Learn a simple sean-nós (old style) step, a tune, and a song with Danielle Enblom. This lesson is appropriate for children and adults. You will learn about the structure of Irish tunes, how to dance a polka step, and a full dance to the Irish tune and song, Mittie Mattie.
The Old Traditions of Cork and Kerry
and the Saint Patrick's Day Set Dance
Introducing the beginning of a series on the famous dance masters of Cork and Kerry and their modern-day lineages. Featuring dancing, choreography, and interviews from dancers, musicians, and researchers related to Counties Kerry and Cork.
Featuring Father Pat Ahern, founder of Ireland's national folk theatre, Siamsa Tíre, and former pupil of the famous North Kerry dance master Jerimiah Molyneaux; Jonathan Kelliher, artistic director of Siamsa Tíre and pupil in the lineage of Molyneaux, Dr. Sharon Phelan; Siamsa Tíre dancer and professor at the Munster Technological University, and Danielle Enblom, dancer with connections to Cork and MA researcher out of Munster Technological University.
The St. Patrick’s Day set dance is a firm favorite within the repertoire of set dances at Siamsa Tíre, the National folk theatre of Ireland.
Created in the North Kerry style in the mid 1990’s by the then members of the professional company, led by founding Artistic director, Par Ahern, the dance captures the essence of the North Kerry “Munnix” style of dance unique to the region.
Dancing here, is Jonathan Kelliher, current Artistic Director of the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, and a member of the team that was responsible for creating this St. Patricks Day.
The clip is taken from the National Folk Theatre production Anam, first produced in 2016.
This version of Saint Patrick's Day comes from County Cork and is close to the standard version danced by modern Irish step dancers today.
This step is a combination of steps from three Cork dance masters. The first part of the step comes from Din Moore. The first half of the B part, or the "set" is from Stephen Comerford, and the second half is a step from Christy Murphy. Stephen Comerford was a teacher at the Cork Pipers' Club, one of the, if not the, first place to hold official dance classes in Ireland. Comerford's pupil, Tommy Hill, was influential in the Irish dance scene in NYC in the early twentieth century, and impactful moment in the history of Irish dance.
Danielle learned this step from Peggy McTeggart in Cork in 2005.
Danielle breaks each step down, demonstrating the unique features of each, side by side.
Interviews with Sharon, Pat, and Jonathan are on their way
Oh! The days of the Kerry dancing, oh! The ring of the piper's tune,
Oh! For one of those hours of gladness, gone, alas! Like youth, too soon!
When the boys being to gather in the glen of a summer night,
And the Kerry piper's tuning made us long the wild delight.
Oh! To think of it, oh! To dream of it, fills my heart with tears;
Oh! The days of the Kerry dancing, oh! The ring of the piper's tune;
Oh! For one of those hours of gladness, gone, alas! Like youth, too soon.
The Kerry Dance by James Lynam Molloy. A verse discussed by Dr. Sharon Phelan in her book Dance in Ireland: Steps Stages and Stories