IRISH DANCERS STEP INTO NEWPORT
Newport, OR – Irish step dancers will leap their way into the hearts of those who appreciate art and culture as they perform in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 15, at the Shilo Inn Resort Hotel in Newport.
The An Daíre Academy of Irish Dance based in Corvallis will entertain guests at the 2nd annual Shamrock Supper hosted by the Celtic Heritage Alliance. Tickets for this event are $35 and include a full evening of entertainment, trivia and traditional Irish supper and whiskey tasting for those who wish to indulge in the Emerald Isle’s finest.
The earliest feis (stepdancing) competition dates back to 1897. The dancing traditions of Ireland have developed in tandem with Irish traditional music as traveling dancing masters taught all over Ireland as late as the early 1900s, however, these early origins generated many forms, such as the “Connemara” and the popular “Munster” which have been formalized by The Gaelic Dancing Commission (Gaelic: An Coimisiún le Rincí), which first met in 1930. Reel, slip jig, hornpipe, and jig are all types of Irish stepdances and are also types of Irish traditional music.
Many theories exist about the unique habit of keeping the hands and upper body stiff. Some believe it had to do with the small of the venues, others believe it had to do with expressions of the culture being forbidden by the government such as playing music, dancing, speaking or storytelling in their native Gaelic tongue. Still others believe it was meant to disguise the fact that dancing was going on should anyone happen to pass by. Whatever the genesis, the pose has become an integral part of the form.
In the 19th century, the Irish migrations 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 nature of the Irish dance tradition has changed and adapted over the centuries to accommodate changing populations and the fusion of new cultures. The history of Irish dancing is, as a result, a fascinating one and today and is healthy, vibrant, and enjoyed by people around the world.
The Shamrock Supper is just one of many events hosted by the Celtic Heritage Alliance (a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit) and is CHA’s last fundraising event before the fourth annual Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, scheduled for June 13-15, 2014 at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. All events are mission focused to promote and preserve Celtic culture on the Oregon coast through creating opportunities for experiencing the Celtic arts. For more on An Daíre Academy visit www.corvallisirishdance.com.
For event details, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.newportcelticfestival.com. Tickets by phone; call 541-574-9366 or in person during operating hours at Bridie’s Irish Faire in Nye Beach, Newport.