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‘A sheer spectacle with plenty of energy & passion’: CELTIC TIGER – The Shows Must Go On! (Online review)

This 2005 production directed, produced and choreographed by Michael Flatley has some interesting concepts – but put together comes across as an incoherent show.

The last Michael Flatley show that I went to see was Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games and was completely mesmerised by the sheer skill and talent that was displayed. Which is why I was looking forward to catching the 2005 production Celtic Tiger.

As you would expect, Celtic Tiger is a bold and energetic production – which is certainly no bad thing but it does have a tendency to be overfilled with ideas that make it seem overly ambitious.

However, within this there are some really good sequences that could be put together into its own separate show. In particular, ‘The Famine’, ‘A Call to Arms’ and ‘The 1916 Rising’ are extremely moving, highlighting the depth of the pain of Ireland’s past. Meanwhile, I would have loved to seen where the ‘Capone’ sequence could be used in a full-length show. As many ideas as there are thrown into the show, there could have been and needs to more depth to explore each issue effectively.

Despite this, there is so much talent on display to admire – featuring a diversity of styles of dance. This is particularly highlighted by the ‘A New World’ sequence that lovingly showcases a variety of dances from around the world, capturing the fact that these dancers have much more to their repertoire than initially think. Throughout it all, the synchronicity and timing is absolutely spot on making it mesmerising to watch.

The way in which the show has been filmed is really clever and allows the audience to focus on the intricacies of the dance, but it has to be said that some of the moments in which slow motion is applied feels a bit over the top.

Overall, it is as expected – a sheer spectacle with plenty of energy and passion thrown at it. However, it does feel as though too many ideas have been thrown at it to make it feel like a cohesive show – but fans of Michael Flatley’s other shows will certainly enjoy it.

By Emma Clarendon


from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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