NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Flatley's ailing legs will apparently be healthy enough for one last American tour.
The trailblazing former "Riverdance" star said Thursday he and his farewell show, "Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games," will strike out on the road and hit such cities as Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas and Los Angeles after his stint ends on Broadway early next year.
"We have heard requests from our fans across the country who could not make it to New York to bring the show to them and we have decided to do a small tour of the U.S.," Flatley said in a statement. "I haven't performed in America for years and we are really looking forward to ending this tour and my time on stage with a bang!"
Flatley's 17-city U.S. tour kicks off in Sunrise, Florida, on Feb. 19, and then goes to Georgia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Colorado, California, Arizona and Washington, D.C. It ends on March 17 — St. Patricks's Day — at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Flatley currently is starring in an eight-week engagement on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre that will run through Jan. 3. He appears at the encore of each evening show, dancing alongside holographic movies of his iconic dances.
The tour will mark his official retirement from dancing. He's said he's been suffering from spinal, knee, foot and rib pain — the result of years of Irish step-dancing infused with tap and modern dance.
Flatley, born into a blue-collar Irish-American family in Chicago, was catapulted to fame after creating "Riverdance," which was first performed as a seven-minute interval break in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994.
He and dancer Jean Butler helped extend it into a full-length show and it opened at Dublin's Point Theatre in 1995, at a time of renewed Irish optimism and pride surrounding the onset of the booming "Celtic Tiger" economy.
Flatley, 57, went on to create his own shows, "Feet of Flames" and "Celtic Tiger." His "Lord of the Dance" premiered in 1996 and has been seen by more than 60 million people in 60 different countries, including 400,000 during a five-year residency in Las Vegas.
This story has been corrected to show that Flatley created "Riverdance," not co-choreographed it.