The green island, as Ireland is often called, is widely known throughout the world for its fiery, cheerful motifs. Irish dance is a charge of fun, positive and good mood – it is impossible to calmly sit still when such energetic music sounds that makes your legs go to dance.
But his story is not so funny. The first traditional dances of Ireland belonged to rituals and came from Gallic culture. When adopting Christianity, they did not lose their popularity, on the contrary, they harmoniously blended into the new religion, being used in festivities and even Christian rites.
Fast and fun dances have become popular not only in the homeland, but also abroad. But after the advent of English power, they were banned, which, however, served as a new impetus for their development, rather than vice versa. Dance teachers were secretly invited to their homes to give their lessons, which was a great honor for any host. Teaching was also conducted in pubs, where in the evenings a large number of people gathered, or outside the cities and villages in the fields. Only in the nineteenth century did Irish dance really develop openly. The modern direction was fully formed in the twentieth century and is now the hallmark of the green island.
Today, there are about 40 areas of Irish dance, traditional and modern, combining different styles. The music for them is always unchanged – these are traditional jigs, rils and hornpipes, which are also the three main dance styles.
All movements are designed for 8 measures of music and are steps, where the name “step” comes from. It is the step, and not tap dance, that is the traditional dance of the Irish, although tap dance can be called one of its elements. The fast movement of the legs, beating out 8 measures, with an almost motionless body – this is the main drawing of the step. Irish dance is usually performed by a group arranged in a row or in a circle, although there are solo performances. There are soft-dance, performed in soft shoes, and hard-dance, which is danced in shoes with hard heels. The latter, in fact, is a step.
A huge contribution to the popularization of Irish dances was made by such staged shows as “Riverdance” and “Lords of the dance”. Touring around the world, they invariably gather full halls, their performances are not just movements to the music, this is truly a grandiose spectacle that everyone should see.