Michael Flatley will open the 2017 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis

25th July 2017

Dancer extraordinaire, Michael Flatley will perform the official opening of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis next month. On Sunday August 13th, the man who revolutionised Irish dancing across the world, will take to the Fly Shannon stage in Abbey Street Car-Park. He will briefly address the assembled gathering and play the flute with uilleann piper and composer, Gerard Fahy, from Ballinakill, Co. Galway, who has toured extensively with Michael and his Lord of the Dance troupe and is composer of Michael's recent hit show, Dangerous Games.

An accomplished dancer, flautist, actor, director and producer, Michael Flatley first stepped onto the world stage in 1994 when he created Riverdance, a dance performance that caught the attention of millions around the world. Over the past two decades he has created, directed, produced and starred in several other successful shows including Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, Celtic Tiger and his latest show Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, which he took to London’s West End and Broadway.

‘It’s a great honour to be asked to open this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis. It is such a great home of traditional music and a place I have very fond memories of including winning the All-Ireland there many years ago. It is vitally important for all of us to nurture young talent and to encourage young people today to play Irish music. I’m really looking forward to it and am sure it will be a huge success,’ said Michael Flatley.

Frank Whelan, added that the Fleadh Executive Committee was hugely indebted and greatly privileged that Michael Flatley had accepted its invitation to open this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. ‘The fact that the best-known figure in the world of Irish dancing over many decades is taking the time out of his busy schedule to come to join us for the opening on Sunday 13th August is no doubt going to make the occasion truly special,’ said the Committee Chairman.

Over the past 20 years Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance show has broken box office records all over the world. In 1998 the show had a record breaking run of 21 consecutive sold-out shows at London’s legendary Wembley Arena. It is a record that still stands to this day. Worldwide video sales are in excess of 12 million copies. He has taken his shows to football stadia in Europe and Asia, performing live to audiences of 120,000.Lord of the Dancewas captured in ground breaking 3D at the O2 arenas in Dublin, London, and Berlin and was released in theatres across Europe and the US in 2011.

Chicago born, Michael Flatley became the first American to win the World Championship in Irish Dancing at the age of 17. He toured with the Chieftains in the 1980s during which time he developed and refined his style that was to become his trademark. The seven-minute intermission performance during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest was to change Irish dancing as we knew it forever. He broke the mould by using upper body movement and created edgy rhythm patterns that departed from the traditional style.

After a final stage performance at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas in 2016, Michael has turned his focus full-time to his other passions.He is a contemporary artist and his works of abstract expressionism have been lauded by critics as “striking”. In 2015 his paintings officially became the highest valued artworks sold at auction in Ireland for that year.His other lifelong creative passion is filmmaking. Michael has written, directed and starred in two short films and his next project is a feature length film currently in production.




Press Office Team

Anne Jones
+ 353 87 220 4645

Claire Gallagher
+ 353 87 674 9195

Ciana Campbell

+ 353 87 681 5635