Irish Set Dancing Made Easy Volume 1 The Claddagh Set,The Sliabh Luachra Set,The Clare Orange and Green
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SET DANCING MADE EASY was shoot in Cloonacauneen Castle, which is situated in the hinterland of Galway City, west of Ireland in 2005 Matt has indeed previously released video recordings of set and ceili dancing and although many dancers have learned from these recordings they were not devised as instructional aides for dancers but more for entertainment. In contrast, this new series of recordings are specifically designed to educate the dancer. All of the sets are danced in their entirety and easily understood as a result of the very suitable recording process used. The instructor explains intricate movements within each figure in detail and also available on the recordings for the first time is an explanation of the most commonly used terminology used in set dancing. The Following are the Sets, Instructors and Dancers on this DVD The Claddagh Set: 1st Figure Reels 2nd Figure Reels 3rd Figure Reels 4th Figure Jigs Instruction: Pat Murphy Dancers: Pat Murphy, Tony Ryan, Mike Mahony, D nal Morrissey, Anne Marie Cunningham, Bernie Nash, Mary Hughes, Margaret Joyce. The Sliabh Luachra Set: 1st Figure Polkas 2nd Figure Polkas 3rd Figure Slides 4th Figure Polkas 5th Figure Slides 6th Figure Hornpipes Instruction: Aidan Vaughan Dancers: Aidan Vaughan, Betty Mc Coy, Gerry Ryan, Eileen O Doherty, Deirdre Morrissey, Johnny Morrissey, Terry Moylan, Pascale Gaudry. The Clare Orange and Green: 1st Figure Reels 2nd Figure Jigs Single 3rd Figure Reels 4th Figure Polkas 5th Figure Jigs Double 6th Figure Reels Instruction: Padraig McEneany Dancers: Padraig McEneany, Rosheenn McEneany, Donal Morrissey, Mary Conboy, Sean Whitelaw, Philomena Dooley, Shane Ryan, Maire Devane
Cloonacauneen castle has twined the ancient charms of the past with the recreational demand of today. Like the castle, the Irish Set and Ceili dance tradition has its own history and ever since the first ceilis were held in the 1890 s, the ceili phenomenon has spread from Ireland to the four corners of the world. The tutors featured on this recording, amongst others, have insured through their teaching that the unique characteristics of these dances remain intact and that the dance are preserved in the best way possible. Unless these dances are learned and danced in the proper fashion, over time they will become dramatically different. Matt Cunningham and Ainm Music would like to thank the tutors, dancers and musicians who agreed to be part of this recording, for their time and enthusiasm and most especially for their fine performances. Finally, this recording is for you. I hope that you enjoy it and if you learn from it and put what you have learned into practice on the dance floor, wherever in the world you may be, then this recording will have in its own way taken steps to preserve and enhance one of our greatest Irish traditions so come with me and step it out! It s easy --Matt Cunningham
If its Irish Set Dancing Music or Traditional Music you like the best in Ireland must be Matt Cunningham. It was Joe O'Donovan a renowned dancing instructor who described Matt as a pioneer in the recording of appropriate Music for set dancing. His balance of bright and lively music with the right amount of lift is essential for the dancer and is one of the reasons for his huge popularity. It was another well-known instructor who said Matt Cunningham s Dance Music of Ireland Volume 1 to 12 is the Complete Dance Music of Ireland Collection --Irish Music Magazine
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Those dances made me want to learn more about Irish dancing (the traditional style, I mean; not the Michael Flatley Riverdance style). Next I tried to learn more about this dancing, using the web -- watching lots of online videos of ceilis etc. Online dance videos taught me a little, but not much, so I thought I'd buy this DVD to continue learning.
So far I've watched half of this DVD and skimmed the rest. My impression is that there is a lot of valuable info in this DVD, but, it really isn't geared towards beginners like me. It's more like a review for intermediate dancers, or a refresher for dancers who haven't done these dances in a long time.
They walk through some of the trickier steps at a moderate pace, then they demonstrate the entire dance figure at full speed. The video quality is good, very clear, and the audio is good. If you want to see how these set dances are done, at full speed, you get that with this DVD.
For me, it would have been nice to have more of the steps slowed way down, to help me learn. They do that a little bit, for some of the moves, but they don't do it often enough for my tastes. Watching this video makes me feel like a beginner who accidentally signed up for the intermediate class, and it's hard for me to follow what's going on.
Still, I gave it 4 stars. I think that I will be able to learn from this DVD, if I watch the steps over and over again, and if I slow-mo through the tricky parts repeatedly. I can get it eventually, probably. But I do think that the title, "...Made Easy" is a little misleading.
I wouldn't say that this video makes it easy to learn these dances. But, if they had taken the time to slow every step way down, then they wouldn't have been able to fit as many sets onto one DVD I suppose.