Meet the stars of new documentary "Jig" - first up Julia O'Rourke


Julia O'Rourke


Girls under 11 World Champion 2010


Star of Jig the Film Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!


Produced by Creative Scotland award-winning filmmaker Sue Bourne with the financial backing of BBC Scotland, Jig is the combined journey of more than a dozen World-qualifying Irish dancers leading up to the 40th Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne in 2010.

Jig opens June 17th at select theaters in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, having already met great success in Toronto and throughout Europe. A 90-minute documentary profiling courage, athletic skill, family, grace, sacrifice and the unique cultural connection of Irish dancers across the globe, Jig will delight all audiences. Indeed, those least familiar with competitive Irish dancing may find it among the most entertaining films of the year.


Julia O'Rourke's parents liked the idea of Irish dance lessons for their shy 5 year-old daughter. A few months' into classes with the Petri School of Irish Dance, Julia was not yet confident enough to 'step to the line' and dance the steps she had been taught, so when mom Annelyn O'Rourke told the Petri sisters that she had registered Julia for a competition, they were shocked. Annelyn remembers, "I knew nothing about these competitions but some of the other moms mentioned a local feis, and we went to check it out, watching the beginners. I asked Julia, 'would you like to dance at a feis and maybe win a medal?' and she said, 'I can do that'. Lisa Petri, ADCRG, remembers the call from her sister and fellow teacher Karen the day Julia danced her first feis and won first place. "She said, 'We've got a live one!'".


This moment is one of the many touching and humorous details that comprise the feature-length film, Jig. In Julia's case, her story begins in her bedroom at home in Long Island where she shares that her greatest competitor for the coveted World title is Brogan McKay from Derry, Northern Ireland. Two little dancers, passionate and driven, with an ocean between them, are headed to the World Irish Dancing Championships for the first time, and Bourne brings the viewer along for the journey, while never losing objectivity.


Feis America had the chance to speak with Julia, and learned that she likes light dances because she can 'jump around and feels more free' and that her mentor in Irish dancing is Gabriella Wood, one of the Petri School's most decorated dancers. Julia's smile is contagious and she speaks passionately about the commitment it takes to do what she does. She cross-trains with track at school, and practices 2-3 hours a day leading up to a major competition like the upcoming North American National Irish Dancing Championships. Julia is thrilled that Jig will help many more people understand the athletic skill and sport that Irish dancing is, and was delighted to be a part of the story.


Visit Jig and put in your request for a showing in your area today. If you are an Irish dancer, make it a social event with your friends and share the beauty and brawn behind this amazing cultural endeavor!


Stay tuned for more Meet the Stars of Jig blog posts right here on Feis America Digital at IrishCentral.com by Kathleen O'Reilly-Wild, Publisher, Feis America LLC


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