To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
5 messages

Any other Irish set dancers out there?

08 Jun 99 - 03:28 AM (#84855)
Subject: Any other Irish set dancers out there?
From: Rita64

I am interested in hearing stories about your set dance group - location, teacher, favourite dances, exciting tunes, performances, musicians.

08 Jun 99 - 07:31 PM (#85029)
Subject: RE: Any other Irish set dancers out there?
From: John Wood

Hi Fair Youngmaid.
We have a very active set dance group in Oslo.They meet every Monday evening at The Dubliner Folk Pub,7pm for beginners and 8pm for the more advanced.
You can read more about this if you do a search on [Oslo Irish Music Festival],and then click on the dancing.

Greetings John.

08 Jun 99 - 09:03 PM (#85043)
Subject: RE: Any other Irish set dancers out there?
From: Annraoi

Every Wednesday night Éamon Maguire ( he of Bodhrán fame), runs a Sets night in the Christian Brothers' Past Pupils' Union, 287 Antrim road, Belfast, Ireland. Brilliant !! Also lodged at the same premises on the last Saturday of the month "an Traonach" trad music club hosts the best that can be had e.g. Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Paddy Glacken, Cathal Haydn, "Broc", Éamonn Mc Elholm (Stockton's Wing) etc. etc. Call in any Wed. night !! Beidh fearadh na fáilte romhat !


09 Jun 99 - 01:37 AM (#85115)
Subject: RE: Any other Irish set dancers out there?
From: Rita64

Hey Annraoi -

Would love to be there at the music club - unfortunately rough seas do separate me from Ireland's shore. Sniff sniff ... I'm in Sydney Australia.

I belong to one of the two set dance groups in Sydney. We are taught by young Michael John Hand of Dublin, his speciality being the battering steps. Our favourite sets are the Plain, the Cashel, the Roscommon, the Cuil Aodha and anything else as long as the music is lively! We have performed at festivals, pubs, clubs, parks and often jump up at sessions. I just feel so energised and invigorated by the dance - I will have to visit Ireland soon and steal some ideas ... I mean, enhance my style and expand my repertoire of dances.


09 Jun 99 - 07:17 AM (#85133)
Subject: RE: Any other Irish set dancers out there?
From: Philippa

I think there might be sets going in Accra. In 1993, 'Confidence' from Ghana visited Derry and did a workshop with Comhaltas an Creagáin, a local branch of Comhaltas Ceóltóirí Éireann (they're not all bad!). We did Irish dancing as well and called it an "Afro-céilí". Confidence enjoyed it so much that he implored me to take him to the set dancing class in the Bogside the next night. Frankie Roddy was teaching both the fior-chéilidh and sets classes at the time. I half expect that they have a new type of dance now in Accra, with Ghanaian music and footwork in quadrille formations.

I was impressed with set dancers in New York, how well they knew their stuff. In Ireland it's easier to drop in and out of the dancing and a lot of us enjoy it without becoming particularly expert. In New York I gathered people were making more of a commitment and going out of their way to find the set-dancing classes and sessions. Is it like that in Oslo?
I sure do miss the sets while I'm in Scotland. We do a lot of two-hand dances and simpler céilidh dances such as Strip the Willow and the Dashing White Sergeant. Then there's Scottish Country Dancing, which is done with an elegance, not the same 'craic' as the ceilidh dancing or Irish sets. The fling, which doesn't appeal to me much, is for exhibitons, not social dancing. There is quite a revival, in the "bringing it back home" style of Cape Breton step dance (solo dance. This I like better than Irish step dance as it's more for fun and less for exhibition; it hasn't become as classical as the Irish (though there is also 'sean-nós' stepping in Ireland).
When I talk about the set dancing in Ireland, sometimes older people will say "We used to do quadrilles", "We used to do Lancers". I didn't mention the Q and L words, but people made the connection from my description of the dances. I only know of one dance master teaching Scottish quadrilles in his classes, Mat Mellins, based in the north west,in Sutherland. I wish this sort of dancing would take off in Scotland as it has in Ireland..
Quadrilles were widespread in Europe, a few years ago I danced in one in Krakow at a workshop on Polish Jewish dance. ... And then there's square dances in N America...