Looking for Irish dance shows? Want to know about all the different varieties of dance shows available? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right show for you…
Variety of Irish Dance Shows
Irish dance shows achieved global recognition with the Riverdance, a dance troupe that introduced Irish dancing to a wider audience outside Ireland. The popularity of Irish dance grew worldwide as dance schools were set up to teach the Irish dance in Canada and the USA. Within Irish shores, dance schools developed the potential of young girls and boys to master the difficult steps of Irish dance.
When Irish dance masters regularized the steps of Irish dance in the 18th and 19th centuries, Irish dance shows gained prominence among all the classes of Irish society. Although Irish dance originated among the rural Irish people and descended from the ancient Celtic dance forms, Irish dances like the jig and the reel found favor even among the nobility. Irish set dancing was adapted from the Continental court dance, the ‘quadrille’.
Irish dance shows have developed over the years to become extravagant affairs complete with special dance costumes, wigs, shoes and accessories. The Irish dance show industry took its cue from Riverdance, which showcased the brilliantly coordinated and fast footwork of Irish dancing. The controlled upper body of Irish dancers accentuates the unique dance form which focuses attention on the rapid movement of dancer’s feet.
The dance steps in Irish dance shows will be in time with the type of dance performed. For example the reel will be in 2/4 time and the hard jig would be in 6/8 time. The accompanying music would set the theme for the dance and certain dance steps have been choreographed by Irish dance masters to the tune of specific music.
Solo Irish Dance
The highlight of Irish dance shows is the solo dances performed by accomplished, award winning dancers. These dancers would have numerous accolades to their credit and possibly have won several dance competitions to take credence as solo dancers. Their dance outfits are specially designed and hand made with expensive fabric, lace and sequins. Dancers wear ringlet wigs and stage make-up for performances.
The popularity of Irish dance was made feasible with Riverdance. Irish dance shows have crossed the Atlantic to set up base in Canada and the USA. The intricate footwork of Irish dance is the hallmark of dance shows that feature accomplished solo dancers.