I was a huge fan of Riverdance, when it came to the city back in 2014, so I was keen to find out how Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games would bring something different to the stage last night at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.
The Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games story materialises from the dreams of the little spirit in a traditional tale of good versus evil. In her dreams, she sees The Lord of the Dance as everything good- but he has to fight against The Dark Lord and his army of Dark Disciples. All the while, Morrighan the Seductress tries to drive a wedge between The Lord of the Dance and Saorise- his one true love. Although the story is a simple one, a tried and tested formula- it was hard to follow while watching it up on stage.
The production treat us to an abundance of traditional Irish dancing- which is of course what you come for when you buy tickets to something like this. In the same vein as Riverdance, the story was broken up into acts of singing, Irish dancing, interpretative dance and instrumental duets. However, the combination of all the different elements didn’t gel enough for me- the whole performance felt very compartmentalised and didn’t flow as gracefully as the dancing itself did.
Erin the Goddess put into the words what the dancing was trying to convey but given that she performed separately from the scene, it was unclear that was her purpose up on stage.
There was precision and a definite divide between good and evil throughout the show. Clearly, a lot of thought had been put into all the elements of creating this stark contrast, in dance, costume, music and attitude and it worked very well indeed.
The music was particularly dramatic when The Dark Lord and his Disciples appeared on stage readying themselves to fight. This fit in well with the force and energy of the Irish dancing and provided some of the most powerful and memorable scenes. Although the costumes were in-keeping with the futuristic theme, their bulkiness seemed to juxtapose the streamlined lower bodies of the dancers and it made the performance look a little clumsy. Do robots and dancing mix? Judging by this- I would have to say- no.
The costumes throughout the rest of the performance provoked a lot of audience reaction too. There were several instances where the female cast were dressed in what could only be described as lingerie. Yes, the men got their tops off too but other than raising a few girly giggles from the women watching on, it served no purpose.
Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games was jam packed with talent; the dancers were flawless and they gave the performance their all. It’s just a shame that the story didn’t support them in their efforts. It did bring something different to rival Riverdance but I’m sorry to say it just didn’t work for me.