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Dance at the Willie Clancy Summer School

Dance at the Willie Clancy Summer School

For all of its forty years to date, the Willie Clancy Summer School has featured traditional dancing of all kinds in natural association with instrumental music and song, following in the footsteps of Willie Clancy himself. Exhibition solo step-dances and set-dancing have been to the fore in concerts, classes and workshops, and in recent years old-style step-dancing from Clare and elsewhere, Conamara sean-nós dancing, and two-hand dancing have been added to the bill of fare.

Reproduced here from the collections of the Irish Traditional Music Archive are documentary dance videos recorded by ITMA staff at the School in the early years of the new millennium, from 2001 to 2008. Included are old-style step-dancer Céline Tubridy from Co Donegal, Aidan Vaughan from Miltown Malbay with an exhibition of Clare battering, Margaret Wray from England with a solo set dance, Mick Mulkerrin from Glasgow and Co Meath and Mairéad Casey from Co Longford with a two-hander of Conamara sean-nós, and the Dublin-based set-dance group Brook’s Academy, which drew its inspiration from the Summer School and has gone on to teach hundreds of dancers in the headquarters of Na Píobairí Uilleann in Dublin over the last thirty years. Appearing here are Terry Cullen, Mary Friel, Sighle Friel, Pascale Gaudry, Vincent Heywood, Irene Martin, Terry Moylan, Mary Murray, Eileen O’Doherty, Jerry O’Reilly, and Gerry Ryan. Musicians include Michael Tubridy, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Timmy O'Connor, Bobby Gardiner, and the Mulcahy Family.

With thanks to the dancers and musicians, and to the organisers of the Willie Clancy Summer School.

NC & TH, 1 June 2012