Lord of the Dance: Meet the Canadian Don Dorcha

He's the only Canadian dancer in the show but the character Ciaran Plummer plays in Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance is no Dudley Do-Right.

On Sunday at Interior Savings Centre, you can't miss Plummer. He's centre stage as Don Dorcha, The Dark Lord in this high-adrenaline tale of good and evil.

Lord of the Dance is but the latest in a long series of touring Irish dance productions that have toured through Kamloops over the past 15 years.

Riverdance has performed here in the past, though long after Flatley, an Irish-American dancer, left the show over creative differences. That was in the mid-'90s, after which he created Lord of the Dance specifically for arena performance rather than as a traditional theatre show.

Those who've seen Riverdance shows here can expect a more action-packed narrative with this show, which is hard to imagine considering how energetic Irish dance is to begin with.

"It's definitely different," said Plummer, who's seen both shows. "Lord of the Dance is good versus evil. It's basically The Dark Lord trying to steal the dance and throw off the good guy."

One of the highlights of the drama occurs when Plummer as Dorcha battles the good guy in a fight to the finish.

"I think it has broad appeal."

Others obviously agree: Lord of the Dance, now in its 16 thyear, holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing dance show ever. Flatley hasn't danced with the show since 1998 (when he gave his last of 390 performances - phew! - in Dublin), but continues on as producer and director.

Choreography for the touring show continues to evolve along with the costumes and special effects. This one includes a video-screen backdrop not used before, which helps the storytelling, Plummer said.

The dancer grew up in Toronto, where he started dancing at age four at his father's studio. Both parents taught dance. He was still young when he made his first foray into the competitive world of Irish dance. The work paid off - he won two consecutive Irish Dance World Championships at age 16 and 17.

He started out with the Las Vegas Lord of the Dance troupe before transferring to the North American troupe.

"I've been on the road for years," he said.

He spends eight months of each year on the road with the touring show, one of two touring troupes that fan out around the world. Now 26, he joined the company eight years ago as a teenager fresh out of high school.

How does he cool his heels on the off-season?

"I go home and I try to get lots of rest."

Bad guys need time off, too.

Sunday's show begins at 7 p.m.

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