Flatley dances over to CAA

Michael Flatley, the popular Irish dancer heralded as the “Lord of the Dance,” has left ICM and has signed with Creative Artists Agency where he will be repped in all areas — including film, TV, personal appearances, literary and new media.

At CAA, Flatley will be repped by a team of agents made up of Richard Lovett, Rob Light, Sandy Climan, Rand Holston and Chris Dalston. He is managed from London by former Hollywood agent William Tennant.

While he has made a name for himself onstage and on video as a world class Irish dancer, Flatley joins CAA with an eye toward other media outlets, particularly film, TV and books. The performer has at least one film project in the works based on his life and a book in the works about his experiences during and since “Riverdance,” when he performed as one of the stars of the Irish dance company that took the Celtic dance craze mainstream.

Flatley ankled “Riverdance” after a falling-out with the producers, and quickly launched his own show, “Lord of the Dance,” which became an overnight sensation. He brings to CAA one of the most popular performers on the road today, typically selling out multiple nights in medium-size venues, which causes regional promoters to compete heavily to book him into their areas. Moreover, the “Lord of the Dance” worldwide tour has sold out 210 shows and grossed more than $100 million since its debut in June 1996.

Flatley’s appeal to an older and wealthier demographic allows the show to charge an unusually high ticket price: $75 or more.

Taking advantage of the strong market for videos of live shows, the video version of “Lord of the Dance” — which mixes traditional Irish dancing with tap, jazz and other musical elements in its display of terpsichorean virtuosity — sold 600,000 units in its first 10 days of release last year. The “Lord of the Dance” video and the preceding video of the “Riverdance” stage show — which Flatley created and co-starred in — have rung up worldwide sales of approximately 3 million units each.

At age 16, Flatley went on to become the first American to win the All-World Championships of Irish dancing. Since that time, he has been honored by the American National Endowment for the Arts as one of this country’s premiere performers; the National Heritage Fellowship; and by the National Geographic Society, which declared him a living legend.

Flatley will complete his current world tour next year; he then will turn his attention to his dance movie, for which he already has created a proposal. David Mallett, who helmed the video, has committed to direct.

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