Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Traditional Irish Step Dancing - Willie Clancy Summer School, 1991

"This is a short film of Irish traditional step dancing in the old style as taught by James Keane and Dan Furey at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, in 1991. The film was made with permission of the WCSS Committee. This style largely unknown outside of rural Ireland has now all but disappeared. It bears little resemblance to modern Irish step dance, and even less to the likes of River Dance. The old style was effortless, low to the ground, and relied on heel and toe beats to make gentle clicking sounds in time to and across the music to demonstrate the expertise of the dancer. Both James Keane and Dan Furey who lived beside the Shannon in West Clare - and who have now both sadly passed away - were adept at this style. Both James's father and grandfather were traditional step dancers. They taught both boys. There was also a travelling dancing master by the name of Barron who also held classes in the area. Once widespread throughout Ireland (and also incidently throughout Scotland), but relatively unknown and unappreciated outside Ireland, this old elegant style has now largely died out..." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of April 2011 by ChrisJBrady.
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