The Maguire Academy of Irish Dance Presents:
A sean-nós dancing workshop with Brian Ó hAirt
No hard shoes, please! Participants encouraged to bring hard leather/rubber/plastic-soled shoes and a recording device.
Sean-nós dancing is a percussive dance form from western County Galway. It is improvisational and focuses on both accompanying and collaborating with the musician by way of repetitive timing steps punctuated by tricks, which often emulate the melodic structure of the tune. A dancer wears hard leather-soled shoes and positions his or herself near the musician so as to accommodate this musical conversation. The body is relaxed, the steps are often asymmetrical, yet the form is reminiscent of (but creates an experience quite different from) modern Irish step dancing.
Sean-nós dancing is a welcome alternative to step dancing for individuals interested in Irish dance but physically limited. It’s less impactful and athletic than step dancing but engages both the body and mind in ways that benefit aging individuals or those with physical/cognitive challenges. It’s also a helpful addition to step-dancers as they must adjust their weight, foot position, and posture; think critically of music as symbiotic with and not just accompaniment to their dance; as well as think creatively on their toes to create new choreography on spot. More importantly--it's fun!
Because sean-nós dancing comes from one of the Irish Gaelic speaking communities of Ireland, there is also a cultural component to this dance form, which requires dancers to consider and learn about the families in those communities who uphold this tradition and the cultural events that showcase it.