Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 55 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
138. 'The Blackbird' is the is the fastest set that I know of.
Treble Jig. You can actually perform your class treble jig to this set but you might have to change the speed!
Planxty Brown. This is a jig that is also known as "Maggie Brown's Favorite".
lead around and set. Sets contain two parts, the first is the "lead around" (from 8 to 16 measures), the second is the "set" (12 to 16 measures).
Is the Big Man Within. The set dances can be either in jig or hornpipe time. In one case, "Is the Big Man Within?" the time changes mid-tune.
|In the United States, what level Irish dance competitor performs a set dance as part of their competition?||Irish Dance Set Pieces
Open Championship. The set dance is performed most commonly by Open Champions and it is performed one at a time. The set dance is one of the most difficult dances to perform.
Garden of Daisies. "Garden of Daisies" was taken from the Garden of Deise, an area in County Wexford, Ireland.
The Blackbird. The Blackbird is actually "code" for Bonnie Prince Charles who tried to overthrow the English with a group of Scotsmen.
Humors of Bandon. The word Humour means drinking party, and the place would be Bandon.
|Which famous person are these set dances related to: "Downfall of Paris", "Bonaparte's Retreat", "Madame Bonaparte"?||Irish Dance Set Pieces
Napoleon . One reason for this may have been that the Irish looked to the French for help in overthrowing English rule around Napoleon's time.
planxty. Some set dances are the "planxties" such as "Planxty Drury". These tunes are nearly 300 years old and were written by Turlough O'Carolan. He composed the music to honor a friend, the friend's name listed last.
|What North American has contributed the most to the promotion of Irish dancing in the world due to the popularity of "Riverdance"?||Irish Dance
Michael Flatley. Michael Flatley has definitely had the most influence in the popularity of Irish dancing through "Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance". The other fellows listed are also North American Irish dance masters and have been quite instrumental in their own right! Michael Flatley is also a fabulous flute player!
|Which ancient manuscript is the source for many of the Celtic designs used in Irish dance costumes?||Irish Dance
Book of Kells. "The Book of Kells" is from the mid-eighth century. It is currently on display at Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland.
|What is a regional competition called, where dancers can qualify for major, international Irish dance competitions such as World or North American Championships?||Irish Dance
Oireachtas. Oireachtas, which is pronounced "or-oc-tass", is a huge competition. In North America, they are separated by region. There are formulas which are used to compute the qualifiers for World and North American championships.
|What is the dress called which is worn by Irish dancers at the highest level of competition?||Irish Dance
solo dress. The solo dress is made from elaborate materials and each one is unique. Usually reserved for the highest levels of competition, a dancer is sometimes recognized by her dress since they are all unique. The solo dress is very expensive and there is a huge second-hand market for out-grown dresses.
|In which year were the World Championships of Irish Dancing cancelled due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Ireland?||Irish Dance
2001. All qualifiers from the cancelled 2001 event (including my daughter), were allowed to compete in the 2002 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
|In which city in Ireland have the World Championships of Irish Dancing been held most often?||Irish Dance
Ennis, County Clare. The West County Hotel in Ennis, County Clare has been the venue where the championships have been held most often. Due to the increase in popularity, the hotel has had to erect a giant tent to accommodate the large number of spectators. The World's are held at Easter every year.
|What is not a term to describe Irish dance shoes used to perform a hornpipe?||Irish Dance
clogs. The shoes used to perform hard shoe dances have evolved over the years and now include hi-tech, fiberglass tips for better sound. Some dancers wear fancy buckles on the shoes.
|What is not a term to describe Irish dance shoes used to perform a slip jig?||Irish Dance
jig shoes. Irish dance shoes for light dancing (reels, light jigs, slip jigs) are made of soft, black leather. They resemble ballet shoes, but with a criss-cross lacing pattern. The shoe must fit very snuggly so the dancer can show off arching of the foot during the dance.
|What traditional set dance is named after a famous saint whose name is usually associated with Ireland?||Traditional Irish Dance
St. Patrick's Day. It is of course, the St. Patrick's Day, a lively traditional set dance which is beautiful when performed properly. As for the other three, St. Brigid's Cross and St. Brendan's Cross are both inventions of my own, while Brian Boru's sword is actually a type of figure dance (team dance). And of course, Brian Boru is not a saint!
|No quiz on Irish dancing would be complete without mentioning "Riverdance". In what year was the first performance of this famous show?||Traditional Irish Dance
1994. Yes, in 1994, "Riverdance" was performed as the interval show in Eurovision, which was staged in Ireland that year. Personally, I think it's the best thing ever to have come out of Eurovision, and it is certainly the one of the most famous! Michael Flatley and Jean Butler were the stars of the show, which has gone on to be a worldwide phenomenon, running for 13 years now non-stop, and has put Irish dancing on the worldstage. However, one of the wonderful things about "Riverdance" is how it incorporates other styles of dance into the show, including Spanish Flamenco Dancing, and some ballet!
|It has been alleged that Irish dance has had a great influence on another type of popular dance. What is it?||Traditional Irish Dance
Tap dance. The similarities between tap dance, and Irish heavy or 'batter' dances are easily seen. However, tap is more free form, without the strict structure of Irish dance, i.e. hand movements. Tap dance evolved in America from the Irish Dance brought over by many immigrants, particularly in the 19th century.
|How you hold your hands while dancing is also very important. How are you supposed to keep your hands while dancing an individual dance?||Traditional Irish Dance
Down by your sides, with hands clenched into fists.. While this may sound like the easiest of the four options, it is actually extremely difficult to keep your hands perfectly still by your side while all the rest of your body is moving. It takes quite a while to perfect, and many little tricks are used, including holding the back of your dress to keep arms straight, and holding a penny in each hand to keep the fists clenched.
|Onto the dancing then! In Irish dancing, the placement of the feet is very important. How are you supposed to place your feet while dancing?||Traditional Irish Dance
With your feet turned out, one in front of the other.. Learning to keep your feet turned out while dancing is not a natural posture, and takes quite a lot of practice to master completely. Various exercises are used to perfect this, such as walking with your feet turned out, one behind the other, or dancing very slowly, concentrating very hard on the placement of the feet.
Feiseanna. At a higher level, when you are looking to graduate to national or international level, the competitions are generally referred to as Oireachtais. Comórtaisí merely means 'competitions' in Irish, and dancing competitions is how they tend to be referred to by outsiders! : )
|Very curly wigs have become almost obligatory for girls in Irish Dancing competitions in recent times. If you were looking to buy a wig, how would you find the different types listed?||Traditional Irish Dance
They are listed under girls' names, e.g. Gráinne, Máire, etc, and you can then choose your colour.. Ah, yes, the infamous wigs. They were originally introduced for seriously competitive dancers who would go to maybe a feis a week, who were finding that curling their hair constantly was damaging it. However, they caught on like wildfire, and now nearly every girl in a competition wears one, despite their fairly ridiculous appearance, and the discomfort of wearing them. I'm not sure why they're listed under girls' names either, but that's the way it is!
|Once you reach the second-highest level, many girls buy a special dress to wear for competitions which is unique to them. What is this dress called?||Traditional Irish Dance
Solo dress. Solo dresses can be made specifically for someone, and can also be purchased second hand. They tend to be quite expensive, costing between 900 and 1500 new (depending on size and complexity) and tend to be between 400 and 600 second hand. The diversity they introduce to competitions makes them much more interesting to watch, and a lot of work goes into making the dresses specific to the individual. My dress, for example, is quite an unusual colour for a costume (gold) and reflects my love of Celtic design.
|There are two main types of dances which are danced competitively in light shoes by adult dancers. What are they?||Traditional Irish Dance
Slip Jig and Reel. Yes, Slip Jigs and Reels are the main type of dances danced in soft shoes. When younger, dancers also dance single jigs and light jigs, but these are phased out as they grow older, so as to focus more on reels and slip jigs.