on January 10, 2003
On July 25, 1998, in Hyde Park, history was made. Performing on the largest stage ever built, Michael Flatley with over 100 dancers performed Feet of Flames in front of an audience of 50,000 people.
With the plan of it being his last performance, Michael Flatley decided to do one last, huge, triumphant and expanded version of Lord of the Dance. He called it after his solo: Feet of Flames. The entire show is Michael performing at his best. Compared with the original Lord of the Dance, Michael and all the dancers have become much more free, and they relate to the audience at an incredible level. With all new costumes, added dances and songs, Feet of Flames is truly a masterpiece.
Michael's flute solo Whispering Wind, is a touching traditional air. He is a world champion flautist and his playing is beautiful. Celtic Fire (a new number with the band) showcases the often neglected talents of the musicians. It is traditional Irish music played in very untraditional way, and it is absolutely fantastic. The new Siamasa number is simply a joy to watch. The dancers look happy, and are so energetic one just wants to get up and dance with them. But the most incredible part of the entire show is Michael's new solo. With no music and no other dancers, it shows just what he does. From slower, variated rhythm patterns, to blazingly fast footwork, and everything in between, this is Michael Flatley's masterpiece.
I have watched Feet of Flames 30+ times since I got it this past October, and I absolutely love it. The 'Making of FOF: Into the Fire' is almost a full length film in and of itself, and gives a fantastic day by day report of the two weeks leading up to the show. Feet of Flames is Michael Flatley at his best.
on January 19, 2002
I had purchased this DVD for my daughter who is very much the dancer. Unfortuntely, WE ALL were forced into snore-mode after just 10 minutes of this film. I only have one word to describe it: MUNDANE. Sure, there were SOME sparkling numbers, but we had to search through the film in order to find them...
Although Michael Flatley is obviously talented, FEET OF FLAMES is better titled ME, ME, WONDERFUL ME BY MICHAEL FLATLEY. Get ready to encounter major Flatley ego as you watch! I haven't seen such a performance - maybe I'm just not as "worldly" as some. Rather, I would have enjoyed more of the pure Irish & Celtic Dancing I was hoping for and not so much self-agrandized infatuation with oneself. Or maybe the problem is the performance was taped in England where they live, eat, and breathe Flatley. After all, anyone's head would swell to the size of Texas with all that adoration! So I guess it is inevitable that his love for himself comes through in this production...
If you are interested in more of the Celtic experience of dancing, I would suggest you purchase copies of his earlier works, before he was "loved by millions." That way, you won't have to put on your ego waders and go in up to your eyeballs...
on July 7, 2002
I'll try my best to do this production as much justice as I can. This performance, titled "Feet Of Flames" is billed as Michael Flatley's last performance in the role of the "Lord Of The Dance" and I think he does an excellent job here! It is a fitting send-off, very grand and epic in scope and scale. I did get to see the original Lord Of The Dance show live on stage in Philadelphia in 1997 and was totally blown away by the experience. The dancing, the beautiful music and the celestial and haunting singing of Anne Buckley remain in my heart to this very day. There is just something about hearing that music live and feeling the vibrations course through your body with every step the dancers make. It gives new meaning to the saying that you just HAVE to be there. There is NOTHING like the energy of a live stage dancing performance. Particularly not one like this one, with sure fire and energy and passion.
Do not be fooled into thinking that is is just an out-of doors version of the original Lord Of The Dance show. It IS in a sense, and yet in many ways it is not. This show takes the original Lord Of The Dance production and kicks it into high gear. All of the original music and dances are back, but the dance routines look different a bit and more elaborate. They are longer and feature quite a bitof more complicated step work and more character interaction. There are also many new dances and more original musical pieces that make this a totally new experience.
I loved the fact that Bernadette Flynn (the "good" girl in the show) got to do her own solo dance in the middle of this. It really gave her a chance to shine. The new numbers played by the dueling violinists were lively and lovely at the same time. The costumes and sets for this show were much bigger and elaborate than those for the original show. I would EASILY say that for me, the combination of old music and new numbers with more elaborate and totally new dance sequences was wonderful to watch. It made certain that I did not feel I was watching "the same old show" done over again. There were just so many new things to see and to hear and to take in. I loved Michael Flatley's solo flute performance near the beginning of act two. Very lovely stuff. I must say though that for me the highlight was another chance to hear Anne Buckley sing. What a GOLDEN voice. So beautiful and tender, yet rich and deep and passionate. The three songs she did here were even better to me than the ones she sang in the original Lord Of The Dance show. Her version of "Marble Halls" to me was even better than Enya's rendition, which I had previously loved. Ms. Buckley introduced me to the haunting love ballad "Carrickfergus" that had me reaching for my Kleenex even as I was wide-eyed and smiling from ear to ear. And the Gaelic piece she did (An Maigdean Mhara, if my memory serves correctly) was so beautiful that mere seconds after Ms. Buckley began to sing this number, my floodgates FLEW open and did not close for the full 3+ minutes of this song. Also I loved the fact that in this show instead of having just the green hooded cape for all three of her numbers, this time Anne got to wear three diffferent and very beautiful dresses, one for each song that she did (green, white, and gold). Exquisite costumes to fit with a stunning voice and an incredible beauty with great stage prescence. I for one cannot wait for her solo debut album.
In short, this was an unforgettable experience. I have loved Celtic music and dance for years now and this performance only made my fires burn all the hotter with enthusiasm. The music, the dancing, the lighting, the story of a noble warrior saving his land from a dark knight's conquest...they combined to take my breath away and give me one of the greatest entertainment experiences of my life. If you get to see this I hope you get to enjoy it and even love it as much as I did. I still love this show today, more than two years after I got to see it, and I know I always will. Peace.
on January 20, 2002
After giving away my VHS tape of Feet of Flames, I immediately ordered it on DVD. Best purchase I made this year!
Feet of Flames is a fantastic Irish dance and music celebration that features the one and only Michael Flatley. It is a more expanded version of Lord of the Dance (LOD). The dancers are more experienced, the costumes have been updated, the music has been tweaked, and best of all is that we get to see Michael Flatley in a new solo dance as well as playing a very beautiful and memorable flute piece. This was filmed live from Hyde Park in London. The concert features the biggest show stage ever built and it incorporates all three of the LOD dance troupes.
The DVD has some added features. You can choose which dance number you want to see or you can watch the whole concert. There is a FANTASTIC "making of Feet of Flames" mini movie that lasts at least 20 minutes. This featurette is narrated by the man himself (Michael) as they count down to the day of the show. You really get a good, brief look at the planning and execution of such a huge project. You also get some very brief comments from the other show stars. I loved this feature and have been wanting to see a "behind the scenes" piece for some time now. There is also a biography of Michael Flatley.
Bottom line: You don't have to be a music lover to enjoy this enchanting show. You will love it! If you are trying to decide between LOD or FOF, go for FOF.
on July 25, 2001
FoF is an extended, much, much more lavish version of the original LotD (filmed 2 years earlier). With 3-4 times the number of dancers, even more elaborate stage settings than LotD, almost every single dance from the original, plus a good number of new surprises (not to mention a higher video quality), FoF is a truly, amazingly grand spectacle. One also can't help but marvel at Flatley's extraordinary talent - not just in dancing, but in production, directing, designs, the flute, everything. When will we ever see such talent again?
But if you want to see Flatley at his very, very best, if you want someone even more energetic, exciting, passionate, and captivating than what you already see in FoF, you really should watch LotD. I hate to say it (and I hope I'm wrong!), but the 2 extra years added to Flatley's age (Flatley was in his mid-30s in LotD) did seem to make some difference. The man was still awesome in FoF (I'd say 6 stars out of a possible 5), and I'm not sure even today (Flatley being in his early 40s) if there's a greater tap dancer/artist than he. But I do miss the Flatley in LotD (I'd say worth even a couple of more stars than his out-of-the-world performance in FoF).
Ironically, while I think Flatley's added years were a drag on the man, the other major dancers actually came out better in FoF than in LotD. They were noticeably more confident, more expressive, and dared to explore more new moves in FoF. I think that's because most of them were in their 20s, so the extra years only served to make them more mature, sophiscated dancers without adding the physical burden to them.
Between FoF and LotD, it's hard to say which is better; but for a Flatley fan, LotD is definitely an even more exhilarating experience than FoF. I'd recommend getting both FoF and LotD - you'll find different reasons to like them both.
on November 15, 2000
Absolutely brilliant and breathtaking in every way except one...Michael Flatley. He should have stopped when he was ahead! I saw him perform only 13 months prior to starring in Feet of Flames and he was incredible then...however his performance in FOF was disappointing, his posturing, grimaces, and pretentious solo was an embarrassment. He's gone 'soft' in the body and shows none of the style, bearing , or stamina of previous shows. However, this new take on "Lord of the Dance" is a visual and musical delight. The new dances "Dance Above the Rainbow" and "Dance of Love" are fabulous. (They weren't choreographed by Flatley, Marie-Duffy choreographed "Dance Above..." and the incredibly talented young John Carey (formerly Flatley's understudy and the former star of Lord of the Dance troupe 2) choreographed "Dance of Love".) The video combines the best parts of the actual performance with parts of the dress rehearsal. Bernadette Flynn, Daire Nolan, Helen Egan, Anne Buckley, and Ronan Hardiman's new music are outstanding; Gillian Norris looks gorgeous but doesn't dance enough. The real stars of the show are the 100 plus dancers from troupes 1 and 2 and the new dancers hired for this show. I never tire of watching this video, despite the sorry performance of the once amazing Flatley.
on September 5, 2001
I thoroughly enjoyed this variation of LOTD.The dancers, musicians, and singer all seemed to be having fun while doing their numbers. My favorite example is the great Gillian Norris performing " Gypsy " You could see her beautiful face and smile. She seemed to be having a great time while being erotic as she danced.Also her " Fiery Nights " number was excellent ( including the outfit).Bernadette Flynn's dance numbers were also superb. Again the dances were the same as LOTD, however again there seemed to be more sexual energy and passion in her dances. Anne Buckley's songs were sung like a angel from Heaven. The 2 fiddler players were superb as they were in LOTD'Michael Flatley did not do as many dance numbers as before but was his usual flamboyant self.I recommend this show to anyone who likes to watch, fantastic Irish step dancing, beautiful Irish women, Celtic music, good choreography, Great sets and lighting.
on June 8, 2001
I do love the dancing but I have to say I found the costumes of the production much gaudier and less atractive than the first version. The taping is better but the show looks sooo tacky at points it was laughable. I'm not apurist I love the show and I have been an Irish dancer for about 15 years. At one point the gypsy girl comes out in this god awful red cat suit looking like some villinous from the 1960's Batman TV series..very tacky. And Dair Nolan looked like he hated wearing that ridculous cape! As a dancer what idiot would want to dance with a cape flapping about your body? I do prefer this tape to the Orginal LOTD but I still think Flatley needs to work on his costume ideas. I have done dance shows and you need to not make the costumes so flashy that it ditracts from the lovely dancing. He needs to TONE IT DOWN!
on May 2, 2000
My husband and I enjoyed Lord of the Dance tremendously, but the whole dance troupe has outdone itself in this expanded version -- Feet of Flames. It is still Lord or the Dance, but now has a few added scenes/dances and some of the originals seem to have been improved some. We still love Lord of the Dance, but Feet of Flames is so much better.
One of the notable things about Feet of Flames is the amazing music and dance make you feel wonderful ... very uplifting.
We watch this show often and wish Feet of Flames would come out on DVD (which lasts a lifetime), but until then I am buying a second copy because we don't want to be without a copy someday when we wear out the video and it goes OOP!
on November 27, 2000
I have seen LORD OF THE DANCE live 6 times, and loved the video, but was disappointed with the numbers missing from the video. FEET OF FLAMES has it all..the "flute jam" (the band with Michael playing flute ) which I love, and much better camera work. Michael was great! The new costumes and numbers were a wonderful addition. The encore was magnificent and energizing! Anyone who mounted this show, and the others, would never have been able to make them without great confidence in himself, which some attribute to an inflated ego. I met Michael backstage in Philadelphia and was very impressed by his warmth, friendliness and charisma. I wish everyone would see this show, it is a joy to behold.