Lord of the Dance in 3D
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

FILM SYNOPSIS: Since its premiere in 1996, Lord of the Dance has grossed over $1 billion dollars worldwide.  Now fans around the globe will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, when the world famous Lord of the Dance and its creator, producer, director and star, Michael Flatley, are brought to the big screen in 3D for a limited engagement.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Years ago, just before Riverdance was released on video (that’s how long ago it was), I was sent a screener of that production. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like it. In fact, I dreaded having to sit down and view it. I was delightfully (I’m a reviewer, I can use that word) surprised by the Michael Flatley production. Riverdance was an uplifting, nourishing celebration of Irish culture through music and dance. The lighting, staging and other production values added to the dreamy, romantic, yet fast-paced mood, making it a unique evening of musical theatre. In 1996, Michael Flatley, having gained more producing power, came out with The Lord of the Dance. Eighteen years later, Mr. Flatley, as well known for his bloated self-esteem as for his talent, returns to the stage, bringing back an updated version of Lord of the Dance. This revamped production is a bit more draconian, darker and more violent in mood and action, but it lacks whimsy or joy, elements most prized when viewing dedicated Irish dancers.

What stands out is the fact that this is a stage production, the symbolic scenario and dramatics becoming heavy-handed by the up-close camera, which constantly holds on Mr. Flatley as he freeze poses with a huge grin on his face, awaiting (demanding) audience acceptance. What doesn’t stand out is the 3D effect, the cheesy staging, or Mr. Flatley’s dated performing techniques. Though he’s gotten rid of the ‘80s hairdo, he’s still wearing what appears to be Michael Jackson’s old sequined military coats. He’s added boots with see-through high heels and is still doing the hand pointing to the feet. His newest affectation is the discus thrower stance, for what reason I don’t know other than he loves to pose.

Overall, it is a lackluster production, so darkly lit (is this due to the 3D effect?) you can’t see the dancers’ faces, nor their feet. What’s best seen and what should have been left in the rehearsal hall is Mr. Flatley’s egotistical persona. Mr. Flatley maybe one of the greatest dancers of all time, but he comes across throughout the show as cocky, unable to balance talent with warmth or modesty. Certain show folk, usually old comedians, feel a need to verbalize their past achievements whenever interviewed. Like some Hollywood performers, Mr. Flatley is becoming as well known for his narcissism as his showmanship. He’s Jerry Lewis in tap shoes.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Supervision Media

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: There is some violent imagery acted out, but it is fairly brief and meant to further this story of good vs. evil.
Sexual Intercourse: Some sensuality as Flatley dances with romantically with a couple of the female dancers.
Nudity: No nudity, but at one point, the female dances remove robes and dance in outfits resembling bikinis. That said, I found the production to be more of a celebration of the human form than an exploitation of it.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up.

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