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Lord of the Dance taps into art world with his €30,000 painting

HE has conquered the worlds of dance and music with shows including Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, which have smashed box office records wherever they have toured the world.

Now Michael Flatley (55) is set to prove himself a dab hand, or rather foot, at art with his first Irish painting set to be auctioned with a guide price of €30,000.

It is the first Irish auction of an artwork by the Chicago-born dancer who took up painting as a form of relaxation.

"My painting is a deep passion," he explained.

"It started many years ago. I was performing at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2001 and afterwards the crew sent me a piece of the stage as a memento.

"It had hundreds of tap marks from the shows I had done. I framed it and hung it on the wall. It wasn't until months later when I was showing guests at a party that it occurred to me, it was a piece of art."


The dancer immediately began to experiment with painting.

"I thought, when artists paint a piece, it lasts forever. I have to dance my art every night live. If there was a way that I could dance on canvas, I could transform a 3D performance into a 2D work of art, it would live forever."

Uniquely, the art produced by the north-Cork based dancer is entirely created by foot taps with paint on canvas in a special studio behind his €30m mansion overlooking the River Blackwater.

Last year, he presented a painting, The Walking Dead, to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The dancer's first Irish sale will take place on December 4 in Durrow, Co Laois.