Irish Dance and Pop Cultureby S.J. Velasquez
- 'Heartbeat of Home' online auditions prompt influx of amazing dancer videos - VIDEOS
- The top 12 Irish dance videos of 2012 - VIDEOS
- Post-show interview with TLC's 'Big Jig' star Mary Kay Heneghan - VIDEOS
- Sean-nós dance revival reveals different side of Irish dance - VIDEOS
- Irish dance friendships: - down under meets upstate NY
Each year, the same complaint about girls' and womens' Halloween costume options resurfaces: those tight-fitting, barely-there outfits are just too sexy.
Unfortunately, it's not just the "naughty cop" and "flirty fairy" costumes that are turning heads. Even the image of the Irish lass -- a traditional Irish dancer, in many cases -- is subject to hyper-sexualization. This year, it seems like more online Halloween outfitters are offering inaccurate interpretations of Irish dance gear.
Are these costumes examples of cultural confusion or intentionally tasteless fetishization of Irish step dancers?
Watching Noctu was a little bit like watching bits of my life performed on stage. Talking to the show's creator-choreographer Breandan de Gallai after Saturday's evening show, I learned that was exactly the desired reaction.
Noctu, which just wrapped up a short run at Manhattan's Irish Repertory Theatre on Sunday, is what de Gallai called the autobiography of an Irish dancer. Through the eyes of three disenfranchised characters, de Gallai unveils the conflicts within every dancer, including feelings of inadequacy and simply being misunderstood, in stark contrast to joy and camaraderie.
While it surprised me that de Gallai, a legend in the Irish dance world, might've ever felt inadequate in his dancing ability, he explained that these emotions are in every dancer -- from beginners to world-class champions. De Gallai, who himself ranks among the world's most esteemed step dancers, said assuredly, "Everybody has those feelings -- the times when no matter what you do, you just feel awful."