On the morning of April 23rd, the world’s most accomplished tap dancer Michael Flatley visited BDA with his latest show Lord of the Dance along with 15 Irish tap dancers and had professional exchanges with Department of Musical Theater and Department of Chinese Ethnic and Folk Dance. BDA President Guo Lei, Vice President Xu Rui and the heads of relevant departments attended the event. The delegation was accompanied by the Cultural Counselor Ms. Aoife Fleming of the Embassy of Ireland in China.
Flatley became a household name for creating and choreographing the original Riverdance, a highly successful theatrical show that toured almost every corner of the world. He has set countless records over many years in the past. In 1998, Flatley beat his first Guinness World Record set in 1989 with a phenomenal 35 taps per second. April 4 was declared “Michael Flatley Day” in Chicago, and October 11 was proclaimed “Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance Day” in Las Vegas; one street section of Broadway was named “Flatley Way” in honour of him; Irish President called him “the best tap dancer” and the “spirit of Ireland”; President Clinton presented him with the Irish-America Lifetime Achievement Award.
Irish tap dancers performing Lord of the Dance
President Guo Lei presented Mr. Flatley with an “Honorary Professorship” and exchanged gifts with him
Vice President Xu Rui briefed Mr. Flatley’s delegation and the journalists on BDA
Students from Department of Chinese Ethnic and Folk Dance performing Love Dance of Nixi
Student performance, Department of Musical Theater
BDA students interact with 15 Irish tap dancers
CCTV, Beijing Television, China Daily, Beijing Daily and China Culture Daily, among other mainstream media, have interviewed and reported on this event. Mr. Flatley, speaking of his first visit to Beijing Dance Academy, said, “It’s a short visit to Beijing, but I am inspired by the event held at BDA, the top institution of higher education of dance in China. BDA truly deserves the reputation it enjoys. The students have demonstrated great skills. I am very impressed and I see the passion of these students. In addition to cooperation in dance education, it offers a great chance to explore with the artists and colleagues in China how to make folk dance popular internationally.”
The event has helped BDA students and staff develop a better understanding of Irish dance culture, and opened a new chapter for the cooperation and exchanges between BDA and Ireland in dance.
(Text/Yang Yang Picture/Zhang Chao)