Dance Workshops with Patrick O'Dea

Monday February 13, 2012

Irish Set Dancing Workshop, 7:00pm
Collins View Dance and Art School
318 SW Palatine Hill Rd, Portland, OR
Admission: cash only please  $10 per person with pre-registration , $15  at door  
(Student w/school ID: $5 per person with pre-registration or $10 day of event)
Contact: For additional info call:   Betty Woerner  (503) 244-1593 or  Judy Russell (503) 452-7544  
Shoes: Low heels with smooth/slick soles best, avoid gym/running shoes if possible
Irish Old-style Step Dance Workshop, 3:30pm
Stomptown Collective AudioCinema Building 226 SE Madison Street, Portland, OR
Admission: $15 general, $10 studio members
Contact: Maldon Meehan (503) 206-9311

Patrick O'Dea of Roscommon Ireland will be in Portland for one night only to teach Traditional Irish Set Dances and Old-style step dance. Set are lively Irish dances similar to square dances. Patrick has taught throughout Europe, Japan, Ireland, the US, and is a regular instructor at the Willie Clancy Summer Festival in Ireland. Beginners are encouraged to join the fun.  No experience needed, all dancing taught and called. His vast experience and humorous personality will get your feet moving in the right direction. Patrick is highly regarded for his Munster style footwork & keeps the old set dancing traditions alive by generously passing steps on. Come learn a dance or two and have a lot of fun!

From Wikipedia:
"Stepdancing as a modern form is descended directly from old-style step dancing. There are several different forms of stepdancing in Ireland… but the style most familiar to the public at large is the Munster, or southern, form, which has been formalised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha—the Irish Dancing Commission. Irish step dancing is primarily done in competitions, public performances or other formal settings."

"Old-Style step dancing
Old-style step dancing is a tradition related to, yet distinct from, sean-nós dancing, though it is sometimes called "Munster-style sean-nós". Old-style step dancing evolved in the late 18th and early 19th century from the dancing of traveling Irish dance masters. The dance masters slowly formalised and transformed both solo and social dances. Modern masters of old-style step dancing style can trace the lineage of their steps directly back to 18th century dancers.

The Irish dance masters refined and codified indigenous Irish dance traditions. Rules emerged about proper upper body, arm, and foot placement. Also, dancers were instructed to dance a step twice—first with the right foot then with the left. Old-style step dancers dance with arms loosely (but not rigidly) at their sides. They dance in a limited space. There is an emphasis on making percussive sound with the toes. The Irish dance masters of this period also choreographed particular steps to particular tunes in traditional music creating the solo set dances such as the Blackbird, St. Patrick's Day, and the Job of Journey Work, which also persist in Modern Irish Step Dancing. In this context, "set dance" signifies a separate tradition from the social dance tradition also called set dance."