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Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off

Rain Dog 02 Sep 11 - 07:25 AM
Anne Neilson 02 Sep 11 - 07:45 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 02 Sep 11 - 08:04 AM
Jim Martin 02 Sep 11 - 08:10 AM
Zen 02 Sep 11 - 08:11 AM
Surreysinger 02 Sep 11 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Sep 11 - 08:53 AM
Marje 02 Sep 11 - 12:41 PM
Geoff the Duck 02 Sep 11 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Sep 11 - 01:56 PM
gnu 02 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM
Alan Day 02 Sep 11 - 03:10 PM
michaelr 02 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Sep 11 - 05:16 PM
Rain Dog 02 Sep 11 - 05:22 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Sep 11 - 09:39 PM
Alan Day 03 Sep 11 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Guest Betsy 03 Sep 11 - 05:56 AM
ChanteyLass 03 Sep 11 - 11:26 PM
Alan Day 04 Sep 11 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Liberty Boy (sans cookie) 05 Sep 11 - 03:36 AM
Alan Day 05 Sep 11 - 03:57 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Sep 11 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 05 Sep 11 - 08:29 AM
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Subject: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Rain Dog
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 07:25 AM

This was shown on BBC2 TV last night and is available on the iplayer until next Thursday 8.9.11

The iplayer option is normally only available to people in the UK

Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off

Award-winning filmaker Sue Bourne goes behind the normally closed doors of the world of competitive Irish dance in a documentary telling the story of the 40th Irish Dancing World Championships. Thousands of dancers, their families and teachers from around the world descend on Glasgow for seven drama-filled days.

Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 07:45 AM

Very well-made programme, with superb photography. The passion and the pressure is all there, together with some real characters -- a smashing wee lassie from Derry who was wise beyond her years (I'm told she was first this year!); a super wee boy who still slept with his soft toys but who could leap and fling and twirl with the best of them; teachers demonstrating a very 'tough love' approach; parents who made tremendous sacrifices to pursue the dream...
And the dreadful costumes and wigs!!! (Including diamante sparkles on the white socks...)

It certainly raises some questions about motivations, but there's always the astonishing dancing to divert you.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 08:04 AM

Pre-pubescent children swamped in Shirley Temple wigs and wearing costumes for which homes were mortgaged... a grotesque industry. But instructive i suppose in showing how easily American values can debase a wonderful national tradition.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Jim Martin
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 08:10 AM

Isn't it all about the mothers' egos which are then passed onto the poor kids? Give me a good old unpretentious house ceili any day!


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Zen
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 08:11 AM

I caught part of this and, at least, the dancing was terrific (I agree about the wigs and costumes).


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Surreysinger
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 08:23 AM

I'm not sure I'd desribe the shouting and hectoring that the children were getting as "tough love" - I think the word "bullying" springs far more to mind.I have to admit that watching the angst, stress and pressure that the children of that age were subjected to, and their reactions to it was uncomfortable watching for me.

It was a fascinating documentary nonetheless(irritating that it really didn't show the dancing properly, but what one saw was interesting). The motivations of , and discussions with dancers and teachers were interesting to listen to. But oh dear, the stench of American influence with those ghastly and non-flattering costumes. And what the devil is it with those Madame Pompadour wigs ? Most of the girls had really nice hair without those monstrosities, and the dancing was frankly more watchable ,without all the rather ridiculous grotesquery, during the rehearsal shots.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 08:53 AM

Too many close up shots of the children looked disturbingly sinister
like excerpt scenes from an extremely deranged & terrifying horror movie...???


Btw, my mrs adored this documentary.

The DVD would be a great opportunity for extras and unused dance footage.. if the producers care enough....


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Marje
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 12:41 PM

Yes, like others who've posted already, I loved the rehearsal shots and found the dancing breathtaking, but hated those awful shiny frocks and ghastly wigs the girls wore (who on earth thought that one up? Wig manufacturers?). They actually detracted from the dancing in the performance, for me at any rate.

I was brought up in Northern Ireland, where some of the girls did Irish dance (this was in the 1950s/60s). They had pretty, flowing, knee-length dresses with "Celtic knot" patterns embroidered on them, and also wore matching capes that were fastened on at the shoulders by some sort of clip or brooch. The costumes were really attractive and swirled with them as they danced, not like those stiff, doll-like garments they wear now. And no wigs, of course and no lipstick or other adult makeup. Where did it all go wrong? Is this the American influence, as some of you seem to be suggesting?

And if a competition's not fun, what's it for? It must be great to win, but if you don't, why (as one youth seemed to be suggesting) would you have to give up dancing? It's not as if there was only room in the world for one dancer in each gender/age category - these youngsters are all worth watching, and capable of providing great entertainment to others. I'd like to have seen more emphasis on celebrating all their achievements together, rather than seeing dance turned into a competitive sport.

But perhaps I'm missing the point of "The World". I'd just like to think that there were other occasions where these young dancers could enjoy and display their dancing without most of them coming away disappointed.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 01:53 PM

Don't know about the tradition of Irish prize dancing, but in Pennine clog dancing Lancs and Yorkshire, the judges sat under the stage. It didn't matter what someone looked like, what mattered was the tap of the clog on the boards.

As for the costumes, when I grew up it was nuns who taught the Irish dancing. Nobody would have DARED tarting up their daughters in front of Sister Raphael...
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 01:56 PM

Despite the snide remarks above, none of you know whether those ridiculous dresses originated in America or not. I'm sure you will see the same look anywhere by now.

I do know that doing that embroidery is a cottage industry in Ireland itself. The CEO of an Irish mutual fund told me so in a letter.

I believe that what we are seeing here is the world-wide influence of show biz. The flashy colors, the expense, the loudness, the emphasis on speed, and the overly-short dresses which accidentally expose the private parts.

It's cute when it's done right, but...


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: gnu
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM

Only available in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Alan Day
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 03:10 PM

I watched this programme with a mixture of awe at the wonderful dancing and dedication of some of these young dancers ,one still carrying his toy dog with him that he took to bed. What I did not enjoy at all were the pushy (some bullying)parents forcing their children to win something they could not.
Most of all I hated the dressing up, to single out any nation for it's introduction is unfair ,but why are the organisers allowing it to happen? Little tots with masses of mascara, curly wigs, spangled dresses, the organisers should stop it NOW. As has been suggested a plain dance enhancing dress, minimum of make up. The dancing and enjoyment of the dancers is the most important. I hope the organisers look very hard at this programme and what they are creating and turn it back to what it was originally. A Dance competition.
Al


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM

Previous thread


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 05:16 PM

But wasn't the music terrible...


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Rain Dog
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 05:22 PM

Not sure how many people in the previous thread had seen the film.

The film was about the competition but it also showed how non irish people had been drawn into the dancing. The team from Russia, the lad from Holland. I don't think that there were many pushy parents shown in the film. It was more the case of parents trying to help their children fulfill their dreams. The American family who moved to the UK so their son could work with that particular teacher, the same teacher who coached the young English lad. Both of those lads won.

I thought the watching families came out well in the film. Of course they wanted their child to win but there were no nasty comments about any of the winners.

The dancing was great to watch. I liked the comment that one of the Russian team made about flying across the floor. I also found it amusing to see that they could get a teacher to fly out there to coach them.

I liked the comment that the Dutch parent made about it all. He seemed bemused by his son's interest in irish dancing. That Riverdance video has a lot to answer for.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 09:39 PM

A different previous thread here:

Wigs/Makeup in kids' Irish dance feis

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=118927


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Alan Day
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 05:12 AM

Thank you Bonnie for posting up the other discussion that I have just read in full. I agree totally with your viewpoint on this. Your points come over clearly and precise.The young dancers posting was also a refreshing insight into the actual dancers viewpoint, but I feel as you do that all the glitz is totally unnecessary and detracts from the main idea to promote and recognise the best in Traditional Irish Dancing. It would be a great shame that a superb dancer did not take part in this competition for purely the reason that they could not afford these stupid wigs and sparkly dresses. Well done Bonnie for your views on this.
Al


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: GUEST,Guest Betsy
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 05:56 AM

Peter K said it all for me


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 11:26 PM

I am looking forward to seeing this film. Even though I haven't seen it, I have to say that when I see Irish dancing, clogging, etc., at folk festivals, I wish the women dancers would wear bras that offer more support and less jiggle!


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Alan Day
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 04:18 AM

There must be certain size of chest measurement that would create a movement out of time with the music and not being an expert on the subject some that would move faster than the music.
A further thread on this may expand (or detract) the subject.
Al


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: GUEST,Liberty Boy (sans cookie)
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 03:36 AM

If it's supposed to be about dancing it should be enough to just have a simple black costume, with no wigs or make up and emphasis on the dance.


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 03:57 AM

Agreed
Al


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 07:57 AM

Indeed. The dresses were pretty but obviously quite prohibitively expensive. The wigs simply looked, not only grotesque, but entirely irrelevant; distracting, and peculiarly wrong-note-striking. The music did not sound to me to have any relationship to any traditional Irish dance music I had ever heard.

This youtube video of The Chieftains and Tim O.Brien playing Shady Grove interpolated with Irish dance tunes ~~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw5Knvdtutk

~~ climaxes in several minutes of dancing worth 100 of anything seen in "Jig", visually, aurally and technique-wise. The same is true of many of the Chieftains' You-tube videos. Take your pick of any of them to see some real Irish dancing; not this bland mish-mash in curly blond wigs.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Jig: The Great Irish Dance-Off
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 08:29 AM

As far a I was concerned the young girls dressed in wigs and make up was very reminiscent of the way young girls are dressed up for pageants (which as far as I'm aware seems to be an American phenomen) - awful.

Although I'm not a fan of Irish dancing I couldn't help but admire their skills. The only thing I found a bit off putting (and it may be the fault of the film producers) but the dancing at the finals never seemed to be in time with the music being played on stage!


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