The history of irish dance.Kuzmina


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The history of irish dance.Kuzmina

  1. 1. THE HISTORY OF IRISH DANCE Presentation from English Maria Kuzmina Form 10-A School 246
  2. 2. Roots • The dancing traditions of Ireland are likely to have grown in tandem with Irish traditional music. Its first roots may have been in Pre-Christian Ireland, but Irish dance was also partially influenced by dance forms on the Continent, especially the quadrille dances. Traveling dancing masters taught all over Ireland as late as the early 1900s. • Professor Margaret Scanlan, author of Culture and customs of Ireland, points out that the earliest feis or stepdancing competition dates no earlier than 1897, and states: "Although the feis rhetoric suggests that the rules [for international stepdancing competitions] derive from an ancient past, set dances are a product of modern times". There are many other forms of stepdancing in Ireland (such as the Connemara style stepdancing), but the style most familiar is the Munster, or southern, form, which has been formalised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (English: The Gaelic Dancing Commission), which first met in 1930. The Commission (abbreviated as CLRG), was formed from a directorate of the Gaelic League that was formed during the Gaelic Revival and agreed the modern rules. • In the 19th century, the Irish diaspora had spread Irish dance all over the world, especially to North America and Australia. However, schools and feiseanna were not established until the early 1900s: in America these tended to be created within Irish-American urban communities, notably in Chicago. The first classes in stepdancing were held there by the Philadelphia-born John McNamara. • The nature of the Irish dance tradition has changed and adapted over the centuries to accommodate and reflect changing populations and the fusion of new cultures. The history of Irish dancing is as a result a fascinating one. The popular Irish dance stage shows of the past ten years have reinvigorated this cultural art, and today Irish dancing is healthy, vibrant, and enjoyed by people across the globe. • One explanation for the unique habit of keeping the hands and upper body stiff relates to the stage. To get a hard surface to dance on, people would often unhinge doors and lay them on the ground. Since this was clearly a very small "stage," there was no room for arm movement. The solo dances are characterised by quick, intricate movements of the feet. • Sometime in that decade or the one following, a dance teacher had his students compete with arms held firmly down to their sides, hands in fists, to call more attention to the intricacy of the steps. The adjudicator approved by placing the students well. Other teachers and dancers quickly followed the new trend. Movement of the arms is sometimes incorporated into modern Irish stepdance, although this is generally seen as a hybrid and non-traditional addition and is only done in shows and performances, not competitions.
  3. 3. Irish stepdance Irish stepdance is a style of dance with its roots in traditional Irish dance. It can be performed solo or by troupes. Two types of shoes are worn; hard shoes, which make sounds similar to tap shoes, and soft shoes, which are similar to ballet slippers. Dancers stiffen their upper bodies while performing quick, intricate footwork. Costumes are considered important for stage presence in competitive Irish stepdance. There are several levels of competition available for both individuals and groups. Riverdance, an Irish stepdancing interval act in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, greatly contributed to its popularity.
  4. 4. Group dance • The group dances are called céilí dances or, in the less formal but common case, figure dances. Competitive céilís are more precise versions of the festive group dances traditionally experienced in pubs and church basements. • There is a list of 30 céilí dances that have been standardised and published in An Coimisiun's Ar Rinncidhe Foirne as examples of traditional Irish folk dances. Standardized dances for 4, 6 or 8 dancers are also often found in competition. Most traditional céilí dances in competition are significantly shortened in the interests of time. Many stepdancers never learn the entire dance, as they will never dance the later parts of the dance in competition. • Other céilí dances are not standardised. In local competition, figure dances may consist of two or three dancers. These are not traditional book dances and are choreographed as a blend of both traditional céilí dancing and solo dancing. Standardized book dances for 16 dancers are also rarely offered. Figure Choreography competitions held at major oireachtasi (championships) involve more than 8 dancers and are a chance for dance schools to show off novel and intricate group choreography. • Some dance schools recognised by an Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha place as much emphasis on céilí dancing as on solo dancing, meticulously rehearsing the dances as written in the book and striving for perfect interpretation. In competition, figure dancers are expected to dance their routine in perfect unison, forming seamless yet intricate figures based on their positions relative to each other.
  5. 5. Irish social dances • Irish social, or keɪli dances vary widely throughout Ireland and the rest of the world. A céilí dance may be performed with as few as two people and as many as sixteen. Céilí dances may also be danced with an unlimited number of couples in a long line or proceeding around in a circle (such as in "The Walls of Limerick", "The Waves of Tory", "Haymakers Jig", "An Rince Mor" or "Bonfire Dance"). Céilí dances are often fast and some are quite complex ("Antrim Reel", "Morris Reel"). In a social setting, a céilí dance may be "called" – that is, the upcoming steps are announced during the dance for the benefit of newcomers. The céilí dances are typically danced to Irish instruments such as the Irish Bodhran hand drum or fiddle in addition to the concertina (and similar instruments), guitar, whistle or flute. • The term céilí dance was invented in the late 19th century by the Gaelic League. Céilí as a noun differs from the adjective céilí. A céilí is a social gathering featuring Irish music and dance. Céilí dancing is a specific type of Irish dance. Some céilithe (plural of céilí) will only have céilí dancing, some only have set dancing, and some will have a mixture.
  6. 6. Irish set dancing • Irish set dancing (also referred to as "country set dancing") are dances based on French quadrilles that were adapted by the Irish by integrating their sean-nós steps and Irish music. The distinguishing characteristics of Irish set dancing is that it is danced in square sets of four couples (eight people), and consist of several "figures," each of which has a number of parts, frequently repeated throughout the set. Each part of the set dance (figure) is danced to a music tempo, mostly reels, jigs, polkas, hornpipes and slides. The sets come from various parts of Ireland and are often named for their place of origin; examples are the Corofin Plain Set, the South Galway Set and the Clare Lancers Set. • The organisation Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann promotes and hosts many set dance events.
  7. 7. Shoes and costume • There are two types of shoes; soft shoes (also known as ghillies) and hard shoes. Hard shoes are similar to tap shoes, except that the tips and heels are made of fiberglass, instead of metal, and are significantly bulkier. The first hard shoes had wooden or leather taps with metal nails. Later the taps and heels were changed into resin or fiberglass to reduce the weight and to make the sounds louder. The soft shoes, which are called ghillies, are black lace-up shoes. Ghillies are only worn by girls, while boys wear black leather shoes called "reel shoes", which resemble black jazz shoes with a hard heel. Boy's soft-shoe dancing features audible heel clicks. • Several generations ago, the appropriate dress for a competition was simply "Sunday best" (clothes one would wear to church). Irish Dance schools generally have school dresses, worn by lower-level competitors and in public performances. As dancers advance in competition or are given starring roles in public performances, they may get a solo dress of their own design and colours. In the 1970s and 1980s, ornately embroidered dresses became popular. Today even more ornamentation is used on girls' dresses. Solo dresses are unique to each dancer. Today most women and girls wear a wig or hairpiece for a competition, but some still curl their own hair. Most men wear a shirt, vest, and tie paired with black trousers.
  8. 8. THANK YOU FOR ATTENTION Кузьміна Марія 10-а