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History Of Irish Step Dance Essay

2094 words - 9 pages

Irish Step Dance is a percussive style of dance that comes from traditional Irish dance. It has fast paced intricate foot work with a ridged upper body. Riverdance is a performance of Irish Step Dancing that really got Irish Step Dancing recognized by the world.
When, Where, Who, and How
Irish Step Dancing originated around 1750 by dance masters from the counties Kerry, Cork, and Limerick. Dance masters created their own steps derived from traditional irish dances that were modified over time.
Irish Step Dancing started around 1750, when the appearance of dance masters came about. Dance Masters would travel from town to town teaching their dances to people that were ...view middle of the document...

The best know dance masters were from counties Kerry, Cork, and Limerick. In 1893 the Gaelic League was formed to help revive the Irish culture. It promoted all aspects of Irish culture, especially literature and language and to a lesser extent the 'native dancing', which by this stage was becoming known as Irish Dancing (or national dancing of Ireland). The League had a reflective effect on Irish dancing. They introduced dancing classes not only throughout Ireland, but as far away as London (by the early 1900s) and Butte in Montana, USA. On October 30 1897 the Gaelic League held its first Ceili in London where there were multiple dances to Irish music including step dances. The Ceili eventually spread to Ireland and became popular with the Irish people. They could express their character and harmony. Beginning in the 1920’s step dance schools were established in Ireland. Teachers of these schools focused more on step dancing because it is what got the recognized in competitions. In March 1931 the Irish Dance Commission was established with the support of the Gaelic League. The IDC held step dance competitions, training seminars, and wrote the standards for step dancing. There were 3 text books made in 1939, 1943, and 1969 that are the main form of Irish step dance information for teachers and judges. The Organization for Irish Step Dance came forward in 1969. This is a private group that realize on members and their contributions. They have their own teachers, judges, and competitions for the members. The IDC introduced a new form of competition in 1970 at the world championships. They combined music, décor, costumes, and dance to illustrate the Irish culture. It could include anything from history, social customs, or a time- honored story. Riverdance really is what made Irish Step Dancing so Popular today. Riverdance first debuted during the Eurovision Song Contest (Similar to American Idol), which broadcasted in late April 1994. It was about 7 minuets long and was one of the most popular acts entered into the competition. The renowned Irish step dancers Jean Butler and Michael Flatley were the main dancers. By February 1995,The Show Riverdance opened at the Point Theatre in Dublin. After closing in Dublin Riverdance cast went on to perform at the Apollo in England. The week of St patricks day 1996 Riverdance came to the U.S. performing at Radio City Music Hall. Today Riverdance is still preformed all over the world. Now there are 3 separate casts and each perform in their particular region. Michael Flatley left Riverdance in 1995 and started to create his own show called Lord of the Dance. It previewed at the Pointe Theatre in Dublin on June 28th 1996. In 1997 it was performed at the Oscars and in 1999 and 2000 Lord of the Dance was performed at Walt Disney World. 1998 Michael Flatley created Fleet of Flames which was an extended version of Lord of the Dance. In 2011 a dvd was relased called Michael Flatley Returns as Lord of the Dance....

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