By Sharon A. Phelan

In Dance in eire: Steps, levels and tales, Sharon Phelan presents an in-depth view of dance in eire in the course of the colonial and post-colonial eras. She provides dance as a vital part of Irish lifestyles and as a signifier of cultural swap. valuable subject matters are documented and analysed. They contain cross-cultural impacts, the dance grasp and pantomimic dance traditions, dance through the Gaelic Revival, dichotomies in dance, and the theatricalisation of Irish dance. The publication is illustrated with images, and is an fundamental source for lecturers and artists alike, as they proceed to foster dance, at the web page and at the level.

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Extra info for Dance in Ireland: Steps, Stages and Stories

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53 22 Chapter One “The Royal Irish Quadrilles” was written for Dublin promenade concerts and performed by the author and his band at the concerts and at the Grand Balls given at the Viceregal Lodge Dublin in honour of the visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland August, 1849 55 Quadrilles succeeded cotillions in the early nineteenth century. They were popular ballroom dances performed by four couples facing each other in a square. 56 Specific movements included the “allemande” where the female dancer turned under her male partner’s arm.

However, when they adapted the dances, they imposed native dance features. The same was true of the musicians. While they retained the specific timing of these imported tunes they often increased the dynamic. In the main, like dance masters, the musicians created their own works and they often claimed their own tunes by placing their names in the title - “Phelan’s Hornpipe”, “O’Shea’s Reel” and “Fitzgerald’s March”. As music notation was rare, many Irish tunes were lost. However, from the mid-nineteenth century, travelling music masters started to retrieve tunes and songs.

During the “dance off” the masters often used upturned half-doors, tables, barrels and anvils to display the intricacy of their footwork. It provided a spectacle and the onlookers clapped and cheered. They judged the winner on his movement skill, his originality of expression and the extent of his repertoire. Once, an outsider entered 21 Located in “The Magazine of Art” published in London in 1888 by Cassell and Company LTD. 22 Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 179. 23 Carleton, Tales and Sketches, illustrating the Character, Usages, Traditions, Sports and Pastimes of the Irish Peasantry, 18.

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