published Thursday, February 7th, 2013

FEET OF THUNDER

Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ here Tuesday

Michael Flatley's “Lord of the Dance”
Michael Flatley's “Lord of the Dance”
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: “Lord of the Dance”

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12

Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

Admission: $30-$50, plus convenience fees

Phone: 757-5156

Venue website: www.chattanoogaonstage.com

Online: www.lordofthedance.com

DID YOU KNOW?

Here are 10 things you might not know about “Lord of the Dance”:

1. “Lord of the Dance” has played sold-out shows in 68 countries.

2. About 60 million people have seen the show since its inception in 1996, generating ticket sales of about $800 million.

3. About 1.5 million people saw “Lord of the Dance’s” Troupe Three during the group’s four-year residency in Las Vegas.

4. More than 600 costumes are used among the production’s multiple troupes.

5. The average age of the company’s dancers is 22.

6. From concept to its debut onstage, “Lord of the Dance” was put together in just four months.

7. “Lord of the Dance’s” performance at the 1997 Oscars was seen by an audience of about 1.3 billion people.

8. Show creator and artistic director Michael Flatley has a Guinness Book of Records listing for “World’s Fastest Feet” at 35 taps per second.

9. The entire “Lord of the Dance” ensemble taps about 151,000 times per production.

10. About 1.2 million copies of the “Lord of the Dance” CD and about 14 million video recordings have been sold.

Source: Magic Entertainment “Fast Facts Stats 2011”

For his high school graduation, Zachary Klingenberg received a gift he had been dreaming of since kindergarten.

About a week after he graduated from Bexley High School in Columbus, Ohio, Klingenberg, 20, got a call from the tour manager of “Lord of the Dance” telling him that show creator Michael Flatley had hand-selected him to join the company.

Even after 13 years of competitive dancing and four Top 10 finishes at the world championships, that moment was a thrill, Klingenberg said.

“ ‘Lord of the Dance’ was always the show that was the pinnacle, the show I always wanted to get into, much like the dream university you want to join,” he said during a recent phone interview. “When I was asked to join, it was a huge moment for me. It was a great honor.”

Klingenberg now serves as the show’s titular lead character and heads the production’s second troupe, which consists of about 32 dancers, two fiddlers and a singer. That company’s tour of North America will stop at Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 12, hot on the heels of a series of shows in the Northeast.

Before “Lord of the Dance,” Flatley helped choreograph and served as lead dancer in “Riverdance” during its first run in 1994. Afterward, he wrote, choreographed and starred in “Lord,” which first hit stages in 1996. Since then, the show has traveled the world, filling venues in more than 65 countries.

Through more than 20 scenes and a slew of costume changes, the production tells the story of the Lord of the Dance and his eternal battle, with the help of the Little Spirit, against the evil Dark Lord Don Dorcha.

At age 20, Klingenberg may seem a little young for the responsibility of leading a battle against darkness, but the ensemble for “Lord of the Dance” runs young. The dancers’ average age is 22, according to statistics from the production company.

Landing a role in the company put Klingenberg’s college plans on hold, but when an opportunity so rare comes along, he said, you seize it and worry about the ramifications later.

In the meantime, he said, he’s enjoying showcasing his talents in the context of a tale that translates universally to audiences around the world.

“This experience right now is everything I could ask for and more,” Klingenberg said. “I guess I’ll cross the bridge of what happens after when I get there.

“The most satisfying part is just knowing that you’re part of such an amazing production and to know that you’re giving back to people who come to see you.”

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...

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