Flatley's standing ovation in London ...but he just can't wait to dance here
LORD of the Dance Michael Flatley admitted that his final curtain call will be one of the most emotional moments of his life.
The dancer received a standing ovation at the world premiere of his new show, Lord of the Dance - Dangerous Games, at the London Palladium.
The Chicago-born star performed the two main dance routines of the revamped show - and defied the years to wow the crowds last night.
But while Michael (55) said he was "absolutely thrilled" with the reaction of the UK audience, his thoughts are focussed on his Irish farewell performance.
The star, who lives at Castlehyde House in Cork, said he feels "very proud" to be bringing his career back where it all started in Dublin's old Point Depot over 20 years ago.
His final Irish dance performance, on March 27 at the O2, will be attended by his wife, Niamh, his son, Michael St James, and his parents.
"Dance has been very good to me which is what makes it so hard to say goodbye to it all. Some dancers don't get to perform beyond their 30s which is what makes me feel so blessed," he told the Herald.
"But, please God, it will be a dream come true for me to have three generations of Flatley in the O2 for my final Irish performance."
The 're-imagining' of the hit show, complete with high-tech 3D set design and music by Gerard Fahy, had the West End buzzing last night.
The dancer received a standing ovation and was visibly moved by the crowd's reaction.
"In my mind, I can keep on dancing forever but this old body of mine has been bruised and battered from all those years of dancing," he said.
"I don't think I could attempt to dance an entire show. But the lure of this new show was just too much and I just had to be involved. The two big final numbers were all mine. But they will be my last dance performances in Ireland next March. That will be it for me.
"If you're going to say goodbye to the dance stage, what a way to say goodbye," he added.
Former Girls Aloud star, Nadine Coyle, sings the main vocal in the show.
"It was a dream come true for me to work in a West End show with Michael Flatley," she said.
The show has been booked for a 200-date tour across 15 countries.