strathspey Archive: Irish dancing

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Irish dancing

Message 6212 · Martin Sheffield · 16 Jan 1997 14:04:11 · Top

Eric mentioned:

> The crazy thing is that the Irish dance community puts on 5 dances every
year that draw 300 .. 700 people!

Years ago, as a student in London, I regularly attended Irish ceilis in the
crypt of a church, packed with enthusiastic and capable dancers and
wonderful musicians, watched over by the benevolent eye of Father, whiskey
glass in hand.

The music, that atmosphere and the incredibly complicated dances were an
unforgettable experience that no other dancing has ever matched for me.

Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to do this kind of thing again, so --
my plea to anyone who can let me know exactly where Irish ceili dancing is
still performed.
I have been told they don't even do it in Ireland any more. Is that possible?
I must do it again some time, before my feet, ankles and knees give up on me!

Martin,
Grenoble, France

Irish dancing

Message 6214 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 16 Jan 1997 16:45:42 · Top

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Martin Sheffield wrote:

> Eric mentioned:
>
> > The crazy thing is that the Irish dance community puts on 5 dances every
> year that draw 300 .. 700 people!
>
> Years ago, as a student in London, I regularly attended Irish ceilis in the
> crypt of a church, packed with enthusiastic and capable dancers and
> wonderful musicians, watched over by the benevolent eye of Father, whiskey
> glass in hand.
>
> Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to do this kind of thing again, so --
> my plea to anyone who can let me know exactly where Irish ceili dancing is
> still performed.
> I have been told they don't even do it in Ireland any more. Is that possible?
> I must do it again some time, before my feet, ankles and knees give up on me!

In the Boston and Mew York City areas by those with Irish bllod in their
veins or those who wish they had. I'll bet the five dances they do are
the same five. . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
Vermont USA (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
Please note my new "zoo" address and change your
files from the old "moose" address.

Irish dancing

Message 6226 · Martin Sheffield · 17 Jan 1997 08:49:14 · Top

>
>In the Boston and Mew York City areas by those with Irish blod in their
>veins or those who wish they had. I'll bet the five dances they do are
>the same five. . .

That was a put-down, Priscilla!

Ok, the ceili dance repertoire was limited, though I'd say the total number
was nearer ten... 8-).
But the variety of figures within that short list of titles would put RSCDS
books 1 to 20 to shame.
Perhaps you are thinking of Irish set dancing, which is less varied, thogh
the music can be just as exciting.

After sending the request, I realized I had a 99% chance of getting replies
from across the Atlantic, but if that's the only place to dance Irish, I
WILL get there one day (no grin, I'm serious).

Martin,
Grenoble, France

Irish dancing

Message 6230 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 17 Jan 1997 16:33:55 · Top

On Fri, 17 Jan 1997, Martin Sheffield wrote:

> >
> >In the Boston and Mew York City areas by those with Irish blod in their
> >veins or those who wish they had. I'll bet the five dances they do are
> >the same five. . .
>
> That was a put-down, Priscilla!

Sorry if you interpreted it as a put-down. To me, it was a compliment.
You see, I learned to dance in an area where we retained old dances by
passing them down from parent to child. To me this is the way things
should be done. One learned by watching and having one's parent say,
"Watch her!. That's the way to dance."

However, since college, I have gone to classes in social dancing
(ballroom, Scottish, English, International). It took a few years for me
to overcome my distaste at the thought of going to a CLASS to learn what
one should learn in a social setting. Finally I did and enjoyed them
very much. But I do have a different attitude toward them.

I'll bet that some of the dancers in Cape Breton have the same feelings
about learning their dances. Do I win the bet, Colleen?

P.S. I did learn "the way to dance" referred to in my first paragraph.
When I started English country dancing in the Boston area, the teacher
thought I had been dancing English dances for years because it was the same
as the style to be emulated in English dancing then.

happy dancing,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
Vermont USA (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
Please note my new "zoo" address and change your
files from the old "moose" address.

Irish dancing

Message 6239 · LuAnne Anderson · 17 Jan 1997 19:20:11 · Top

>On Fri, 17 Jan 1997, Martin Sheffield wrote:
>
>> >
>> >In the Boston and Mew York City areas by those with Irish blod in their
>> >veins or those who wish they had. I'll bet the five dances they do are
>> >the same five. . .
>>
>> That was a put-down, Priscilla!
>
>Sorry if you interpreted it as a put-down. To me, it was a compliment.
>You see, I learned to dance in an area where we retained old dances by
>passing them down from parent to child. To me this is the way things
>should be done. One learned by watching and having one's parent say,
>"Watch her!. That's the way to dance."
>
>However, since college, I have gone to classes in social dancing
>(ballroom, Scottish, English, International). It took a few years for me
>to overcome my distaste at the thought of going to a CLASS to learn what
>one should learn in a social setting. Finally I did and enjoyed them
>very much. But I do have a different attitude toward them.
>
>I'll bet that some of the dancers in Cape Breton have the same feelings
>about learning their dances. Do I win the bet, Colleen?
>
>
>P.S. I did learn "the way to dance" referred to in my first paragraph.
>When I started English country dancing in the Boston area, the teacher
>thought I had been dancing English dances for years because it was the same
>as the style to be emulated in English dancing then.
>
>happy dancing,
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
>Vermont USA (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
> Please note my new "zoo" address and change your
> files from the old "moose" address.
>

Ah Priscilla, to have had such a childhood would be like growing up in
heaven. Unfortunately for a lot of people(?) at least those I've talk
with in my area (Lincoln, Nebraska) such social events are few and far
between if at all. I grew up not ever going to a dance and learned what
dance I did do by watching American Bandstand every saturday morning. It
wasn't until I turned 30 or so that I "discovered" folk dancing and the
like. So the only way for me to learn is to go to classes and workshops.
Ballroom dancing isn't to hard to find but everything else (i.e. SCD,
Irish, International folkdancing) is a struggle to get enough people of
"learning" together and really dance. And finding live music...... HAH!!
Sorry but I get frustrated.

Irish dancing

Message 6255 · Jim Mieczkowski · 18 Jan 1997 04:21:42 · Top

Hello to all;

Martin's story about Irish ceili dancing in the church crypt in London was wonderful! There are many Irish
dance events that draw hundreds of people from all over the continent and abroad. There is regular ceili and
set dancing all over Ireland, particularly in the West. The local newspapers list these events. It is also
possible to contact Irish web sites and search the traditional music sections. The Irish-American newspapers
such as the Irish Echo and the Irish Voice provide listings of ceili and set dancing as well as step-dancing
and traditional music sessions here in the U.S. The Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann is the Irish equivalent to the
RSCDS and promotes traditional Irish dance, song and music the world over.

Ar Rinncide Foirne is the official figure dance book and lists 30 popular figure dances. Figure dances are
ceili dances. Listed are:

The Walls of Limerick
Eight Hand Reel
Morris Reel
High Cauled Cap
Sixteen Hand Reel
The Rising Step
Humours of Bandon
Eight Hand Jig
Seige of Ennis
Harvest Time Jig
Rince Fada
The Bridge of Athlone
Haste to the Wedding
The Seige of Carrick
The Antrim Reel
The Glencar Reel
The Three Tunes
Saint Patrick's Day
Trip to the Cottage
An Rince Mor
Haymaker's Jig
The Fairy Reel
The Duke Reel
Lannigan's Ball
The Cross Reel
The Waves of Tory
The Rakes of Mallow
The Gates of Derry
The Sweets of May
Bonfire Dance

This book can be obtained from certificated Irish dancing teachers, or from the Commission of Irish Dance in
Dublin. If you have the opportunity to learn the High Cauled Cap, don't miss it.

Irish set dances are much more complicated than Scottish set dances, but there are not as many Irish set
dances. We know of more than thirty set dances, fifteen of which are danced regularly here in Connecticut.
The figures are quite varied and the dances are great fun. The syncopated footwork is particular to Irish sets
and very challenging. Our favorites are the Cashel Set and the Plain Set.

Slainte, Cathy and Jim

Irish dancing

Message 6279 · Tony Graham · 20 Jan 1997 18:39:20 · Top

> After sending the request, I realized I had a 99% chance of getting replies
> from across the Atlantic, but if that's the only place to dance Irish, I
> WILL get there one day (no grin, I'm serious).
>
> Martin,
> Grenoble, France

There is Irish set dancing in Paris, but my atlas tells me that isn't
going to do you a whole lot of good either.

Regards,

Tony Graham.

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