This March 5,000 Irish dancers, in solo , céilí, figure- choreography and dance drama categories, will descend on Glasgow, Scotland, to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships.
From March 20 the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will be taken over for a week by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the Irish Dancing Commission for the 46th annual competition. Dubbed the Olympics of Irish dance, elite dancers from every corner of the globe will converge to battle it out to become “Champion of the World.”
It’s estimated that up to 25,000 friends, relatives, teachers and global lovers of Irish dance will travel to Scotland, just after St. Patrick’s Day, for the competition.
Through eight days of intense competition, former champions will defend titles and new champions will be crowned. Ancillary events, such as music and Irish language classes, social events for dancers and the World Ball, are being organized by the local committee in Glasgow.
The audience in Glasgow will see breathtaking displays of talent from the world’s most skilled dancers, who have worked relentlessly for 12 months to ensure they bring their very best to Glasgow 2016. The traditional aspects of Irish step dance will fuse with increasing athleticism, innovation in choreography and rhythm to bring us a modern and truly inspiring evolution of our cultural dance form.
Given the year that’s in it, the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the CLRG will fittingly commemorate the children who died during Easter Week 1916 through a special dedication.
Dancers as young as 10 years old must perform three dances (in both soft and hard shoes) in front of a panel of seven international adjudicators. Results will be based on all three rounds and champions will be crowned on the day. Teams will be made up of eight or 16 members and they will dance traditional ‘céilí’ or figure dances with precision and synchronization.
The honorees for this year’s event are James and Kathleen Mc Laughlin, who are celebrating 50 years of teaching Irish dancing this year. They have achieved much success over the years with multiple regional, national and world championship titles in solo and team categories.
These dedicated people have been at the forefront of Irish dance in Scotland for many years and will, this year, be recognized for their contribution to the art form. Gradam awards will also be presented to the following, highlighting their contribution to the Art of Irish Dance in Scotland over the years. The honorees are – Pat Brady, Tommy Clark, Owen McAuley, Theresa O’Connor, Bridget Sweeney Reid, Joe Wallace and Tony Meehan.
Here’s the CLRG’s promo for the 2016 event in Glasgow:
You can also sign up to watch the event live, via streaming on YouTube.
For more details visit www.clrg.ie.