Wednesday June 27th, 5pm
Recall: From Jigs to Jacobites – Set Dances as a Historical Record
This lecture will present research from the book, Recall: From Jigs to Jacobites. It will trace a narrative of set dances, their titles, composition, collection, dance choreography, and performance to the present day.
About the Book:
Recall: From Jigs to Jacobites is a new book that explores 4000 years of Irish history through the eyes of 40 traditional set dances. Set dances are a distinct repertoire of Irish traditional music and dance.
Within dance, many set dances are living transmissions of exact steps, danced to specific set dance tunes from the time of the dancing masters to the present. Within music, the very same tunes have been used by master musicians as showpieces in competition, performance and recordings. Yet, in the modern day, many Irish dancers compete with set dance showpieces at the highest level of competition but are unaware of the history or context behind the tune of their choice. The same is true of musicians.
Each set dance has a history to it, be it the origin of the tune itself, who has danced it, who composed it, who published it, or the story behind its title. Like the titles of tunes throughout the Irish tradition, the titles of set dances reflect the socio-economic conditions, the wars, the victors and losers of the time they originated. We have used these titles to carve a unique path through Irish history.
In Recall: From Jigs to Jacobites, each set dance title is beautifully illustrated, its story engagingly told and the music notation provided. Set dances are a unique touch point between past and present, between traditional musician and dancer and in this book, we bring it all together.
Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain
Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain lectures on the BA in Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. In 1998 she completed a Masters in Ethnochoreology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. In 2010 Orfhlaith completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Limerick. Her research interests include, Irish Dance among the Diaspora and examining creative processes in the context of Competitive Irish Solo Step Dance. She is a registered Irish Dance teacher T.C.R.G. and adjudicator A.D.C.R.G. with An Coimisiún le Rinci Gaelacha. She has traveled extensively to workshops and Step Dance Competitions throughout Europe and North America as a tutor from the renowned Scoil Rince Ui Ruairc and dance accompanist. Recently she completed a residency at Williams College MA where she was employed as guest artist in dance. Orfhlaith is a former Co-Director of Blas International Summer School of Traditional Irish Music and Dance held at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and is Dance Co-ordinator on the BA programme. She is currently vice- chair person of Dance Research Forum Ireland and Treasurer of I.C.T.M. Ireland. She has authored a book entitled The Terminology of Irish Dance.
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