A strong dance tradition permeates all the Celtic nations and many of the styles and forms are common to all. But each region introduces its own particular twist – for example in the informal gatherings known a cèilidh (Scotland) céilí (Ireland) troyl (Cornwall) and twmpath (Wales).
In Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall, you will see step dances that share many features in common. And dances centred on particular festivals and times of year – among them, Cornwall’s furry dances and the Isle of Man’s hop-tu-naa – remain vibrant reminders of centuries old traditions.
Dance remains a powerful expression of national identity as well. Perhaps nowhere more so than Brittany, where the communal element of dance has helped to bolster the region’s efforts to retain its distinctiveness in the face of a centralising national government.
From the huge popularity of Irish and Scottish dancing in the United States to the global behemoth that is Riverdance, dance has become a beacon for Celtic culture around the world.
Group of the month
Seattle Irish Dance Company
Created out of the realization that there were few professional performance options for elite Irish Dancers in the West. It was founded in order to bring the art form of Irish dance to a wider and more contemporary audience, and to create choreography that is technically demanding for the dancers as well as relevant, exciting and accessible to a wide variety of audiences. There is something about Irish dance that sticks with people; audiences and dancers alike, and the Seattle Irish Dance Company has been overjoyed by the positive response we’ve thus far received.