Entertainment

'Lord of the Dance' falls ill, cancels tour

Dancer and choreographer Michael Flatley, known to most as The Lord of the Dance, is seriously ill with a viral infection and has cancelled his sold-out European tour, his publicist said.

Michael Flatley, the dancer and choreographer known to most as The Lord of the Dance, is seriously ill with a viral infection and has cancelled his sold-out European tour, his publicist said.

The Irish-American dancer, 48,who has been in a London hospital for almost two weeks, is expected to remain for several more days and recover fully.

The sold-out European tour of his Celtic Tiger show, which he debutedlast year,had been scheduled to start on Friday.

"Celtic Tiger Touring Inc. has cancelled all European dates for Celtic Tiger starring Michael Flatley due to serious illness,"a statement on his tour website read. "Michael Flatley remains in hospital and unavailable for comment."

Flatley rose to fame as the star and choreographer of the Riverdance show in the 1990s, which modernized Irish step dancing and gained a wide audience throughout Europe and North America. He left the company to run his own shows, including the successful Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flametours.

"Michael is a very fit man but he is in the fight of his life," an unnamed source was quoted as saying in London's Evening Standard newspaper."At first no one realized how serious it was but it soon became obvious that he is really ill.”

Another source told The Sun newspaper Flatley could be out for "at least three months."

A spokeswoman for the dancer said he has been inundated by support from well-wishers and hopes to be on his feet soon.

"Dance is his whole life. He was really looking forward to the tour. He wants to get better and get back on stage," publicist Geraldine Roche told the BBC.

In April Flatley said he had been diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003 and had just recently recovered. The viral infection is apparently unconnected.

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