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Monday, 30 July, 2001, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
Flatley hangs up his shoes
Michael Flatley on stage
Flatley's dance show tour has been hugely successful
Irish-American folk dancer Michael Flatley, famous for bringing Riverdance to the world, has retired from the stage.

He gave his last performance in Dallas, Texas, on the Feet of Flames world tour, a spokeswoman for the dancer said.


He is scheduled to start work on a movie in the UK soon.

Michael Flatley's spokeswoman
"I think after seven years at the top and having such a successful world tour and US tour he has decided to go out at the top," she said.

"He is scheduled to start work on a movie in the UK soon," the spokeswoman added, sparking rumours of a movie version of Flatley's Lord of the Dance stage show - an idea which Flatley has already discussed.

Multi-millionaire

Flatley is a former member of Riverdance, a troupe which introduced the spectacle of Irish dancing to the international stage.

Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley started in Riverdance in 1994
During the interval show at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Flatley performed the Riverdance routine, spawning the successful stage tour.

Flatley was already a multi-millionaire by the time he left Riverdance after a concert in London's Hyde Park on 25 July 1998.

Toying with retirement, he turned down a 1m offer to box professionally from Irish promoters Team Ireland, and discussed making a film called Dream Dancer.

Instead he carried on dancing, taking his Lord of the Dance, and later Feet of Flames, tour around the world.

Pyrotechnics

He brought Feet of Flames to Stormont in Belfast for its only UK date in July 2000.

The outdoor show in the seat of Northern Ireland's devolved government featured more than 100 dancers, pyrotechnics and fabulous costumes.

An audience of nearly 15,000 watched two troupes from Lord of the Dance perform simultaneously on one of the widest stages ever built.

Chicago-born Flatley said Belfast was chosen for the one-off production because of a promise he made to fans in Dublin.

Flatley, whose legs were reportedly insured for 25m by Lloyds of London, was the first American to win the World Irish Dance Championships, going on to win more than 120 titles in 13 countries.

He was presented with the Irish American award in 1998 by former US president Bill Clinton.

See also:

30 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Flatley turns up the heat at Stormont
01 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
'Riverdance' is Broadway success
23 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Riverdance claim settled
16 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Flatley wins libel apology
05 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Dancer reveals movie dream
04 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Flatley's '1m to be Lord of the Ring'
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