, 2007 12:28 AM

Let's begin with Riverdance because as it were, that's where it began. Sometime after blowing the doors off the hinges and exposing the world to Ireland in a musical format, dancer Micheael Flatley who had a hand in creating and promoting RD, wanted more money. Can't fault the guy, and these things happen. His request if that was it was, was denied and he packed his dancing shoes and created Lord of The dance.

10+ years on, Riverdance still has the power and energy to take your breath away. I don't remember any pre-recorded, lip-sync, puppetry involved, but this may depend upon which theatre you see it in. My advise is to see Riverdance and not the other, when it comes to a stage near you. The troupe is touring now. Slon.

Posted by: Joshua Brande at July 5, 2007 11:06 AM

Joshua: Good info. Thanks for that.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at July 6, 2007 11:11 PM

My opinion of Michael Flatley is, for legal reasons, and for the sake of common decency, unpublishable. My (somewhat cranked up) opinion of Riverdance itself can be found here.

Warning - adult content.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at July 9, 2007 1:10 PM

Huw: Do you consider yourself a "developing" or an "under-expressed" singer?

Posted by: Richard Schletty at July 9, 2007 7:07 PM

Amen to Joshua's comment!
A big Yes to Riverdance and a big No-No to the flashy (flash-in-the-pan) Lord of the Dance. I'm sure that there's a story line, based on some ancient Celtic traditional tale in Flatley's production, but beats me what it is. I'll have to re-read the program..
When I finally did see LOTD here in San Antonio, Michael Flatley was dancing on a broken foot (!), so he wasn't flying as he had in the Riverdance, The Movie video. In Riverdance he reminded me of a young, energetic stallion whose feet seemed to float just a few inches above ground most of the time..quite amazing. He also had great stage presence and interacted well with his dancing partners - there was fire there!

Whatever happened to those movie deals Flatley was working on...?

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at July 11, 2007 8:27 AM

Richard the only thing about me that's still developing is my paunch! The table shouting over the music at a recent floorspot I did would vouch that 'underexpressed' is an inappropriate term.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at July 30, 2007 4:45 PM

Oh and as for Lord of the Pants ..!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at July 30, 2007 4:46 PM

Hear hear...

Posted by: Richard Schletty at August 3, 2007 11:42 PM

Make way for love, make way for song
The greatest good uprights the wrong
In step with Jesus, Lord of dance
We feel the power of God romance

Posted by: Richard Schletty at August 23, 2007 2:38 PM

It's a good thread.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at November 14, 2007 8:35 PM

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