Forum: Irish / Irish

Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing (karma: 1)
By Festivaldancer1
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:47 AM

www.youtube.com . . .

The fantastic documentary Jigs and Wigs has done an exposé on my own style of Irish dancing - Festival. Thought a few people here might appreciate a wee look at it, as it's quite an unknown style! :)

14 Replies to Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing

re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 02:07 PM
I found the show very interesting, as I did not even know festival dancing existed. I like the hard shoe style and I really like the dresses!
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By sarahrID
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 02:56 PM
I wish they showed more of the hardshoe dancing. I was really interested in hearing and seeing the difference, and liked the little bit they showed with the slower rhythms. I looked on Youtube and could only find a video of more soft shoe.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Oboemeg
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 04:14 PM
Here's a playlist of the festival videos I've been able to find on YouTube. www.youtube.com . . .
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By MissSlipjig
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 05:34 PM
Wow, thanks for sharing! I had never heard of festival dancing, but it is so beautiful and I like the hair and costumes WAY better than feis style! Very classy and elegant.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 07:39 PM
oboemeg, thanks for posting links to all those videos! I had wanted to see more of the hard shoe than was shown in Jigs and wigs.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs F�©is Irish Dancing
By StepdancerPremium member
On Thu Apr 10, 2014 07:48 PM
That was fascinating! I'd heard of Festival, but didn't really know what the difference was. I love the flowing costumes; our static posture is softened by skirts that swish and twirl. It was interesting how several people noted that Festival dancers were taught to make a story out of their dancing and connect with the audience, yet the mom of one of the "crossover" dancers noted that her daughter didn't do that until she donned fake tan and make-up.

And did I see Festival dancers en pointe in hard shoes? I thought I did, but then I thought I must be wrong because that's not traditional.

Thank you so much for posting this. :)
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By sarahrID
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 05:44 AM
Stepdancer - I thought I saw that too in one of the videos. Maybe that was one of the things from the feis tradition that's started to seep over? Maybe one of the festival dancers on ddn can weigh in on that.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Festivaldancer1
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 08:42 AM
Glad everyone likes the style - it's a pity that we're not known that well outside Northern Ireland. Even in Northern Ireland it's only practiced in two of our six counties! I have to agree with MissSlipJig, I really do prefer what our girls wear, so much more traditional I think.

Stepdancer and SarahID, with regards to going en pointe, you're exactly right, it's just an influence from Feis style - obviously when that's all you see as an Irish dancer, it's inevitable that there'll be some seepage. I hope our slipjigs and setdances never change though - that's really where we excel as dancers!
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Oboemeg
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 03:16 PM
I'm glad everyone can enjoy the videos. The dancer in the video 39 taught a festival style treble jig at a percussive dance workshop I attended and it was wonderfully fun. The dance was her "thesis" learned from a school in Ireland. I'm trying to get her to teach a weekend festival workshop when she gets back from doing her master's project in the Carribean. I'll post on here if we can ever pull it together.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By iluviddresses
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 05:43 PM
I just watched the first video, but I do have to mention that with all the talk about the costumes I was very surprised that the black dress was made with black sequins and the purple dress had crystals and a gold metallic lining. Clearly they were different than clrg costumes, but I think the "holier than thow" comments that are often made against clrg costumes are unjustified.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Festivaldancer1
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 05:50 PM
Granted they have sequins and gold lining, but the problem that I personally (as a Festival dancer) have with the clrg/comhdáil dresses is the shape of them as well as the wigs - I prefered the clrg style of the 1990s as it was still very traditional. Festival dresses still stick to the traditional embroidery etc. And I'm sorry, but I'll never be able to get behind the wigs/tan/makeup.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 06:57 PM
If you ever tried to curl your or your daughter's baby fine, non style-holding hair into ringlets, you'd like wigs. Luckily, from what I see it looks like Festival dance is a-ok with whatever a dancer' s natural hair looms like.

The main thing I'm curious about is if there's any reason why festival dancers wear different soft shoes? To me the look lime black canvas ballet slippers with thicker elastic seen on. Is that what they are, or are they something else entirely ?

Finally adding that I love the slow slip jigs, so balletic and pretty! I'd love to learn one,even just for fun :)
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs F������©is Irish Dancing
By iluviddresses
On Fri Apr 11, 2014 08:05 PM
Edited by iluviddresses (203803) on 2014-04-11 20:09:39 addition
Festivaldancer1 wrote:

Granted they have sequins and gold lining, but the problem that I personally (as a Festival dancer) have with the clrg/comhd������¡il dresses is the shape of them as well as the wigs - I prefered the clrg style of the 1990s as it was still very traditional. Festival dresses still stick to the traditional embroidery etc. And I'm sorry, but I'll never be able to get behind the wigs/tan/makeup.


Since you are a festival dancer, why should you "have a problem" with what other organizations do? Why don't you just live and let live. I think it is nice that festival dancers costuming is what they want, but I have a big problem with festival dancers (or anyone) telling other organizations how they should dress, and extremely condescending to imply that the festival level of sequins and crystals are acceptable but the amount used by other organizations is too much.

Additionally, the 1990s is hardly a representation of what is "traditional". It was one decade in time over hundreds and hundreds of years of Irish dance.
re: Festival Irish Dancing vs Féis Irish Dancing
By Festivaldancer1
On Sat Apr 12, 2014 06:02 AM
Gann the Glorious - from what I've been reading in Dr. John Cullinane's book Irish Dancing Costumes, it seems that as late as the 70s/80s all Irish dancers were wearing the ballet pumps with the elastic, but somehow the ghillies were brought in at some point and everyone went with the flow (as with most costume innovations), whereas the Festival dancers stuck to the ballet pumps!

Also iluviddresses, I didn't mean any offense when I said "problem", i just meant that I prefer the Festival costume. That's not to say that I would ever condescend nor deign to dictate to someone else what they should wear - it's just an opinion. However I do stick by my opinion that I think the feis dresses have become too modern and veered away from traditional aspects of dance.

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