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He is one of the world's most celebrated performers, an innovative and dazzling genius who has entertained millions. Now, from Michael Flatley, legend of Irish dance, comes three vibrant and exciting dance shows featuring superbly talented performers, fabulous music, and stunning special effects. As one of the most graceful athletes and creative choreographers ever, Michael has shaped the future of Irish dance. Now, his intoxicating mix of traditional music and dance, both old and new, is available for the first time in this special collection that will sweep you away!
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You see different parts of "Lord of the Dance" and "Feet of Flames" as he's talking about his achievements. He played a flute solo for his mom in "Feet of Flames", explaining that "A man cannot be macho all the time".
He explains about why he chose those exact costumes for the show. He loves a lot of color, as we all know, explaining that eye appeal is what brings a show together. (Some people criticize him about his vegas-style look to his shows)
There are new numbers at the end of the tape that were filmed in Budapest, I believe. The dances were styled to appeal to the countries taste. (More royal looking--Cleopatra-like eyes on the lead girls; the little spirit was dressed in a jester-like outfit) Different!! I also think the dancers were exceptional; different techniques for different countries makes for no boredom. It showed, they did a great job.
If you are a Michael Flatley fan, it's a DVD that you won't be sorry buying.
Then, my detailed opinions regarding the three programs.
This video contains, in their entirety, "Lord of the Dance" (LOTD), which was the premiere performance in the Point Theatre in Dublin;
"Feet of Flames," (FOF) the new and improved version of LOTD, performed outdoors in Hyde Park,
and a documentary, "Gold."
LOTD and FOF are on one side, and you need to flip the DVD over to watch Gold.
LOTD runs 1h 37 min, and is in normal TV aspect ratio ("fullscreen" 1.3:1).
FOF runs 1h 54 min, and is in widescreen format, 1.77:1, conventionally, 16:9.
Gold runs 2h 10 min, and is in aspect ratio 1.78:1, described as "anamorphic".
All three say captions in English and subtitles in French and Spanish.
Previous comments have mentioned some problems in the audio of the DVD.
The DVD that I purchased through Amazon is perfect. There are *NO* audio or visual problems in any of the programs.
I had LOTD in commercial VHS, as well as home-recorded of PBS. I find the quality of the commercial VHS rather poor, as if it was recorded in EP mode.
This DVD looks much better.
I cannot conceive of any reason not to buy this DVD, especially considering the price. I paid $13.99 from Amazon, and I cannot think of fourteen bucks better spent. Ever.
That should take care of the nuts and bolts information, now for my criticism.
Michael Flatley seems to have one mode when talking about his work: enthusiasm.
He says in Gold that LOTD was the best performance, that there was magic on the stage.
All I have seen is these videos and a performance of LOTD in Boston.
I believe that he is not exaggerating. To me, LOTD, the opening performance recorded for posterity,
is *PERFECT*. There is definately magic on that stage. Perhaps it is due to the opening show anxiety that Michael speaks of,
but whatever it is, I can watch this program over and over and over again and never get tired of it.
FOF is the 'new and improved' LOTD. As you see, it is a half hour longer. Besides all the pieces in LOTD, several new pieces were added.
Notably, a solo flute performance from Flatley, "Whispering Wind." It brings tears to my ears. It is absolutely beautiful.
Additionally, a second "Siamsa"-style piece is added to the first half, called "Dancing over the Rainbows."
Since "Siamsa" is one of my favorite pieces from LOTD, this is big plus.
I love all of LOTD, but I do have favorites. My *very* favorites pieces are: Gypsy, Stolen Kiss, Siamsa, and the intoroductory piece to "Lord of the Dance,"
where Gillian and Bernadette dance together and are then joined by four men (the part that is to the music of "Stolen Kiss").
I prefer all of these from LOTD to the FOF versions.
FOF may be bigger, but for me it is not better.
Don't get me wrong, I love FOF, but how can you match perfection (LOTD)?
The documentary Gold is an interview with Flatley interspersed with footage.
A great deal of the footage is from LOTD and FOF. Interesting note: The footage from LOTD is in widescreen. Is there a widescreen version of LOTD available? If there was, I'd buy it.
Probably half of the two-plus hours is simply footage from LOTD anf FOF.
It starts with earlier footage, including stuff with the Chieftans. All interesting.
The latter part focuses on a new and improved LOTD/FOF called "Feet of Flames Budapest."
I looked online for this expecting it to be commercially available, but no such luck. What gives?
It was obviously filmed...
Here I get critical.
The setting has been changed. It has an Egyptian motif. The 'bad' girl is Cleopatra.
Neither Gillian or Bernadette are in it.
One of the pieces shown is called "Cleopatra's Spell." This, I would guess, is the replacement for Gypsy.
I must admit, it has really grown on me. The dancer, whose name I didn't catch, is quite a babe. She has a great set of gams, but she's no Gillian.
[Gillian: I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU!]
Later, Michael talks about how he recognizes that his audience expects to see some of the favorites from LOTD/FOF.
This little snippet introduces the new "Stolen Kiss." Michael says something like he kept it because it'a a favorite, but made it bigger and better with new stuff.
Well, I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with Michael here.
I get the concept, sacred v. profane; love v. lust. It is *beautifullay* and *perfectly" portrayed in Stolen Kiss in LOTD.
But here, Flatley wants to hit us over the head with it, and has, in fact, vulgarized it.
In a nutshell, the two female leads do not measure up to Gillian and Bernadette.
I am a person who had/has ZERO interest in dance until, like millions of others, I happened to catch something called "Riverdance" on PBS a decade ago while channel surfing.
I still have no interest in dance, but I worship the ground Michael Flatley walks on.
LOTD is the greatest artistic creations in decades.
Michael Flatley, and Gillian Norris, dancing forever in my heart!
One reviewer commented that he detests Michael Flatley, personally. Never having met the man personally, I haven't had the chance to do so. I only know that as an inspiration to my little treasure he is the tops.
With all the -- at best worthless and at worst destructive -- media for our children and grandchildren to become entangled in, there is at least one glimmering star to captivate their attention.
Need I say that I have enjoyed Feet of Flames with him for more than two years now, and since the original is out of print, this edition will do quite nicely and at a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, volume level and audio mixing are all over the map. This is particularly true of Feet of Flames, where the music is almost inaudible at times -- even with my speakers at full volume. The mixing of music, tap elements, and ambient sounds fluctuates wildly. This always happens in the same places.
My player isn't the problem. When run on different players, the DVD still manifests the same inconstant audio.
Hoping that the particular DVD I bought had just been damaged in some way, I returned it as defective. After waiting close to a month for a replacement, I discovered that the new DVD performs exactly the same way the first one did.
Feet of Flames and Lord of the Dance are such fabulous shows, it's a shame that more care wasn't taken with the DVD. However, if you're a fan of Flatley & Company, can tolerate audio flutuations, and don't mind keeping your hand on the volume controls and intermittently having to put your ear against the speakers in order to hear something, this is the DVD for you. I do suggest that once you've turned the volume up you remain ready to turn it down quickly, because when the sound comes back it's loud enough to blow a person across the room.