Competitive Irish Dance : Art, Sport, Duty

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-10
  • Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Pr
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What happens when you put an expressive form in a competitive frame? This question motivates Frank Hallrs"s study of competitive Irish stepdancing. He examines this dance tradition-from the organization of competitions to the movement of dancersrs" bodies-in relation to themes of authority, authenticity, and control. Irish stepdancing, known for many decades primarily in ethnic enclaves, expanded tremendously asRiverdanceand other shows took this dance form to new performance contexts on the world stage. In describing and analyzing the history and development of competitive stepdancing in Ireland, the United States, and beyond, Hall reveals the issues, forces, and values that entwine all participants, including competition organizers, judges, dancers, parents, and teachers. Investigating the process of teaching and learning the movement and analyzing its stage performance, he elucidates the syntactic and semantic dimensions of Irish dancing as a body language.

Author Biography

Frank Hall holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Indiana University. He is an Irish musician living in County Galway, Ireland, where he is active in community service with the Kinvara Area Music Collective (KAM).

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Authority: Anthropology and Irelandp. 6
Authenticity: Ireland and Dancingp. 8
Control: Anthropology and Dancingp. 11
Posture in Irish Dancingp. 13
Mythsp. 15
Competitionsp. 17
Mannersp. 19
Dancing Mastersp. 20
The (In)Subordination of Dancingp. 23
Dancing as National Expressionp. 27
Nationalism and the Politics of Culturep. 27
Irish Dancing: A New Genre with Claims to Antiquityp. 30
Irish Dancing Becomes an Institutionp. 35
Breakaway Organizationsp. 38
The Modern Competitive Modelp. 40
Dance as Competitionp. 43
Irish Dancing Commission Membersp. 46
The Dance Schoolp. 49
Teachersp. 49
Dancers (and their Parents)p. 50
The Transfer Rulep. 55
Competition and Choreographyp. 57
Adjudicatorsp. 58
Costume and Dancingp. 61
Social Interpretation of Adjudicators' Resultsp. 64
Learning a Body Languagep. 69
Lessonsp. 70
First Moves, First Stepsp. 71
Multiple Functions of Verbal Cuesp. 73
Style: How Steps are Performedp. 78
Class Atmosphere and Work Ethicp. 84
The Class Feisp. 86
Values: Physical and Socialp. 88
Creativity, Form, and Identityp. 93
Analysis of Two Slip Jigs: Beginner's and Champion'sp. 94
Body Movementp. 94
Time: Rhythmic Stressp. 97
Spacep. 101
Play with Formp. 104
Creativity and Identityp. 105
Toe Standsp. 105
Heel Clicksp. 108
The Butterflyp. 110
Poetics of Movementp. 111
Riverdance: Beyond Nationalismp. 113
The Century of Irish Dancep. 113
Riverdancep. 118
International Participationp. 119
Cult of the Individual and the Appeal of Riverdancep. 121
Changes and Continuityp. 125
Online Appendixp. 129
Notesp. 131
Works Citedp. 141
Indexp. 149
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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