Let's start by establishing that Irish dance is amazing. It has a fascinating history and a rich, incredibly challenging technique. Its emphasis on precise timing and intricate rhythms make it invaluable for dancers looking to develop their musicality. And there's nothing quite like watching an Irish virtuoso do his Lord of the Dance thing.
But—speaking of Lord of the Dance—let's have a moment of real talk: Irish dance's reputation has become a tad musty over the years. Riverdance is (present tense! it's still touring!) fantastic, but its crushed-velvet-and-laser-lights approach to the form have come to feel a little dated. Michael Flatley is one of the world's greatest performers, but he turned 57 this year and is about to retire.
That'd be ProdiJIG: The Revolution. Led by world champion Irish dancer Alan Kenefick, the show, set to premiere at Ireland's Cork Opera House next year, features a troupe of young, undeniably cool artists who're rethinking what it means to be an Irish dancer. Their updated take on the style involves combining electronic dance music with more traditional Irish tunes—and getting rid of any lingering Riverdance mustiness. (Zero crushed-velvet costumes will be involved in ProdiJIG.)
There WILL be plenty of flannel and leather, though. (screenshot via YouTube)
Yes, most of us probably won't be able to make it to Cork for the show. But all of us can feast our eyes on the slick sexiness of this just-released promo video, which has a delightfully STOMP-y vibe. (And we can all add a ProdiJIG world tour to our holiday wish lists, too.)
Happy (almost) St. Patrick's Day! Since the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, us on the DS staff can't celebrate by wearing our finest green outfits to work. So, instead, I decided to round up a few Irish dancing videos to get everyone in the spirit of things.
[Side note: I may be a good Irish girl, but I'm far from an Irish dance expert, so I apologize in advance for any misuse of terms, etc!]
First up: a cute Irish dance flash mob, filmed on St. Patrick's day a couple of years ago in, uh, Australia. (Maybe it would've been too predictable in Ireland? Maybe spontaneous Irish dancing breaks out all the time there?)
Second: some very cool dudes Irish dancing to dubstep on the beach. Not where you thought I was going to go, is it?
Third: a taste of the Irish dance competition world. Here are the senior winners of the 2012 World Irish Dancing Championship, Suzanne Coyle and Michael Holland.
Next: supermodel and all-around supergirl Coco Rocha, who's an excellent dancer, Irish step dancing down Jean Paul Gaultier's runway in 2007:
Fifth: Look at this adorable little girl Irish dancing to Michael Jackson songs! Schmoop.
And finally: A little Riverdance action—old-school, Jean Butler and Michael Flatley style. Had to do it. Erin Go Bragh!