Ronan Hardiman – Michael Flatley’s – Lord Of The Dance (1996)

FrontCover1Lord of the Dance is an Irish musical and dance production that was created, choreographed, and produced by Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley, who also took a starring role. The music for the show was written by Ronan Hardiman.

Michael Flatley found his first fame starring in Riverdance, but he left the show in late 1995 due to conflicts over creative control. He dreamed of, and put into action, a plan of putting together a dance show capable of playing in arenas and stadiums instead of traditional theatres.[1] Later on, Flatley soon began thinking of rhythm patterns and steps for an a cappella number. This number would later become “Planet Ireland”, the show’s finale. The show took six months to bring it from conception to the stage. Auditions were held in the SFX City Theatre in Dublin.

Lord of the Dance had preview shows at the Point Theatre in Dublin from 28 June to 1 July 1996. The show staged a premiere performance on 27 June 1996 – the video was filmed on 2 July 1996. The story follows the character “Lord of the Dance” and his fight against the evil dark lord “Don Dorcha” from taking over Planet Ireland. The “Lord of the Dance” defeats the dark lord’s invasion with help from a little spirit. There is also a story with a “love vs lust” theme expressed through dance throughout the show. “Saoirse, the Irish Cailín” fights for the love of the “Lord of the Dance” against the wicked “Morrighan, the Temptress”. The stories are based on ancient Irish folklore and some Biblical references; the title itself, along with the central musical theme, is taken from a contemporary hymn. (by wikipedia)

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Part showtunes, part classical, and part folk music, Ronan Hardiman’s score to Lord of the Dance, the musical starring dancer Michael Flatley, successfully avoids all the inherent pitfalls of such an enterprise. Hardiman has emerged as Ireland’s finest interpreter of traditional music for films, TV, and the theater, and under his guidance the 19 lush orchestral tunes, augmented with many traditional instruments, are rife with the spirit of the Emerald Isle.


Two of the tracks feature the taps of Flatley and Co, while the rest highlight the score as composed by Hardiman with all its subtle textures intact and not masked by the live sound of tap dancing. Lord of the Dance is a perfect and very listenable fusion of Broadway and the indigenous heritage of Irish music making. (by Derek Rath)

Ronan Hardiman’s score takes a dancing trip through the Emerald Isle! The two bonus tracks feature the taps of Michael Flatley with the Lord of the Dance troupe.

But: If you want to discover all these great Irish Folk tunes … listen to the originals like The Dubliners & Co.

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Maire Breatnach (fiddle)
Anne Buckley (vocals)
Richie Buckley (saxophone)
Roy Carter (oboe)
Bill Dowdall (flute)
Gerard Fahey (bouzouki, bagpipes. whistle)
Michael Flatley (percussion)
Ronan Hardiman (keyboards, programming)
Dave Keary (guitar, bouzouki)
Tom McDonagh (bouzouki)
Tony Molloy (bass)
Mairead Nesbitt (fiddle)
Gary Sullivan (drums)
Lord Of The Dance Troupe (percussion)
Orchestra & Choir counducted by Anne Dudley

01. Cry Of The Celts 4.24
02. Suila Ruin 3.14
03. Celtic Dream 5.37
04. Warriors 3.08
05. Gypsy 2.08
06. Breakout 3.46
07. The Lord Of The Dance 4.44
08. Spirit In The New World 1.31
09. Fiery Nights 3.09
10. Lament 3.22
11. Siamsa 4.27
12. Our Wedding Day 3.24
13. Stolen Kiss 3.26
14. Nightmare 3.37
15. Victory 2.44
16. Cry Of The Celts (bonus version) 2.21
17. The Lord Of The Dance (bonus version) 4.44

Music: Ronan Hardiman
Lyrics: Michael Flatley