By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — As millionaire star Michael Flatley relaunches his dancing career with a new extravaganza, he has become a man with golden legs — they are insured for £40 million.
At the age of 41, when most dancers are hanging up their shoes, the Chicago-born Flatley is planning to star in 200 performances of his relaunched show, "Feet of Flame," which he describes as a turbo-charged version of "Lord of the Dance."
"It will be bigger, better, more glamorous, more dancers. It will have more punch," he said.
Four troupes of dancers are still performing his phenomenally successful "Lord of the Dance" show worldwide. The show has grossed well over $100 million from performances in Ireland, Britain, Europe, America, New Zealand and Australia with
over 2 million people seeing it.
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Flatley choreographed "Lord of the Dance" after he left the equally successful "Riverdance" show, which grew out of the 1994 Eurovision interval item. Both shows have resulted in a huge worldwide craze for Irish dancing and music.
Now worth an estimated £60 million, Flatley owns a lavish house in London — once the home of Lillie Langtry, the famous actress who had a love affair with Edward VII. He also plans an extensive renovation of his huge new Irish home, Castle Hyde, on the Blackwater River near Fermoy, Co Cork.
He plans to restore the house to what it was like when it was first occupied in 1801. It was originally built as the seat of the Hyde family. One of the family, Douglas Hyde, was founder of the Gaelic League and first president of Ireland.
"It is a dream come true. I love that home," Flatley told RTE’s "Late Late Show." "I flew around Ireland looking for it. I came across in the chopper and I told the guy, ‘land’. We did a deal and I got that house and it’s my dream house and it’s in Ireland where I have always wanted to live."