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Feet of Flames - World Tour
Die Victory Tour 2001 in den USA
 
+++ Tour-Report von Jeannie Kaidy +++

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What is it like to see every show.? Aren't they all the same? And doesn't it get repetitious? Why are you doing this? The answers are:1.Seeing every show is like getting what you want for Christmas every day. 2.They are never the same. 3.If eating, sleeping and breathing are repetitious I suppose watching Michael dance is repetitious- but would you want to stop breathing? 4. I'm doing this because he said to follow my dreams and this is a dream.

From Greenville to Dallas it was the same feeling. The same anticipation that began the afternoon of the show and peaked as he made that first leap from the fire. Any tiredness from the planes, the cars, lack of sleep or the heat of the day disappeared and my energy level skyrocketed during the performances. It was a force filling me with hope and joy and a positive belief in the goodness of life. And it was shared by countless friends that I met throughout the two months on the road.

There were the many problems with the set, the hydraulics, the lighting, and the pyros. There was the horror of New Jersey and the news of Michael's mother's illness. There were the endless venue security guards who kept him from seeing his fan/friends. There were the shows too close together to allow for rest and the pain was visible on his face. He triumphed over it all. His determination to give his best and to outdo even himself was there at every performance. On a personal level I was priviledged to have loving moments with him, to be received with warmth and gentleness and given those reassuring hugs.

Of course, the show is not all Michael. The troupe were as one. Every performance their bright smiles and great energy gave those pounding feet a lightness of flight. As I watched them it seemed as if they were in the air as much as on the floor.
 
Of course, Bernadette stood out. It was such a treat to have her back and she has become the greatest female dancer of all. If you compare the FOF Hyde Park performance- which was superb- with her presence in FOF 2001 then it becomes even clearer. She has matured in body and in artistry. The graceful movements of her arms belie that she had held them at her sides for so many years.
 
Steve Brunning was so fierce that I was surprised to see him in person off stage and see what a handsome smiling young man he really is. And his dancing showed that he too had grown from the shows in Europe a year ago. The bald head and the new muscles gave even more authority to his evil portrayal.
 
Leigh Ann as Cleopatra! Well, if that body isn't the envy of every woman and the desire of every man then some folks are in denial! To see this sweet girl turn herself into the cruelly lustful bad girl is a compliment to her skill as an actress as well as a dancer.
 
 And then there is the tiny star of the show, Helen Egan, bouncing around in her rainbow sequined Jester hat and being tossed upside down by the bad guys. As I watched this night after night I realized how well choreographed this episode was. Actually how careful they really were when she was captured and  apparently brutalized.

Mairead and Cora, their stage presence and musical talent always a show stopper, had to improvise one night, when the hydraulics failed and the two lifts that were to carry them to the stage didn't move. How they dashed for the back stage and down the stairs and made it before the duet began was a night to remember. And then the night that Mairead's pants started to slip- well that was a hoot.

And the beautiful Ann Buckley. There was never a night that the haunting Carrickfergus didn't bring me close to tears. And as she exited in the white costume with the diaphanous cape caught in the pale light I thanked whoever designed that. Although there are the exciting and pulse racing moments which seem to dominate the show, it is some of the quiet, slower themes that are memorable.

Which brings me to the costumes and music. I am sorry that the Swan Dance has not been recorded on one of the CD's. It is one of my favorite Ronan Hardiman tunes. And again the costumes made of that same transluscent white fabric catch the light with a rainbow glow at times. Much of Ronan's score stands alone and can be enjoyed without the dancers but is still integral to the rhythm and beat of the pounding feet and to the mood of the various numbers.

Michael's costumes are also a thing apart in their beauty. Outstanding is the blue velvet of Whispering Wind. Hopefully, some camera will be able to capture the true color as it seems to photograph almost purple. And then there is Warlords. Oh, I readily confess that the silver pants, the long slashed coat with it's red lining and that great hat is my favorite costume. I know there are those who say, "Lose the hat!" but they are wrong.

To those with the press- the ever present nasty bunch of critics- I say, "Your ignorance is palpable!" To say that this is Las Vegas glitz and that there is a weak story line is evidence that you have no perception of the history of Ireland and the Celts, the myths and the depth of this show. It is designed to thrill and amaze but it contains philosophy and truth as well as a magic that is undefineable. I think it lies in the creative genius of Michael Flatley. The man who seems to control the weather as well as the rainbows. All storms and floods  that were here in the states during the two months the show toured managed to miss every city on show nights. It did storm enough in Cleveland while we were safely inside the venue to make problems for InSync in an outside arena but we were unaware of that till we read it in the papers.

The last show in Dallas was the hardest for everyone. To believe that this was Michael's last dance is too awful to contemplate. I know he was tired and that his body was crying out for him to stop. He was tired every night and in pain every night but he gave us everything he had, every night. His solo makes every dance and every dancer I have ever seen pale in comparison. And I have seen many of the greatest in the world. Am I prejudiced? Perhaps, but also I was a dancer and I do feel qualified to judge his greatness. Michael is a miracle. And I have been honored to have witnessed his miraculous show and his miraculous feet and his miraculous creativity. He has brought me unequaled joy, given me friendships around the world and given me the courage to always believe I can follow my dreams no matter how hard the road and no matter what anyone says and no matter how old in years I am. He is for me, a man/angel and a gift from the Infinite Intelligence for which I say a profound, "Thank You" every moment of my life.

von Jeannie Kaidy

Dieser FOF Tour-Report wurde mit der Genehmigung von Jeannie Kaidy hier veröffentlicht. Danke für diesen tollen Bericht!

 

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