Mr. Trump and the Ego-in-Chief of Irish Dance

President-elect Donald Trump has been having a hard time signing talent for his inauguration, but according to The Guardian, Michael Flatley and his troupe are up to the challenge.
There is something fitting in this.
Michael Flatley, now retired, was once a great dancer. The first I saw him, well before Riverdance, was when he performed with The Chieftains and the Milwaukee Symphony as part of the Chieftains’ Ballad of the Irish Horse concert. (The album, scored for a National Geographic special, is a family favorite to this day.) The concert was a revelation and Flatley danced like a miracle.

The dress Rachel and I made for Maire, back in the day.

Then came Riverdance, which put Irish dance–and Flatley–on the map. It also and launched my daughter Maire into the crazy world of competitive Irish dance. (I have to take deep breaths just remembering it.) After my eldest daughter Rachel and I made Maire’s first solo dance dress, it also launched Rach into her career as a seamstress. So Clan Murphy owes MF sincere gratitude for that, to be sure, as well as many many fond memories.

But as we continued to follow Flatley’s career over the years, things began to change. While Riverdance was a smorgasbord of dance stars, Flatley only the first among them–could anyone forget Maria Pages?–the subsequent shows, Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames were All About Michael. He hogged the spotlight with oiled-and-bare-chested hero shots instead of artistry and class. I’ll never forget when he took a show to Britain and the headline of The London Times, I believe, read, “The Ego has landed.” It remains a family joke to this day, and has more than once been applied to our president-elect.
So Trump and Flatley, two for a pair.
But we’ll always have the original–original–Riverdance.
Categories: Culture, Politics, Religion.

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