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Originally published Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

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Movie review

'Lord of the Dance 3D': Michael Flatley leads a thunderous big-screen revival

A movie review of "Lord of the Dance 3D," which captures Michael Flatley's famous Irish step dance show in 3D glory.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 3 stars

'Lord of the Dance 3D,' with Michael Flatley. Directed by Marcus Viner. 95 minutes. Not rated; suitable for general audiences. Several theaters.

The man who brought traditional Irish step dancing out of a dusty folk closet and turned it into a glitzy, global pop phenomenon returns as a heel-cutting hellion in a theatrically enhanced 3D version of his beloved opus, "Lord of the Dance," in honor of its 15th anniversary.

Michael Flatley won huge international accolades — not to mention billions in ticket sales — first from starring in "Riverdance," and then from creating this flashy concept show that features a multitude of dancers who follow Flatley's every move, whether he's on stage or not.

"Lord of the Dance 3D" was filmed at the Dublin O2 Theatre last fall (although original road productions are still tapping away around the world). The recharged show amps up the Vegas-y flair with more flame pots, more rock 'n' roll lighting, bigger sound and sparklier costumes, with Flatley commanding his troupe as upstage puppet master.

At 53, Flatley still moves as supplely as company dancers 30 years younger, and he's still every inch the showman with a sequined style just a few notches below Liberace and Cher. There's both quiet and bombast, and the ogling 3D might make one a little headachy, with the cameras right up on stage. They swoop overhead, move along lines of step dancers or glide around a pair of leggy violinists who belt out Irish-infused pop between tightly choreographed sequences that tell the vague story of Flatley's "Lord" battling an evil dark army.

Flatley and his ego have been the butt of many a joke over the years. But if you're a fan, then you'll probably be thrilled by this more literal rendering of Celtic thunder, with the Zeus-like Flatley delivering lightning bolts of pizazz from his own showbiz heaven.

Ted Fry: tedfry@hotmail.com

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