People Staff
May 12, 1997 12:00 PM

MICHAEL FLATLEY IS FULLY AWARE OF HIS ABILITY TO transfix a crowd with his fleet-footed, chest-baring showmanship. Indeed, he professes himself “delighted” by all the attention: “Anybody who says they don’t like it is lying.” But then you didn’t expect a man who calls himself Lord of the Dance to waste time with false modesty, did you? Not when he has turned the traditional Irish jig into a pop extravaganza that has grossed more; than $60 million on its current world tour. The Chicago-born Flatley, 38, who is separated from his makeup artist wife, Beata Dziaba, “has brought sex appeal into Irish dance,” says troupe member Bernadette Flynn. “It’s his masculine features and the way he projects across the stage. He speaks through his eyes.” Maybe, but it’s his legs that are insured for some $40 million. The 5’9″ Flatley exercises, but he doesn’t diet. He sweats away the pounds when he performs. “It’s like going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson,” he says.

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