‘Lord of the Dance’ is back!

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It’s so nineties! Michael “Lord of the Dance” Flatley, he of the world-famous and oft-mocked Riverdance, is back, no thanks to conventional Western medicine. Flatley has been MIA since 2006, felled by a mysterious virus that left him weakened, unable to move freely, and unable to share his love of The Dance. But then he found a unconventional cure. It’s called a “Plexus System” and it involves the body’s energy.

Full disclosure: a guy once took me to see Riverdance on a date, and it was absolutely amazing! I thought it was going to be really silly, but those Irish dancers can really hoof it…from the waist down, at least. Through my amazement, I did notice that “the dance” seems localized to the bottom half. The top half of the body stays oddly still.

Full disclosure: a guy once took me to see Riverdance on a date, and it was absolutely amazing! I thought it was going to be really silly, but those Irish dancers can really hoof it…from the waist down, at least. Through my amazement, I did notice that “the dance” seems localized to the bottom half. The top half of the body stays oddly still.

Irish-American dance master Michael Flatley is back on stage after years of suffering from a “mystery virus,” thanks to a treatment by an Irish “energy healer,” Irish media quoted Flatley as saying on Wednesday. Flatley, born in the United States in 1958 of Irish heritage, rose to fame as a member of the “Riverdance” troupe that helped propel Irish dancing into the global spotlight and later opened his own “Lord of the Dance” show. He was taken to hospital in London in 2006 with a virus that forced him to cancel the European tour of his “Celtic Tiger” show, a dramatization of Ireland’s history.

“Conventional medicine failed to cure me from my mystery virus,” Flatley told the Irish Independent newspaper. “And then, by chance, I met a young man from Ireland called Michael O’Doherty who works on the body’s energy,” Flatley said.

“When he came to visit me in Ireland, I could barely get out of the chair,” he said. “He visited me about 10 times afterwards and, now, I feel really good. Great, in fact. I can dance at speed and I’m close to 100 percent fit again,” he added.

According to the clinic’s website, the “Plexus System” developed by Michael O’Doherty and Tom Griffin works by “rebalancing the life-force energy within and around the body. Einstein concluded that everything is energy and beyond energy is a Supreme Intelligence,” the website says. “Within the Plexus System, we have begun to understand the powerful effectiveness of this intelligent life force.”

Thanks to the treatment, Flatley has been able to take part in U.S. celebrity dance TV shows and has resumed a strict daily training regime, the Irish Independent said.

[From Reuters]

I’m kind of “meh” about this unconventional healing – not that Western medicine is the end-all of treatments. Many have found that too many Western health problems could be helped through more Eastern treatments of diet, exercise, meditation, yoga, etc. But the “Plexus System” doesn’t sound like that, does it? It sounds vaguely like Scientology. But still, I’m happy that Flatley is better, and I’m thrilled that he will be coming to an American dance show soon!

Here is a clip from Riverdance:

Michael Flatley is shown out with his wife Niamh Flatley on 4/25/08 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin. He was presented with the Variety Club of Ireland ‘Entertainer of the Decade’ award. Credit: WENN

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6 Responses to “‘Lord of the Dance’ is back!”

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  1. Kimble says:

    Flatley really creeps me out. His wife looks Nicole Kidman frozen too!

  2. Mairead says:

    Looks like I’m back from my Christmas holliers just in time! (Happy New Year everyone)

    This is the original article – the Herald and the Indo are owned by the same company:

    Similar article from the same source: http://www.independent.ie/health/alternative-health/healer-cured-my-mystery-illness–claims–flatley-1588540.html

    Although I’ve never heard of this company, I’m quite familiar with bio-energy; it was a bit of a fad in the early-90s. Lots of waving hands about and pulling people without touching them (anyone can do it if you concentrate enough.)

    Just on the dancing part – Kaiser, the form of Irish dancing may seem a bit odd to you, but it may help to put it in a bit of context. Now, bearing in mind that I’m no expert, there are 4 forms of Irish dancing, at least two of which are shared with Scotland.

    1 – Formal Irish Dancing, or “damhnsa foghlaimta”/learnt dancing. This is the type you saw in Riverdance and what everyone associates Irish dancing to be. The dances are based on defined patterns. The full range of movement is in the legs and ankles. The back and arms stay straight to avoid using the upper body for leverage in the kicks and jumps. This style of dancing was developed (I think) in the 19th century during the Celtic Revivial and the prominence of “Feis” or festivals dedicated to Irish music, song and dance.

    Set dancing – these are group dances, usually in mixed-sex teams of four or six. Again, quite formal steps requiring good posture.

    Step-dancing or “damhnsa ar an sean-nós” aka “old-style dancing”. This is very similar to tap dancing (the two are very closely related). Most of the movement is concentrated in the feet but the arms, back and head can move.

    Céilí dancing, again has largely formal set-dances but with a more informal atmosphere. The numbers needed for each dance range from 2 (Stack of Barley) up to 14/16 (Siege of Ennis).

  3. kate says:

    alright! i’m busting out my pan-pipes!

  4. Mairead says:

    You bleedin’ date Kate, and I’ll bust ’em with my sledge-hammer! *evil laugh*

    Seriously though, who else thinks that pan pipes make the most annoying racket ever?

  5. Kaiser says:

    I wasn’t dissin’ The Dance, Mairead! I actually loved Riverdance, but it just cracks me up how stiff they stay from the waist up. And I’ve seen the traditional “Irish jig” type dances (and probably even danced a jig once or twice when I was loaded).

  6. geronimo says:

    Kaiser – The stance/posture has puritan-driven roots. In its original form, step-dancing (sean-nos) was closer to tap with arm and upper body movement but the powers that be (the church) frowned on this type of abandonment(!) and had much to do with it being reigned in so as not to incite impure behaviour- the guiding principle being that if your back is straight and your arms are by your sides, you can’t get up to no good! It’s fascinating to see the difference between the very informal, elemental way ‘country folk’ danced (and still do) in comparison to the very stiff, rule-driven, straight-backed way it was taught, and is still taught in dancing schools.

    I love what Flatley did with it, particularly the way he reclaimed its very elemental and wild side.