Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Irish dancing world championships

I've seen the occasional Irish dancer, usually during pledge drives on PBS. But this is something different, an amateur competition that is, for some, the end-all be-all. The film Jig captures last year's competition. According to its Facebook page, release information in the US is forthcoming. Claire Black at Living Scotsman explains:

"The real interest is working out what drives dancers, most of whom train every day, building speed and intricate routines, to excel in a sport where there's no prize money and very little attention outside an almost entirely closed community. Add to that the fact that they wear costumes which make them look something like oversized dolls - patterned short dresses, American tan tights, white ankle socks and huge, bouncing, curly wigs (to be fair, male dancers are more modestly attired in patterned waistcoats and ties with black trousers) - and it gets even more compelling. There's more than a touch of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding about it. 'It's a competition with all that tension," [director Sue] Bourne says. "And they wear funny wigs and funny dresses. It's a world that most of us don't know about and that's always interesting.' "

Read Interview: Sue Bourne - Lady of the dance.

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