History of Irish Riverdance

Irish dancing has made huge progress throughout the centuries, changing through the centuries based on the population and migration of people. The earliest known Irish dancing was the Druids in 400 AD, who performed rituals honouring the oak tree and the sun.  In the 18th century, the master of dance arrived in Ireland dancing from village to village.  His pupils did not know the difference between their left and right feet, causing them now to think mechanically, but will feeling.  At the end of the 18th century is when Irish step dancing became more known throughout Ireland.  Hornpipe shoes and peasant dresses are the typical visual of an Irish step dancer. Irish River dancing start in Dublin, Ireland in 1995, as an enhancement of a seven-minute intermission piece in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994.  This type of dancing is a more development form of Irish step-dancing which included tight arms, stiff upper body, and little emotion.  Typical Irish dancing includes Irish music, Irish dancing of course, and a typical Irish setting which includes a Celtic Rock or Stonehedge background.  It has become an international phenomenon, with students filling the dancing schools of Ireland to learn to dance like the great Michael Flatley and Jean Butler.


The video below is a typical Irish River dance Performance.  The fast legs, stiff upper body, Irish music, and quick movements are what make this River dancing.

Riverdance Narrative

To many people Irish River dance is entertainment, and to others it is their form of expression.  As someone that cannot dance, I appreciate and admire those that use dancing as a form of expression.  To me, Irish River dance is very energetic and it makes me want to get up and learn to dance that way.  Even though I will probably never learn, I thoroughly enjoy watching dancers that perform this kind of dancing.  I aooreciate the modern part of River dance, along with the Irish history of the choreography.  The dancing really fascinated me in the sense that is it nothing like the type of fance I normally am interested in watching.  It's unique because they use mostly their legts to perform while keeping their arms and posture statue like.  It always makes me feel happy to water River dance and rather excited to know I am going to watch it because the uniformity of all the dancers is just so amazing. 
The music is something makes River dance so difference from other forms of dance.  The classic and ancient sound of it makes the dancing even more interesting.  Along with the clapping of shoes, the music is so peaceful and exciting to watch.  The music is really what puts me into the show.  It almost feels as if they preparing for war or even praising.  The dancers always have smiles and look so happy to up on stage performing.  That is a unique quality and makes the audience feel like they are there to make the dancers happy rather than the other way around.  The manner in which the dancers perform is terrific and entrancing because they have such order and fluidity.  They use such leg strength while looking effortless.  It is so humbling to watch.  The creator of River dance portrays the beauty in storytelling through the use of a dancer's legs without much movement of their upper body.  It seems like unique to me because this is a dance of passion and love.  Whereas, a lot of cultures dance is a way to express pain and suffering, and I feel that River dancing is an expression of love for their culture and happiness of life.