It is currently Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:21 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 6:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 989
Some of you have probably seen this:

https://www.derryjournal.com/news/people/tiktok-video-irish-dancer-morgan-elizabeth-usa-goes-viral-taoiseach-leo-varadkar-invites-her-ireland-st-patricks-day-2021-celebrations-2844535

She's a woman from Virginia and she did a very short video of Irish steps to the song "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion. It went viral and she's been praised by the Irish ambassador to the US; by Bill Whelan, the composer of the music for Riverdance, and she's been invited to next year's St. Pats parade by Leo Varadkar.

I've been following it because I'm writing an article about irish and african american music and dance.

She's obviously very accomplished and the vast majority of the comments, especially from Ireland, praise her extravagantly. A smaller number attacked her for disrespecting tradition: twitter deleted a few accounts as a result. One twitter critic wrote:

“tradition is just that, rooted in tradition based on history, pain, suffering and misery.” Twitter users then pointed out the irony of accusing an African American woman of lacking a sense of history that might include pain, suffering or misery.

Another:

"We don’t need non-Irish to reinvent our beautiful traditions with ugly pop music!

If you want to do Irish dancing... do it! But don’t ruin it’s uniqueness with ugly modern outfits and music. There’s a differences between respectfully doing something and outright ruining it and making it un-Irish!"


In one response she said that while the song was not traditional, all the steps were.

I think it's fascinating on many levels. Of course the curly-wig dance competitions are only loosely "traditional" to begin with. At the same time many many African Americans have "irish blood" and can trace ancestors to ireland pretty readily, and there is lots of historical evidence about "jig dancing" being a pastime shared by Irish and Africans on the docks and wharves and river towns of the US before the Civil War.

I really enjoyed it, and I think it went viral not because of the "fusion" of styles--Flately made that point a long time ago--but because her choreography is really good: she balanced the speed and precision of that style of "Irish dance" with some of the loose, behind the beat feel of hip hop.


Last edited by PB+J on Fri May 08, 2020 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 7:16 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13386
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
Mr G just posted something that I strongly agree with ... but for some reason has thought better of it.

Anyway, the bit I really agree with is along the lines of 'let anybody have fun; there's no harm; if you enjoy it, you do, and if you don't, you don't'. Well, at least, that's more or less how I would put it. Personally, I liked it. Lovely young lady, too.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 8:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 989
Yes she seems to have a lot on the ball. And its fun and she has a nice swagger that she's earned. Tradition remains and isn't injured in any way I can see. The relatively few critics were mostly from the US and mostly irked that she was not being authentic, which of course is a little odd coming from Americans to begin with.

I'm old enough to increasingly find young people astonishing--creative, accomplished, capable


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 8:31 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13386
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
PB+J wrote:
Yes she seems to have a lot on the ball. And its fun and she has a nice swagger that she's earned. Tradition remains and isn't injured in any way I can see. The relatively few critics were mostly from the US and mostly irked that she was not being authentic, which of course is a little odd coming from Americans to begin with.

I'm old enough to increasingly find young people astonishing--creative, accomplished, capable

Yes, spot on. And I'm afraid I've tended only to hear that 'authenticity' thing from two groups of people - Americans who've spent a great deal of time and energy on being 'authentic' (even though they're not) and Irish people who haven't lived in Ireland for a very long time, and sometimes get irked by people managing to do things that they've forgotten how. I should stress that, in both instances, those types of people are in the very small minority - most Americans I've been lucky enough to come across in the course of music-making have been lovely; and most Irish people, wherever I've met them, have been lovely also.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 8:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 7593
Location: East Coast US
I'm all for anything that preserves an art.

I'm more into classical music than ITM. The last show I went to was maybe a year ago, and my group and I (ages 57-64) were the youngest there except for a couple who looked to be high-school or college students. I think unless the classical world embraces some sort of modernization, the current generation may be the last that gets to appreciate it outside of the elite. It's expensive to send 80 musicians plus a high-priced soloist onto a stage for maybe a handful of shows. One thing that's often debated is sex appeal. A couple of decades ago, Ofra Harnoy was an up-and-coming cellist, very talented, and as it happens, very beautiful. Every time she was mentioned, there was some grumbling about her using sex appeal to sell tickets. There's currently a young pianist named Yuja Wang who actually IS doing that -- she wears very skimpy outfits. But if you go to Youtube, there are loads of hits to her playing (quite well) concerti, with the titles something like "Yuja Wang plays Tchaikovsky in short shorts." If it gets people listening, it's good with me; maybe some of them will get hooked and start buying tickets.

The thing that I find much more interesting, though, is the blending of classical and rock music. I'm not talking about Renaissance or the Moody Blues doing symphonic rock, but actual classical music performed at rock shows. The first time I became aware of this was in a Yes concert, in which Steve Howe performed a movement from a Bach Guitar piece, totally straight. I've recently become interested in (obsessed with) symphonic metal, pretty much an evolution of progressive rock and heavy metal, in which there's often a full orchestra, and they're usually fronted by an operatic soprano or mezzo. I recently saw a show on youtube by Epica, a Dutch band. In that show, there's a version of a movement from the Four Seasons (orchestra, with the violin soloist being doubled by an electric guitar), a totally straight rendition of the first movement of a rococo Stabat Mater (sporano, mezzo, and orchestra), and another thing I can't remember.

Thing is, the audiences LOVE this. And in Europe, the metal players often have parallel careers as classical players, and I bet some of their hardcore fans go to the classical shows, too.

So, back to the beginning. If a young African-American can drum up some interest in Irish dance by dancing to a rap, maybe there will be a little more interest in Irish dance, which could lead to more interest in ITM, and then more interest in Irish culture. It's all good.

Epica on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQKeb4e1jRo

Warning, it's a 3-hour show with HD video. The Stabat Mater is at 47:00 and is amazing.

_________________
Charlie
Whorfin Woods
One cat short of crazy.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:33 am 
Online

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 893
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Can't see any harm in it myself - just a youngster enjoying herself. :)

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 601
She appears to have a lot of training and talent and is having a lot of fun. Good for her.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 989
She just got offered a position with Riverdance--it was on her twtter feed.

She replied "Being given the opportunity to perform with @Riverdance is a dream come true to say the least. I am still at a loss for words. Thank you so much to Padraic, the Irish dance community, and everyone who has supported me and shared my video. Go raibh maith agat."


I think most people on this site love tradition, or at least different traditions. Tradition and innovation require each other. But talent and dedication are clear in both


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 3:59 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 35989
Location: Among the pixels
Checked out the vid, and I must say that step dancing to rap was not something I'd ever even remotely considered. But I wasn't taken aback by it; I was more struck by how well she made it work. I'll leave the authenticity and ownership value judgments to others.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 3:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1534
Location: None
I liked the clip that I saw - though I know nothing of Irish dancing and could not possibly comment on it apart from my personal reaction.

I have heard similar debates in other areas of culture... it always seems to boil down to people overloading a word with too many meanings, some of which could be incompatible.

One part of the culture may be a living, evolving thing that grows and changes, another might be more of a historical re-enactment. The former risks 'dilution' and 'pollution', the latter risks 'stagnation' and 'rigidity'. If we could just have different names for each I think most people would be happy.

I prefer the view that a culture is always evolving, and that there was no 'golden era' in which a tradition magically appeared fully formed and immutable. I do like 're-enactments' though, even though the boundaries are necessarily drawn at arbitrary points (and seem to involve pointless technical/historical arguments on details).

_________________
Phill

One does not equal two. Not even for very large values of one.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 1:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:10 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Michigan
Is there a link to the video in question? It may be an issue with my browser and the scripts it allows, but all I see are the story and a couple links to her Twitter and Instagram...

I mean, I guess the first question I have is... if she was Irish, would people still be angry? If she was white and could at least "pass" for Irish, would people still be angry? (Are black people angry that she's co-opting hip-hop or R&B or rap or whatever the song is-- again, I've not yet seen the video so not heard the song and don't know the genre-- with Irish dance steps?)

This can be a problem also with the dance of another "Celtic" nation-- Scottish Highland dance. There are plenty (many of them seemingly older Scottish men) who have a problem with what competitive Highland dance has become. Similarly to those unhappy about competitive Irish dance vs. traditional. Yeah, I get it-- what originated as military training has become the province of mostly little girls now (of course, one opponent was not amused when I pointed out that if men and boys don't want/refuse to get involved in the sport, that's hardly the fault of the girls and women who do, and judging by the enthusiastic reaction of fellow dancers and audiences when males do Highland dance, they're hardly being chased away with pitchforks). Yes, of course it's true that the competitive form becomes more and more prescribed and regimented than the traditional original (is that not nearly inevitable, almost by nature, for nearly anything that becomes highly-competitive?), but the question is whether this "ruins" anything about the art/sport. (And then, secondarily, the bitterness that women are "allowed" to do this is another, perhaps separate, issue.)


That said, yes, of course I like to see an art preserved, rather than completely changed into something different, as if there was something wrong with it that needs to be corrected (I think that is probably the worry, that the original historical thing will be eradicated by anything new). But I would love to see both coexist, if that's possible, without one wiping out the other.

chas wrote:
I'm all for anything that preserves an art.

I'm more into classical music than ITM. The last show I went to was maybe a year ago, and my group and I (ages 57-64) were the youngest there except for a couple who looked to be high-school or college students. I think unless the classical world embraces some sort of modernization, the current generation may be the last that gets to appreciate it outside of the elite. It's expensive to send 80 musicians plus a high-priced soloist onto a stage for maybe a handful of shows. One thing that's often debated is sex appeal. A couple of decades ago, Ofra Harnoy was an up-and-coming cellist, very talented, and as it happens, very beautiful. Every time she was mentioned, there was some grumbling about her using sex appeal to sell tickets. There's currently a young pianist named Yuja Wang who actually IS doing that -- she wears very skimpy outfits. But if you go to Youtube, there are loads of hits to her playing (quite well) concerti, with the titles something like "Yuja Wang plays Tchaikovsky in short shorts." If it gets people listening, it's good with me; maybe some of them will get hooked and start buying tickets.

The problem is, I'm sure there are plenty of talented artists out there who don't happen to be young, attractive, scantily-clad women... and I don't feel their music is any less worth listening to because they're not "eye candy." On a CD or record or MP3, who knows, anyway?

_________________
Here's tae us--
Wha's like us?
Damn few--
And they're a' deid--
Mair's the pity.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 1:35 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13386
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
Katharine wrote:
Is there a link to the video in question? It may be an issue with my browser

It's your browser.

As to the rest of your post, I think you're overblowing it. She's young, talented, unfortunately attractive (according to you, by the seem of it). It's nice. Why worry about anything else?

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 7:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 989
Try this

https://youtu.be/mb7T1O5m77o


She's not really "scantily clad." She's wearing shorts and a t-shirt, white socks and heeled dancing shoes. She's an attractive woman, but lots of young people are attractive and I don't hold it against them!

She clearly spent a lot of time mastering that form of competition irish dancing, and the adaptation to hip hop is well done


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 8:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1534
Location: None
PB+J wrote:
..... but lots of young people are attractive and I don't hold it against them!


me too ;-)

_________________
Phill

One does not equal two. Not even for very large values of one.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 9:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 pm
Posts: 2655
Location: Seashore
PB+J wrote:
https://www.derryjournal.com/news/people/tiktok-video-irish-dancer-morgan-elizabeth-usa-goes-viral-taoiseach-leo-varadkar-invites-her-ireland-st-patricks-day-2021-celebrations-2844535

She's a woman from Virginia and she did a very short video of Irish steps to the song "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion. It went viral and she's been praised by the Irish ambassador to the US; by Bill Whelan, the composer of the music for Riverdance, and she's been invited to next year's St. Pats parade by Leo Varadkar.

I don't get it. This is nothing new.
The video was not an Irish dance "competition" as it looked as if video was shot in a backyard while practicing.

There are dance companies that incorporate a wide variety of genres of music into the routines while deviating from the traditional styles. Check out Hammerstep, the Fusion Fighters or the Studio2Stage groups which also include ethnic folks who wouldn't readily be associated with particular traditions of dance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMSOUYfFEiE
http://www.fusionfightersdance.com/fusion-fighters.html
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=st ... M%3DVDVVXX

If you're raising issue because the young lady is African American dancing Irish competition style to rap and video went viral... O K, wow, video went viral, using social media is commonly utilized for notions of going viral to gain broader recognition. Maybe its Virginia just beginning to catch up with the rest of the world.

Also see the NFL player Irish dancing. Or just an ordinary guy dancing at a Irish festival.
https://www.cbsnews.com/video/nfl-playe ... l-success/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPGo4eBaNIU

Nothing new as the world turns.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.092s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)