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Search for success made my marriage go Flat; Riverdance superstar Michael is out of step with wife Beata.

Dancer Michael Flatley may be tapping his way to another giant success but his marriage is in danger of going belly up.

His 11-year marriage to Beata, a Polish make up artist, is under pressure. The couple have spent only 30 days together in the past two years.

The former Riverdance star, whose Lord of the Dance show opens in Dublin in seven weeks admits he needs some pretty nifty footwork to keep the partnership together.

And right now the couple are dancing to two different tunes.

Home is in Beverly Hills. But his wife returned to Warsaw last Christmas to face a double family crisis.

Her dad has been diagnosed as having brain cancer, while mum has just come out of hospital after having a breast removed.

But, at the a time when most wives would want a husband's shoulder to lean on, Michael is in Dublin with his other "family", the 40-strong dance troupe who depend on his getting them ready for the big opening. The Chicago- born dancer is clearly tortured by divided loyalties. He feels leaving Dublin now would let down the cast of Dance and also himself.

"I have to stick it out with the show," he said. "There's an awful lot of people counting on me."

A year ago while Riverdance still ran smoothly, Flatley said: "Beata is understanding, but we're having to work to keep things together.

"We don't have kids or it would have been worse." Now he says: "Beata's having a bad time, but she's very brave. But I sometimes wonder if I'm doing the right thing."

He added: "Am I going to turn around in 10 years and say 'thank God I did that show but it cost me the love of my life'?"

He admits he arrived at cross-roads last year after the parting from Riverdance. It would have been easy, he says, to pack his bags and devote himself totally to love and marriage. Instead he launched into a new project.

"They'll have to admit Michael Flatley is a hard worker," he said.

His former co-star Jean Butler summed him up in two words - driven and obsessed. But there is a price to pay for such a magnificent obsession

Something had to give. It was Beata and home comforts. Flatley, 37, is living the life of a hotel nomad, his suitcase currently parked at Dublin's Westbury Hotel.

He hopes Beata will join him at the Point Theatre opening night of Lord of the Dance. But he needs reassurance. "Is all this worth it," he pondered. "It's so hard to keep our relationship strong."
COPYRIGHT 1996 MGN LTD
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Taylor, Richie
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 11, 1996
Words:435
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