LONDON (Reuters) - Irish-American dance master Michael Flatley is seriously ill in hospital and has cancelled all European dates for his “Celtic Tiger” show, his spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The 48-year-old dancer had been due to star in 20 performances of the production across Europe, ending at Wembley Arena in London next month.
The spokeswoman said Flatley had been in a London hospital for around two weeks but his condition was not life-threatening.
She declined to give details of his illness, but media reports said Flatley was suffering from a viral infection.
There was no date yet for his release from hospital.
“Dance is his whole life. He’s obviously devastated about it because he just can’t dance at the moment,” she said.
“To pull a tour is not something one does lightly.”
Flatley, born in the United States of Irish heritage, rose to fame as a member of the “Riverdance” troupe that helped propel Irish dancing into the global spotlight.
He later opened his own “Lord of the Dance” show and starting touring last year with “Celtic Tiger,” a dramatization of Ireland’s history.
Last month, he married Irish dancer Niamh O’Brien, 32, in a lavish ceremony in County Cork. He divorced his previous wife, Beata Dziaba, a Polish make-up artist, in 1997.
Flatley was treated successfully for skin cancer after it was diagnosed in October 2003.
Writing about the cancer in his autobiography he said: “A scare like that makes you even more aware you need to live every moment while you can.”
Flatley has performed “Celtic Tiger” more than 150 times on tours in the United States and Europe and most recently staged it in June in Dublin.