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Sean-Nós Dancers at the Frankie Kennedy Winter School, 2006

Sean-Nós Dancers at the Frankie Kennedy Winter School, 2006

The revival of interest in sean-nós (old-style) step dancing which has been on the rise since the late 1980s has been driven mainly from Conamara in Co Galway. This loose, partly improvised, solo exhibition form is of uncertain origin and antiquity, but it contrasts with the rigidity and programmed control normally associated with Irish solo dancing.

Two leading young Conamara sean-nós dancers were filmed by Irish Traditional Music Archive staff at the 2006–2007 Frankie Kennedy Winter School/ Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal: Seosamh Ó Neachtain of An Spidéal and Róisín Ní Mhainín of Rosmuc. They danced to a range of rhythms played on accordion by Colm Gannon of Boston and Conamara at an event of the School entitled ‘An Damhsa’.

ITMA has been recording at the Frankie Kennedy Winter School since 2004–2005, and the results are available for listening and viewing to visitors to 73 Merrion Square. For other online ITMA recordings made at the School, see here, here and here.

With thanks to Róisín Ní Mhainín, Seosamh Ó Neachtain & Colm Gannon for permission to reproduce their performances, and to Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy for facilitating the recording.

NC & TH, 1 June 2013