Dancer Michael Flatley has vowed to continue with his farewell Lord Of The Dance show following the death of his father.
Also called Michael, he died at home in Chicago peacefully in his sleep yesterday, a family spokeswoman said. He was 86.
Flatley flew to America to be at his bedside earlier this week, but returned to the UK to perform in the opening night of his Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games show at the Dominion Theatre in London.
He is expected to continue in his role for the next few nights but will travel to Chicago at some point next week for the wake.
In a statement, Flatley, 56, said: “My dear father Michael James Flatley passed away yesterday on the opening night of my show. He was my hero, my heart is broken. Please keep him in your prayers. I love you dad, your son Michael.”
My dear father Michael James Flatley passed away yesterday. He was my hero, my heart is broken. I love you Dad. pic.twitter.com/tDOhDBvuNJ— Michael Flatley (@MichaelFlatley) March 14, 2015
The spokeswoman added: “Not wanting to let down the cast and audience, Michael performed as scheduled last night and will continue to do so for the next few evening performances.
“However, he will need to go to Chicago at some point next week for the wake. He doesn’t want to disappoint anyone, but hopes people will understand his need to be there.
“Michael is distraught. They were very, very close and he really looked up to his father, so he is really shattered by it.”
Flatley’s father was born in Ireland but he and his wife moved to America before their son was born.