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Irish
CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta (karma: 6)
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:12 PM
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2007-12-21 11:51:47

As a CRN dancer and TA in the Irish dance world and on this board, I just wanted to make a brief post to share some of what I know about this organization. I think we are sometimes miss-understood, and I thought it would be good to put some more information out there!

Firstly, in CRN(Cumann Rince Naisiunta)the main goal is to preserve tradition. NO! this does NOT mean that we are not allowed to progress, this doest NOT mean we don’t wear modern solo costumes and this does NOT mean that our steps are not as hard as any other organization. We do have world championships(called the Irish Open Championships, held in May). we do wear wigs(those who wish to) the only moves we don’t do in competition are butterflies and toe stands(this is an effort to protect the dancer from injury. don’t ask, it has been a rule for over 25 years) we have dance drama competitions, freestyle and figures. our material is very focused on intricate footwork, less on flight or air moves, but you will see some of both. but firstly we are judged on our rhythm.


A breakdown of Levels/Curriculum.

in CRN there are 5 levels:

Bun Grad(level 1) dance the reel, slip jig, single jig, and light jig.

Ullmhuchan(level 2) dance the reel, slip jig, single jig, heavy jig and hornpipe.

Mean Grad(level 3) dance the reel, slip jig, single jig, heavy jig and hornpipe.

Ard Grad(level 4) dance the reel, slip jig, single jig, heavy jig, hornpipe, may enter championship if qualified and dance non-traditional set, traditional set.

Croabh Grad(level 5) championships are danced.

At competition, a full syllabus is usually offered. in each dance you enter, you must have learned 5 steps(compulsory steps in levels 1-3, you need 4 steps in levels 4 and 5) and be prepared to compete at least 3-4 in each dance/competition.

usually there are three dancers per stage and each set gets their own musical intro, at the end of your dance you return to where you began and the music is restarted between each set of dancers.

every CRN dancer usually learns all 6 traditional sets by the time they are dancing in U21. the traditional sets are: St Patrick's Day(3 steps, 2 sets) Humors of Bandon(1 step 1 set) The Blackbird(3 steps and 2 sets) the Job of Journeywork(3 steps 2 sets) The Garden of Daisies(3 steps 2 sets) and the White Blanket(1 step 1 set)
each age group gets it's own traditional set, and the parts you need to dance(i.e. 1st step 1st set vs. 2nd step 2nd set) are determined by whether it is a Regional championship or a Worlds. the traditional sets are very strict in that you must dance the compulsory steps determined by the organization. these never change.

you may also dance a non-traditional set when you reach championship qualifications. your teacher choreographs this set and it can be to and music of your choice(there are TONS of non-traditional sets)

there are also specials offered at some competitions such as a Light Jig or traditional set special.

to move into Croabh Grad or to win a championship title there must be three judges on your panel when you dance. usually you can win a Regional or World title.

one unique thing about CRN is that it has an open platform. this means that if you are from another organization you can still participate in competiton.though the organization is small in the US( it is pretty new here), it is very large in Ireland and other parts of the UK.

check out crn.ie for more info. also almost all of the US schools have websites as well. I hope this post was a little bit helpful! PLEASE feel free to add if you want.PM me too :)

celticfaery

37 Replies to CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta

re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By Irish_Dancer_Liz Comments: 171, member since Thu Apr 05, 2007
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:45 AM
Edited by Irish_Dancer_Liz (176607) on 2007-12-21 00:48:56
Celticfaery, I think you did a wonderful job here to represent CRN!!

I'm a CRN dancer myself and know exactly what you mean when people say what we do is "old-fashioned". But it's definitely not!! I'm from Holland and we have a couple of people wearing a solo. I'm getting mine in 2008!! Also you notice that, especially, from Ard Grad, the steps are lifted. The first two grades are low and mostly footwork, from Mean Grad it gets a little higher but if you take a look at Ard grad dances you'll see lovely combinations of footwork and jumps etc. Can't wait to get there!

Thanks for this amazing post! I think this is what we, CRN dancers need.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By iMaximus Comments: 437, member since Sun Sep 09, 2007
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 04:36 AM
Could you also name all the "things" that are forbidden in CRN? For example...a friend of mine who dances with the Comisiun, danced at a CRN feis once and the had a step with toe stands and she got disqualified. Also...at that particular feis....ARd Grad was the highest level they offered and we thought that that was the equivalent of Comisiun's Open level so she did her Open Hornpipe. Turned out to be that Crn;s ard grad hornpipe was played wayyyy faster than 113, which is Comisiun's open hornpipe speed! So we kinda had loads of surprises which we didn't know beforehand! :)
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2956, member since Mon Jul 17, 2006
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 05:28 AM
Thanks so much for posting this! I'm an An Coimisiun dancer, and I've never been familiar with CRN. All I knew was that it was small in the US (that's where I am) and that you didn't do toestands, and I have to admit that I didn't realize solos were as common in CRN as they were until I found myself browsing pictures from Rince Ri. I did know that the organization aims to preserve tradition, which I think is wonderful.

I didn't realize butterflies were considered unsafe. Although I can verify that when you are learning them, your feet do get quite tangled. :P That's really interesting how you have to be prepared to compete 3-4 steps. How do you know how many you'll have to dance, do they tell you when you get there? I love learning about this, haha.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfeetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 4050, member since Thu Sep 30, 2004
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 08:26 AM
Thanks for posting this as I'm really not familiar with other organizations. Would you be able to clarify how a dancer moves through each level? I know quite a few people on here are in CRN and mention levels, but I'm never really sure how you move through each level or their equivalent in the Commission. Also, are CRN schools more common in Europe? Thanks again! :)
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By abbeygail33member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 173, member since Mon Jun 12, 2006
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 08:55 AM
In order to move up to the next level, you need to win first place in a particular dance and have competed against at least 7 other people in that dance.

And also, please correct me if I'm wrong Celticfaery, but if you win first at regionals or worlds dancing in any level - no matter how many you competed against, you move to the next level.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 09:02 AM
Edited by celticfaery (160173) on 2007-12-21 09:10:41
thanks for the comments! and Irish_Dancer_Liz you are right, the styles do get more lift as you move up. i am fully in Ard Grad, and what i notice the most is how every beat in the music is filled...pretty tricky!

imaximus: in the first 3 grades, if you dance material other than CRN cumpolsory, you may get disqualified, unless you material is pretty equivalent. the Ard Grad hornpipe speed is REALLY close to 113, all the Ard Grad dances are only slightly faster than Croabh Grad. so i dont know what happened at that feis!
and yes,toe stands are instant disqualification (we can still perform them though!)

i dont know why butterflies are not allowed, i think it has just been a rule for so long, i dont think they are unsafe, but there must have been a reason at some point.

i wish i could find the Irish Open pictures, you could see how many beautiful solo dresses were there! solos are barely around yet in the US as kids get into the higher grades.

celticfeet: to reply about how you move up (i am going to assume that the dancer i am talking about started with CRN in Bun Grad. you dont have to start in Bun grad, and if you come from another organization you have to enter at the equivalent level)

levels are roughly equivalent this way:

bun grad-beginner
Ullmhuchan-novice
Mean Grad-prizewinner
Ard Grad-prelims
Croabh grad-opens

you can compete in multiple levels for th first few grades.
so for example: say i am competing my bun grad reel and slip jig, also i am competing all my ullmhuchan dances and my mean grad reel. if i win first in any dance that has seven competitors, i move up to the next level IN THAT DANCE i can still do all my dances in the level. so say i placed out of my bun grad slip jig in that way. now i can only dance the next level(S) up. BUT...if i win my Mean Grad reel(say there are only 5 competitiors in my group, not 7) i CAN NOT dance any reel below that. i CAN however dance the mean grad reel again.

if you win first at the irish open, you have to move on to the next level in ALL YOUR DANCES! say i won first in my ullmhuchan championship, now i can ONLY dance mean grad.

at the Irish Open, there is an award for every level, but you are only called a champion at level 5. you can win a grade award at the first three levels, and it is a way to totally place out of a particular level. the best dancers form every region compete at the open. in some age groups there are as many as 50 competitors(usually the younger dancers, lower grades.)
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By oooshinymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1876, member since Wed Dec 12, 2007
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 04:33 PM
So informative, thank you! I've been wondering a bit about CRN and I've found bits and pieces but this is a pretty comprehensive intro to it. Thanks for the info!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2956, member since Mon Jul 17, 2006
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 05:33 PM
Sticky status my friend, sticky status!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Fri Dec 21, 2007 06:09 PM
thanks so much :) i am glad to be able to offer more info on a unique part of the irish dance world!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By Cluichmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2903, member since Sat May 10, 2003
On Sat Dec 22, 2007 08:33 AM
celticfaery wrote:

one unique thing about CRN is that it has an open platform


Actually, it's not entirely unique. I'm a CRN dancer, but I also dance WIDA feiseanna, another organisation that has an open platform and I know that CRDM has an open platform as well. As far as I'm aware An Coimisiun and An Comdhail are the only organisations that don't allow dancers from other organisations to dance at their feiseanna and may inflict penalties on their own dancers if they dance at 'outside' comps (I know that on the European mainland An Com dancers get a 6-month ban if they choose to dance at a CRN feis).
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By momsjigmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 465, member since Thu Jun 21, 2007
On Sat Dec 22, 2007 08:44 AM
Great post! It can get kind of confusing, keeping track of when you can move up in a particular dance or not can get very interesting. At the younger earlier levels, a dancer can be in 3 or 4 grades at a time...my DD danced all of her ullmhuchan, except the hornpipe and all of her mean grad. she placed out of her treble jig ullmhuchan by getting a first with 8 dancers dancing...but she placed out of her ullmhuchan reel because she got a first in her mean grad reel with over 7 dancers competing!!
so...although she did not get an ullmhuchan reel 1st, b/c of her achievement at a higher level dance she now only can dance ard grad for the reel...

however, she can still dance ullmhuchan single jig and slip jig (two level below ard grad). Confusing? Yes, but I can understand the logic behind it as well.

You did a great job explaining a difficult subject! (karma to you!)
I have some Irish Open pics....but only of the lower levels, which are all school costume. The link is at
www.barrylane.smugmug.com . . .

Solos are only permitted at mean grad and above. Our teacher says usually only ard grad and above for her dancers.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By momsjigmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 465, member since Thu Jun 21, 2007
On Sat Dec 22, 2007 08:52 AM
Cluich wrote:


Actually, it's not entirely unique. I'm a CRN dancer, but I also dance WIDA feiseanna, another organisation that has an open platform and I know that CRDM has an open platform as well.


thanks cluich, we are kind of sheltered and forget about the other predominantly European groups that are also open platform!
Cluich wrote:


As far as I'm aware An Coimisiun and An Comdhail are the only organisations that don't allow dancers from other organisations to dance at their feiseanna and may inflict penalties on their own dancers if they dance at 'outside' comps (I know that on the European mainland An Com dancers get a 6-month ban if they choose to dance at a CRN feis).


Do we know why this is? I can sort of understand (although not entirely agree with) a closed platform if the organization wants to preserve certain standards or if they have a big problem with limiting the number of dancers b/c the feiseanna are so huge - which is DEFINITELY true at many commission feis. But why ban a dancer who dances outside of the organization? Will they be infected by us? That always seemed very strange to me. I always wondered where that ruling came from, if anyone can shed any light on the matter.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Sat Dec 22, 2007 08:54 AM
Edited by celticfaery (160173) on 2007-12-22 09:07:27
Edited by celticfaery (160173) on 2007-12-22 09:11:23
^^sorry cluich you are totally right.....i guess i was only thinking about the two biggest organizations here in the US. although i think there are WIDA dancers here back east maybe? also there are a few other smaller organizations here too...hopefully one of those dancers/teachers can make a post with info about their organization! it was cool that at the Rince Ri feis there was a dancer from An Comghail and about five An Coimisiun dancers, both were thinking about transitioning....but anyway, they danced beautifully!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By Caleigh Comments: 110, member since Wed Dec 20, 2006
On Sat Dec 22, 2007 06:53 PM
Thanks for putting this up! CRN is an often-misunderstood organiztion, and it rocks!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By Cluichmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2903, member since Sat May 10, 2003
On Sun Dec 23, 2007 07:05 AM
Momsjig: regarding the 'exclusive' nature of An Comisiun and An Comdhail, I can only guess, but my idea is as follows (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!):

An Coimisiun was formed from The Gaelic League as a commision that would dedicate itself solely to Irish Dance. When a group of members didn't agree with certain politics, they decided to form An Comdhail. I believe that from An Comdhail stemmed CRN when certain An Comdhail members felt that this newer organisation too was getting too progressive and that an organisation needed to be formed which would focus more on tradition.
Now, the penalty thing could be a kind of feeling that they didn't want the mutineering teachers to let their dancers dance at the other organisation's competitions. And why would CRN and CRDM do otherwise? To show that they're 'friendly'.
As for other organisations I know of, they were probably formed after the Riverdance craze and they never had much to do with the An Comisiun-An Comdhail-CRN feud.

Just my guess, I could be quite wrong.
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Sun Dec 23, 2007 08:41 AM
^on CRNs website they explain how it happened. but i think another reason they split was that originally An Comghail was actually open platform. then they closed their feisanna and CRN decided when they formed to be open platform.......
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By StepdancerPremium member Comments: 1977, member since Sun Oct 22, 2006
On Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:57 AM
I loved reading this--thank you so much! It sounds like CRN steps are very similar to the steps I was dancing in An Com 20 years ago, with the focus more on rhythm and footwork instead of jumping.

Question: Does anyone have a translation for "Cumann Rince Naisiunta"? I know "rince" means dance, but what about the rest?
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By IrishHollymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2092, member since Wed Oct 24, 2007
On Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:33 PM
Stepdancer wrote:

Question: Does anyone have a translation for "Cumann Rince Naisiunta"?


Something to the effect of National Dance League.

Cumann: club; association; society; fellowship. (Also can be a relationship or love affair, but that probably doesn't apply in this context :))

Rince: Dance

Naisiunta: National, nationwide.

- From the Collins Gem Irish/English, Gaeilge/Béarla Dictionary

-Holly
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By ardgraddancer Comments: 70, member since Tue Oct 23, 2007
On Tue Jan 01, 2008 03:05 PM
Edited by ardgraddancer (187257) on 2008-01-01 15:07:25
I've been dancing in CRN for years now it gets on my nerves sometimes you never know what the adjudicators are going to look for!! One day it's lift the next it's just footwork!!! the dresses in Ard Grad and craobh grad though are amazing have a look at mine in my profile i think i love it :D:D:D
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By scentedbug Comments: 22, member since Tue Oct 09, 2007
On Sat Jan 05, 2008 06:32 PM
there seems to be a lot of requirments in this. I have danced aoit it seemed a boit easier to move up the ranks
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By dancingthrulife1 Comments: 428, member since Mon Jan 14, 2008
On Tue Jan 22, 2008 01:14 PM
Thanks so much for posting this. I get so confused about this stuff!!! Karma!
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By emaire Comments: 888, member since Sat Dec 28, 2002
On Fri Jan 25, 2008 04:30 AM
Are there any pics or videos from CRN majors? I'd love to see what the Irish Open looks like, I've only seen some CRN dancers at practice & a smaller feis! Do you have parades of champs?
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By celticfaerymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 636, member since Fri Jun 02, 2006
On Fri Jan 25, 2008 07:32 AM
there was a photographer at the feis, but i think our teacher had to request the professional photos. someone should have photos they took this year? i will ask around the school....we dont really have a parade of champs (i didnt get to stay all through the croabh grad awards, so they might have had more of a ceremony that i saw?)
re: CRN-Cumann Rince Naisiunta
By Marguerita9534 Comments: 68, member since Mon Nov 19, 2007
On Fri Jan 25, 2008 08:24 AM
Professional photos were taken at the Shannon Western Regional Championship. This is the link hope it works
www.eventphotos.ie . . .
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