Thursday, March 11, 2010

Irish Fact of the Day#7........

Everyone probably knows what it is. It is Irish step dancing. They have names like Jigs, Reels, and Hornpipes.
Riverdance was first developed in 1994 for the European Song Contest which was being hosted in Dublin Ireland that year. Most people don't know why step dancing was developed originally.
It was created after the British outlawed the Irish dancing and Irish culture in the 1600's. At the time they were also enslaving the Irish and selling them as far away as Virginia. Cultural traditions had to be performed in secret. One of those traditions was dancing.
The dance form that evolved because of the prohibition was step dancing. The body and the arms are kept stationary. The movement is confined to the feet. That insured that the British authorities would not observe any dancing from over a hedge or out a window.
Now it includes many traditions developed over 4 centuries. One of those traditions is elaborately embroidered coustumes, though Riverdance has started to change that.