Michael Flatley

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Michael Flatley

Flatley performing live in Feet of Flames 2009 in Taipei.
BornMichael Ryan Flatley
(1958-07-16) July 16, 1958 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
NationalityAmerican-Irish[1]
EducationBrother Rice High School
OccupationDancer, actor, occasional broadcaster, writer, flautist, choreographer
Years active1991–present
Known forRiverdance (1994–present)
Lord of the Dance (1996–present)
Feet of Flames (1998–2001)
Celtic Tiger (2004–2007)
Net worthUnited States $650 million[2]
United Kingdom £421 million;
Republic of Ireland 495 million
Spouse(s)

Beata Dziąba (m. 1986–1997) «start: (1986-01-06)–end+1: (1998)»"Marriage: Beata Dziąba to Michael Flatley" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flatley) (divorced)

Niamh O'Brien (m. 2006) «start: (2006-10-14)»"Marriage: Niamh O'Brien to Michael Flatley" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flatley)
ChildrenMichael St. James Flatley
(born 2007)
Website
Official website
 
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Michael Flatley

Flatley performing live in Feet of Flames 2009 in Taipei.
BornMichael Ryan Flatley
(1958-07-16) July 16, 1958 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
NationalityAmerican-Irish[1]
EducationBrother Rice High School
OccupationDancer, actor, occasional broadcaster, writer, flautist, choreographer
Years active1991–present
Known forRiverdance (1994–present)
Lord of the Dance (1996–present)
Feet of Flames (1998–2001)
Celtic Tiger (2004–2007)
Net worthUnited States $650 million[2]
United Kingdom £421 million;
Republic of Ireland 495 million
Spouse(s)

Beata Dziąba (m. 1986–1997) «start: (1986-01-06)–end+1: (1998)»"Marriage: Beata Dziąba to Michael Flatley" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flatley) (divorced)

Niamh O'Brien (m. 2006) «start: (2006-10-14)»"Marriage: Niamh O'Brien to Michael Flatley" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flatley)
ChildrenMichael St. James Flatley
(born 2007)
Website
Official website

Michael Ryan Flatley (born July 16, 1958) is an Irish-American dancer, choreographer, actor, musician and occasional television presenter. He became internationally known for Irish dance shows Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Celtic Tiger. On April 20 2010, Michael announced he would return to the stage for the European tour of 'The Return of Michael Flatley as Lord of the Dance'. A movie of the show was released worldwide on Saint Patrick's Day 2011 in 3D and was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2011.

Contents

Early life

Flatley is a native of the South Side of Chicago. He is of Irish American background, being born to Irish parents. He began dancing lessons at 12 and, in 1975, became the first non-European resident to win the World Championship for Irish dance. He is a trained amateur pugilist as well as a proficient flautist, having twice won the All-Ireland Competition. In dance, Flatley was taught by Dennis Dennehy at the Dennehy School of Irish Dance in Chicago, then went on to producing his own show. After graduating from Brother Rice High School, on Chicago's Southwest Side, he opened a dance school.

Career

He was the first American to win the World Irish Dance Championships and also won numerous All-Ireland Flute Championships. From 1978 to 1979 he toured with Green Fields of America. Later he toured with The Chieftains in the 1980s.;[3]

He received the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship in 1988. In May 1989, Flatley set a Guinness Book world record for tapping speed at 28 taps per second. Flatley was named one of National Geographic Society's Living Treasures in 1991 for mastery of a traditional art form by a living person – the youngest person at that time ever to receive this accolade.

Flatley and Jean Butler choreographed the original Riverdance and led the show to great success as the intermission act in the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994, and then starred in the full-length show that was developed from the seven-minute number. After leaving the show due to problems over creative control after its first run in London in late 1995, Flatley produced, directed, and choreographed Lord of the Dance which was played mostly in arenas and stadiums instead of theaters. He also put together a dance production called Feet of Flames in 1998. He later went on to produce another version of that show of which around 50% of the numbers were different from that of the 1998 show. Titled 'Feet of Flames The Victory Tour', he toured Europe in 2000 and the U.S. in 2001.

He broke his own record for tapping speed in February 1998, by achieving 35 taps per second.[4]

Flatley also received Guinness Book recognition in both 1999 and 2000 for being the highest paid dancer, earning $1,600,000 per week and for having the highest insurance policy placed on a dancer's legs at $40,000,000.[5]

In December 2001, Flatley became the first recipient of the Irish Dancing Commission Fellowship award, an honorary degree in Irish dance, and was simultaneously made a Fellow of the American Irish Dance Teachers’ Association. Irish America magazine named Flatley Irish American of the Year in March 2003.

In 2004, Flatley received an honorary doctorate degree from University College Dublin and that same year received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York.

His latest Irish dance show is Celtic Tiger, which opened in July 2005. The show explores the history of the Irish people and Irish emigration to the US, fusing a wide range of dance styles, including jazz. The show also includes popular elements from his previous shows, such as Flatley's flute solos and the line of dancers in the finale.

In March 2006, Flatley released his own autobiographical book titled Lord of the Dance: My Story. Regarding his future, Flatley was quoted in the Celtic Tiger program book as saying, "I will be a dancer until the day I die," though more developments in entertainment are planned (see below).

On the June 3, 2007, The Freedom of the City of Cork was conferred on the entertainer at a ceremony in Cork's City Hall. In 2008, he was conferred with the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo at a ceremony in Sligo City Hall.;[6]

The Variety Club of Ireland presented Flatley with their Entertainer of the Decade Award in 2008 as well.;[7] In the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars in the US, he appeared as a guest, filling in for Len Goodman. In the fall of 2007, Flatley and a troupe of male dancers performed on Dancing with the Stars in the U.S. and in 2008, he performed the solo 'Capone' from Celtic Tiger.

He was the host of the NBC show Superstars of Dance, which premiered on January 4, 2009. Michael Flatley returned to the stage in 2009 for a limited run of the "Hyde Park" version of Feet of Flames in Taiwan. His return was met with multiple standing ovations and the run of shows had to be extended to meet the demand for tickets.[6]

In April 2010, he announced that he would be returning to headline the Lord of the Dance show, with performances in arenas across England and Ireland in November 2010, with dates also announced in Germany, Switzerland & Austria - the first time he will have done so since 1998.[8]

June 2010 Michael launched The Garden of Music and Memory in Culfadda, County Sligo the village his father left to seek a new life in America, part of this ceremony including Michael's speech and an impromptu performance of one of his father's favourite tunes can be heard at http://www.podcasts.ie/michael-flatley-in-culfadda/

Michael Flatley was among the list of international film and sports stars and amateur golfers who participated in the fundraising golf Pro-Am, the JP McManus Pro-Am in Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland on the 5th and 6 July 2010.

In March 2011, Lord of the Dance 3D, the movie, debuted in theatres worldwide. Filmed during Flatley’s return tour in the fall of 2010, the movie featured new sets, new costumes, state-of-the-art lighting, pyrotechnics and projections.[9] A DVD and Blu-ray Disc of the film was released entitled "Michael Flatley Returns as Lord of the Dance" on June 28, 2011 in USA and Canada, and August 4 in Australia, September 12, 2011 in the U.K. and October in Germany, France, Benelux and Scandinavia. The 3D version of the film was released only in Blu-ray in late 2011. The film shows the performances from the O2 Arenas of London, Dublin, and Berlin.

In March 2011, Michael Flatley was inducted into Irish America magazine's Irish America Hall of Fame.[10]

Personal life

In 1986, Flatley wed Polish make-up artist Beata Dziąba; they divorced in 1997.

In 2003, an allegation was made by real estate agent Tyna Marie Robertson claiming that Michael had raped her in 2002 at a Las Vegas hotel. In the subsequent court case she was ordered to pay $11 million compensation for the defamation and for extortion.[11]

In April 2006, Flatley spoke about his recent discovery of a facial skin cancer.[12] He had kept the cancer a closely guarded secret, but said, "I'm completely fine now, thank God."

At the 10th Anniversary of Lord of the Dance in June 2006, Flatley was accompanied by dancer Niamh O’Brien, who dances with him in Celtic Tiger. O'Brien had danced with Flatley in Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Feet of Flames before they shared the stage in Celtic Tiger. The two shortly thereafter announced that they were dating, and were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Fermoy, County Cork, on October 14, 2006.[13]

On November 15, 2006, Flatley was admitted to a London hospital with what the media described as a 'viral infection'.[14] All the fall and winter tours of his latest production, Celtic Tiger, were cancelled. He was discharged two weeks later. [15]

Niamh Flatley gave birth to son, Michael St. James Flatley, on Thursday April 26, 2007.[13]

Flatley's financial worth in 2006 was estimated at £350 million (US $700 million) in a Daily Mail article,[16] and he is known to maintain homes in Barbados, United States, France, Ireland and London. As of 2010, his estimated fortune is around $650 million (UK: £421 million; Ireland: €495 million)[citation needed]

He currently resides in Beverly Hills, California

In other media

Flatley and his work have been referenced and parodied in a wide variety of media, including television shows such as Friends, Britain's Got Talent, I'm Alan Partridge, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Celebrity Deathmatch, and movies such as Dudley Do-Right and The Boondock Saints, as well as The Simpsons episode The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.

References

  1. ^ See United States nationality law
  2. ^ CelebrityNetWorth.com. CelebrityNetWorth.com (1958-07-16). Retrieved on 2011-10-21.
  3. ^ Michael Flatley MIKEroCosm. Celticcafe.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-21.
  4. ^ "Awards and honors". MichaelFlatley.com. http://www.michaelflatley.com/awardsandhonors.cfm. 
  5. ^ michaelflatley.com, Awards and Honors, accessed 2008-04-13
  6. ^ a b Michael Flatley Smashes Box Office Records in Taiwan. Business Wire (2009-12-21). Retrieved on 2011-10-21.
  7. ^ About Michael :: Awards & Honors. MichaelFlatley.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-21.
  8. ^ [Lord of the Dance returns to Ireland]http://www.insideireland.ie/index.cfm/section/news/ext/riverdance002/category/905
  9. ^ Cox, Gordon (8 December 2010). "'Lord' dances to screens in 3D". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118028650. 
  10. ^ McGoldrick, Debbie. "The Man Who Brought Irish Dance To the Global Stage", Irish America magazine, March 10, 2011. Accessed March 22, 2011. "He’s been the world’s most famous lord for the past 15 years. Now Michael Flatley is poised to become a movie star . . . and a 3D one at that."
  11. ^ "Flatley wins $11m over rape claim". BBC News Online. 8 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7134548.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  12. ^ "Flatley faced cancer scare after TV chat". ContactMusic.com. http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/flatley%20faced%20cancer%20scare%20after%20tv%20chat_12_04_2006. 
  13. ^ a b Daily Mirror (2006-10-15). "Flatley dances up aisle". The Daily Mirror. http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=flatley-dances-up-aisle-%26method=full%26objectid=17934317%26siteid=62484-name_page.html. 
  14. ^ Castle, Tim (November 16, 2006). ""Celtic" dancer Flatley in hospital, cancels tour". Reuters.com. http://www.reuters.com/article/peopleNews/idUSL1650524820061117. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  15. ^ "News and Events". MichaelFlatley.com. http://www.michaelflatley.com/newsevents.cfm. 
  16. ^ Not stated (2006-11-16). "Lord of the dance fights for his life". thisislondon.co.uk, which is part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard & Metro Media Group. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23374647-details/Lord+of+the+dance+fights+for+his+life/article.do. 

External links