Irish culture is steeped in song and dance. Before tourism to the island began booming, in Irish pubs it was common for people to break out in song, and every person in the pub would take a turn singing. In modern (and much more touristy times), these are typically staged performances manufactured for the benefit of foreign visitors. Irish songs tell a story through song making them even more appealing to listeners.
But traditional Irish music has an actual definition, and no offense to Bono, but it might not include his band. In 1954, the International Folk Music Council set rules for traditional Irish music. Folk music, for example, must display evidence of connecting the present with the past, and must be alive in the community.
And of course, music and singing would be incomplete without an Irish dance. There are several styles of Irish dance, including set dancing, step dancing, and ceili (or social) dances.
Ceili dances may include anywhere from two to 16 dancers, often at high-speed, and in a social setting, much like American square dancing. With traditional instruments such as the Harp or the bodhrán being played the unique music is created. Traditional Irish music is played by a variety of instruments such as the Bodhran (Irish drum), the Fiddle, the Flute, the Tin Whistleand Uilleann Pipes and guitar among others.
Riverdance aside, non-natives are often most familiar with Irish step dances, which often feature rapid food movements and patterns that can be danced in limited physical stage space. These are often solo dances and include jigs and reels.
The Steeple Sessions present traditional Irish music in its purest form and concerts are geared towards those who seek the genuine, elusive musical traditions of Ireland. Held in the beautiful surroundings of a candle-lit church in Dublin, the line up of renowned musicians/performers changes nightly throughout the Summer, ensuring each concert is unique and fresh.
The Dublin Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephen’s Green West, Dublin 2.
Knightsbridge Bar at the Arlington Hotel is one of Dublin’s most popular bars. Located beside O’Connell Bridge, the bar features a medieval theme throughout. The bar at one of the best hotels in Dublin City is renowned for the quality of its Guinness and food and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Arlington Hotel, 23-25 Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1
The enchanting evening starts with a 4 course Dinner at 6.30pm including an Irish coffee, with the sparkling entertainment show starting at 8pm. You can then enjoy a traditional evening of quality Irish Food, Drink and entertainment, celebrating the best of everything Irish in comedy, music, song & dance from Irelands leading entertainers.
Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
6th – 10th August
With live music and entertainment, art, fashion, shopping, groumet food and the best in national and international equestrian competitions, you won’t want to miss it! The popular Kids’ Zone will keep kids busy with pony rides, fun inflatables, face painting, Billy Bubbles and magic shows. For the ladies, the Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day on Thursday, August 7, promises fantastic prizes for ‘best dressed lady’, ‘most colourful outfit’ and ‘most creative hat’. For the well-dressed males, there is also a prize for ‘best dressed man’.
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