Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dancing Days in Ennis

Dancers from Dinan School Corps photo Declan Monaghan

Greystones ladies stepping out

Pat Mac

Brock Maguire in the Great Hall
What a hotspot of eurhythmical activity, the Banner county town was yesterday.   In the Hall of Scoil Chríost Rí.  6th class were busy putting the final touches to their presentation of the Haka  and out on the Gort Rd  Ennis Educate Together NS, Fatima di Lucia was busy preparing her group of dancers for  their forthcoming performance at International Day Fair. In the Old Ground Dick O Connell  was guiding dancers through their paces at the second Foinn Seisiún.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the stunning show presented by the Dinan School of Ballet on the Glór Stage.  The show was a delightful series of  dances in a broad range of styles with classsical ballet at the core  in a presentation of  story of the Wizard of Oz . The costumes were  in a dazzling range of colours with no sparing of  sequins and glitter and the performers ranged from tiny tots to experienced mature performers. The backing tracks included songs from the film interspersed with other numbers in an  eclectic range of styles . I really enjoyed the tap numbers and  we loved the marriage of classical ballet complete with psychadelic purple and green tutus to Me No Speak Americano, a number which itself combines different genres.  Siobhán Sexton in the role of Dorothy  had  a very graceful  stage presence and had the tough job of opening the show with a solo turn.

Amid the riot of colour, it was the appearance of the group in white tutus bearing snowflakes that produced the strongest emotion in me.   I was whisked back in time with a memory of an event I had almost  forgotton. In my brief flirtation with ballet  I  and my sister appeared in the grand stage of the parish hall in Campile, Co Wexford in the Betty Bible Dance Academy's presentation of Swan Lake.   How I loved the little white tutu that my mother ran up for me.    The sheer logistics of organising so many dancers in such a slick presentation was a wonder in itself . Bravo tutti! and Niamh Dinan.

There was just time to catch the last twenty minutes of the Brock Maguire Band in the Temple Gate as part of the Fleadh Nua revels. There was a good attendance and the  band   featuring an extended string section of mandolin and guitar in addition to Enda Scahill's banjo.  With Manus Maguire, one of my favourite fiddle players in the centre Paul Brock and Denis Carey on reed and keys balancing the plucked strings, the tableau of musicians and stained glass window was rather pleasing. I am not sure if they featured a dancer during the set but I would love to see someone do a few steps to their lively dance music.  Bring on Stephanie from Bodyke I say. Stephanie dances at Foinn Seisiún
I look forward to hearing the new album featuring Ricky Scaggs, who couldn't make it last night .

There was just time to look in to Preacher's Bar where Greystones Active and Retired Association were jitterbugging and jiving away to the rather wonderful Pat Mac who I notice featured lots of Jimmy Kennedy numbers in his set, an entertainer who clearly understood his audience as they twirled to The Isle of Capri and South of the Border.

No energy left to head to the Old Ground Hotel where my sources tell me the Tulla Ceili Band had feet tapping and pairs swirling with their trademark driving rhythms .

A clatter  of dancing experiences in  Ennis in all in a day . Whew! I may even take out my dancing shoes again. I fancy having a go at tap.

  'We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once'   Nietzsche

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