A selection of Irish traditional step dances / Michael Tubridy

Instructional dance videos from Céline and Michael Tubridy - to be published Easter 2022

Contents

The priest and his boots, jig / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The priest and his boots, jig, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Dan Furey learned this dance from a neighbour, Jack Spellacy. Like some of the well known céilí dances, and solo set dances, he always danced it to the tune of the same name.

Dance Notation

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The hornpipe, dance / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The harvest home, hornpipe, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

These steps were passed on to Dan Furey and James Keane by various people in the locality, including Jack Carmody, Tom McMahon, and James's father Charlie Keane, and Dan learned some from a dancing teacher from Cork named Maurice O'Connell during a visit to London in the 1930s.

Dance Notation

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Single time, jig / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: An chearc ar fad 's an anraith, jig, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This dance was taught in the 1920s by a Miss O'Keefe, a dancing teacher from Kilkee who visited the schools in the Labasheeda area. As in the case of "The Priest and His Boots", this is always danced to the tune of the same name.

Dance Notation

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The easy reel, dance / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: Miss McLeod's reel, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Again this dance was taught by Miss O'Keefe. It is in single timing. The tune which Dan favoured for the easy reel was "Miss McLeod's Reel."

Dance Notation

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The slip jig, dance / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The rocky road to Dublin, slip jig, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Again this dance was taught by Miss O'Keefe. Strictly speaking, the music of any slip jig should do to accompany this dance, but the one which Dan regarded as having the "best fit", was "The Rocky Road to Dublin."

Dance Notation

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The job of journeywork, set dance / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The job of journeywork, set dance, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This is a Set Dance in hornpipe time with an 8 bar first part and 14 bar second part. This dance was learned by Dan from Maurice O'Connell in London.

Dance Notation

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St Patrick's Day, set dance / Céline Tubridy ; Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: St Patrick's Day, performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This is a Set Dance in jig time with an 8 bar first part and 14 bar second part. This dance was passed on by Charlie Keane, to Dan and James. It is one of our most popular set dances, and both the dance and music have the same name.

Dance Notation

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The blackbird, set dance / danced by Céline Tubridy and Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The Blackbird, set dance performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This is a Set Dance in hornpipe time with a 7½ bar first part and 15 bar second part - very unusual! I have written down two sets and three steps for "The Blackbird". The first set came originally from Maurice O'Connell, and the second set from Charlie Keane. It is perhaps our best known and respected set-dance, and both the dance and music have the same name.

Dance Notation

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The easy jig, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: Saddle the pony, jig, performed by Michael Tubridy

Dan Furey learned this dance from Miss O'Keefe, and he called it the "Simple", or "Easy", Jig. He didn't have any particular favourite tune for the dance, but it fits nicely with "Saddle the Pony".

Dance Notation

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An gabhairín buí, set dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: An gabhairín buí, polka performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This dance is performed using two sticks about 18" long in cruciform shape and laid on the floor, and the steps are executed using the four corners. The dance came from Charlie Keane.

Dance Notation

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The little Dutch dance, set dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The little dutch dance, mazurka ; Johnny Doherty's mazurka performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This dance came from Céline Tubridy (nee Kelly) who learned it from a neighbour when growing up in Gortahork, North-West Donegal. It is unusual in that the rhythm is that of a mazurka.

Dance Notation

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Mount Phoebus' hunt, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: Mount Phoebus' hunt, set dance performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This is a Set Dance in hornpipe time with an 8 bar first part and 12 bar second part. Dan Furey learned this dance from Frank Griffin, a farmer who lived near Doonbeg, Co Clare, and who was a concertina player as well as a step dancer.

Dance Notation

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The jockey to the fair, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The jockey to the fair, set dance performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

This is a Set Dance in jig time with an 8 bar first part and 14 bar second part. This dance came from Margaret Wray, Derry City. Margaret learned many of her dances from Frankie Roddy who was a very well known teacher in Derry

Dance Notation

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Céline's hornpipe, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: Off to California, hornpipe performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Céline learned this dance when she was a child in Donegal, from Séamus Kerrigan, a dancing teacher who was based in Derry. Séamus travelled along the north coast of Donegal on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge and, in the late 1930s, taught a class in a hall in Gortahork, close to Céline's home.

Dance Notation

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Double jig, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The ship in full sail, jig performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Dan learned this jig when he visited London sometime in the 1930s, from Maurice O 'Connell. This Maurice was also a drummer and played with the Galtymore Ceili Band.

Dance Notation

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Paidí bán's reel, step dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: Tim Moloney's reel performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

Páidí Bán, as he was affectionately known, taught in a primary school in Dublin, and played flute and mouth organ as well as being a very competent step dancer

Dance Notation

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Sean nós and battering, dance / Michael Tubridy
Video

Music: The maid behind the bar, reel ; The Dunmore lasses, reel performed by Michael Tubridy, flute

I put this little routine together myself, as is customary in sean nós dancing, and the steps were picked up from watching various people dancing over the years, and maybe adjusted here and there to suit my own ability (or lack of) and preference.

Dance Notation

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A selection of Irish traditional step dances / Michael Tubridy
Text

A digital version of the second edition of the book, including the dance notation for all 18 dances, the music notation as played in the video and a note about each dance.

As well as the individual dances, the book also includes an explanation of the dance notation, a glossary of terms used in the book and a full index.

With thanks to Michael Tubridy for permission to reproduce the book online.

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St Patrick's Day, set dance / Céline Tubridy, dance ; Michael Tubridy, flute
Video

Another performance of St. Patrick's Day by Céline Tubridy. This was recorded by ITMA at the Dance Recital in the Willie Clancy Summer School, 2004.

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The Blackbird, set dance / Céline Tubridy, dance ; Michael Tubridy, flute
Video

Another performance of The Blackbird by Céline Tubridy, recorded by ITMA at the Dance Recital in the Willie Clancy Summer School, 2005. This video has been on the ITMA website since 2012 and it is one of the most watched videos on the ITMA YouTube channel with over 120,000 views to date

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