'Lord of the Dance' creator Flatley to retire after Broadway debut

Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:25pm EDT
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(Reuters) - American dancer Michael Flatley, the creator of Irish folk dance shows "Lord of the Dance" and "Riverdance," will be hanging up his shoes after making his debut on Broadway this year, organizers of the show said on Monday.

Flatley, 57, will make special appearances for the first time on Broadway in "Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games" at New York's Lyric Theater, during its run from Nov. 7 through Jan. 3. He will then retire from dancing, producers said in a statement.

The show, which features holographs, dancing robots and acrobats accompanying Flatley's team of Irish dancers, will feature the veteran dancer at the end of each evening's performance.

In interviews with the British press earlier this year, Flatley discussed the grueling impact that dancing has taken on his body, saying he has suffered broken bones and spine damage over the years.

Flatley, born in Chicago to Irish-American parents, is credited with reinventing traditional Irish dance, incorporating upper body movements and contemporary rhythms into the step-dancing. Forbes estimated his wealth at $299 million this year.

"Lord of the Dance," which premiered in 1996, broke the box office record after performing 21 consecutive shows at London's Wembley Arena, a record yet to be broken.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Dancer Michael Flatley looks out from the stage before a final dress rehersal for "Feet of Flames" in central London's Hyde Park July 24.