Designed by Award Winning Artisan, AQ from County Donegal, Ireland.
Irish dancing has spread in popularity worldwide since the seven minute worldwide debut of "Riverdance" on Eurovision in 1994. Since that time, Irish dancers are no longer defined by location or ethnic descent. In fact, "over 70 million people worldwide class themselves as Irish" (Ó Cinnéide 2002, p.91) and the number of Irish step dancers in North America outnumber Irish dancers in Ireland itself
* Great pendant for the Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Sister etc. along with a Male
* Every Step Dancer Pendant is not the same
* Artisan, AQ hand cuts each pendant
* Made in the West of Ireland in County Donegal
* Solo Male Dancer adorned on this stunning pendant
* High Polished, Sterling Silver
* Could possibly be engraved
* The Pendant measures 1 1/2" in height and 5/8" at its widest width
* Completed with a Sterling Silver 18" rolo chain
About the Dance
Irish solo stepdances fall into two broad categories based on the shoes worn: hard shoe (or heavy shoe) and soft shoe (or light shoe) dances.
There are four soft shoe dance styles: the reel, slip jig, light jig and single jig (also referred to as hop jig). Reels have a 4/4 (or sometimes 2/4 or 2/2) time signature. Slip jigs are in 9/8 time. Light and single jigs are in 6/8 time, with different emphasis within the measure distinguishing the music. Hard shoe dances include the hornpipe in syncopated 2/4 or 4/4 time, the treble jig (also called the heavy jig or hard jig) in a slow 6/8, the treble reel (heavy dance done to reel music) and traditional sets, which are a group of dances with set music and steps. Many traditional sets have irregular musical phrasing. There are also more advanced "non-traditional sets" done by advanced dancers. These have set music, but not steps. There are multiple traditional sets, including St. Patrick's Day, Blackbird, Job of Journeywork, Three Sea Captains, Garden of Daisies, and King of the Fairies.
Competitive dancers generally dance four or six steps at a time, depending on their dancing level. Each step lasts eight bars of music. They are each danced starting with the right foot, then repeated with the left foot. Set dances, however, have a different format. The dancer usually dances one step, which is not limited to eight bars, and is then repeated, resembling the steps of other dances. Then the dancer usually dances a "set" which is not repeated. It is a highly sought after and competitive feat to dance this "third round"--at regional, national, and world competitions, only a small percentage of dancers are invited back to perform.
The céilí dances used in competitions are more precise versions of those danced in less formal settings. There is a list of 30 céilí dances which have been standardised and published in An Coimisiún's Ar Rinncidhe Foirne as examples of typical Irish folk dances; these are called the "book" dances by competitive stepdancers. Most Irish dancing competitions only ask for a short piece of any given dance, in the interests of time.
Irish dancing was originally danced by the Druids during pre-Christian times in honor of the oak tree and the sun. They danced in rings which was the pre-cursor to Irish ring dances of today. When the Celts migrated to Ireland from Central Europe, they brought their folk dances which blended with the dance of the Druids to form the distinctive Irish dance of modern times. Men and women roles in Irish dancing developed as a result of the complexity of Irish dance routines.
Separate men and women roles in Irish dancing can be seen in Irish set dancing. In this type of dance, pairs of men and women in four sets stand facing each other along the sides of an imaginary square. Each pair of men and women has different roles in the dance figures and are called by different names. Although Irish set dancing has no cue callers, the men and women are aware of their respective dance roles in the set. All the pairs of men and women begin and end the dance together.
There are certain Irish dances called reels and jigs. The men and women roles in Irish dancing of reels and jigs are determined by the dance form. The footwork of the dancers of both gender must be perfectly coordinated for a flawless presentation. Practice sessions for Irish dancing are therefore rigorous and demanding and require disciplined effort for accomplishment.
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