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Art Through The Ages Essay

1732 words - 7 pages

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As he became better known, he was asked to tour with the Chieftains’, a traditional Irish band. This is where Michael tried various moves and steps to receive public reaction. “Michael gradually liberated Irish dance from generations for rigidity, incorporating arm movements and heart-stopping rhythm into traditional steps” (n.d., Part 2, para. 2). In 1993, Michael was asked to dance at a festival in Dublin, where the show’s producer commissioned him to create an interval act for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest (n.d., Part 2, para. 3). On April 30, 1994, River dance was born, and Michael Flatley became an overnight success. Disputes with the show’s producer caused Flatley to leave the show within eight months, when he went on to produce Lord of the Dance, which debuted July 2, 1996, Feet of Flames on July 25, 1998, and Celtic Tiger on July 9, 2005 ( n.d.). According to Thomas Gort,”The show features not only Irish dance, but also Spanish, Russian, and African-American” (1998, para. 1). Flatley has inspired countless people to dance, and now has many troupes of dancers performing all over the world, including Belfast, Budapest, and St. Petersburg, Russia. They have danced before Kings and Presidents, common people and diplomats. Everyone, to this day, continues to love the hard pounding rhythm and precision steps that stimulate and intrigue us. River dancing was formed by a shifting population of the migration and invasions of the Irish citizens. Different people brought their own styles of music and dancing over the years of river dance. Many of the dance moves was influenced by the backgrounds of individuals. In the early history of Irish dancing, the Druids danced in religious rituals honoring the oak tree and the sun. Today, circular movements still exist. Two thousand years ago, the Celts arrived in Ireland from central Europeand brought their own folk dance moves and traditions. In the 12th century, the Anglo-Norman conquest brought Norman customs and culture to Ireland. One of the popular Norman dance was the Carol. Leaders will sing the song followed by a surrounding of dancers who replied with the same song and was usually performed in conquered Irish Towns. According to the 16th century, there were 3 principal of Irish dances: the Irish Hey, the Rinnce Fada (long dance), and the Trenchmore. The Hey dance was popular because female dancers would wound around their partners, in a fore-runner of the present day reel. Rinnce Fada (long dance), were dance moves presented in two straight lines. The Trenchmore was an adaption of an old Irish peasant dance. River dance was also accompanied by playing music on the bagpipes and harp. Clothing for river dancing worn by Irish dancers today commemorate the clothing the past. Since the dances were from different cultural backgrounds due to the migration and invasions, usually the costumes were distinct in their own ways. Women dresses were influenced from two hundred years ago with...

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