On Mon, 19 Feb 1996 10:53:35 -0800 (PST)
Michael Helm <[log in to unmask]> (Dia dhuit, a Mhicil) wrote
>On Feb 18, 9:45pm, Michelle Gushman wrote:
>> Does anyone know the history of Irish Step Dancing. Although I am a dancer
>> myself, I don't know any of the history behind it.
>> I always wonder why they call some of the dances the Sweets of May, Kilkenny
>> Races, Rambling Rake, etc. If anyone has any info, please e-mail me at
>> [log in to unmask]
>Breandan Breathnach's book The Folk Music & Dances of Ireland would
>be a good place to start. I would think Larry Lynch's book about
>set dancing would also be interesting. I'm not sure there is a good
>book about the Irish step dancing tradition; there are books about
>Scottish & Cape Breton dancing, but .... It would be interesting
>to hear about them. I would recommend a visit to the Willy Clancy
>festival in Ireland to take the sean-nos dancing class ....
People on this list who are not on IRTRAD-L may be interested in
the discussion going on there about ceili (the meaning of the word), ceili
dances (like the Sweets of May mentioned by Michelle), set dances (old and
revival), and the Dance Halls Act. I can forward some messages to anyone
interested, although if you really want to get in on it you should subscribe.
IRTRAD-L is on the same listserv as CELTIC-L.
I also have not seen any extensive work on the history of step dancing
although I second Mike's recommendations. I know that the older style of
step dancing, which I've heard called sean nos only in the last five years or
so, was lower to the ground and emphasized the light intricated battering
rythm on the floor, whereas modern forms add the high kicking "soft shoe"
style. I have one book, MY IRISH DANCE, by Peggy Carty which gives some
history of modern official step dance and organizations of certified teachers.
There is no publisher listed in the book, nor any ISBN number; so I guess
it's self published. It was printed by The Connacht Tribune Ltd, Market St,
Galway, in 1987.
Michelle, if you do get some good info or references, would post them?
I would be interested also. Thanks.
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