Irish Media Nationby John Lee
- YouTube previews "new" sport set for Dublin kick-off - VIDEO
- Shadowy ninjas of Irish dance, Fusion Fighters set to debut March 17 (VIDEO)
- No shortage of ways to be Linkedin to Ireland and the Irish worldwide
- Emigration and immigration: comings and goings of the Irish...and everyone else
- Looking for White Christmas in NYC (VIDEO)
A cool post-modern, post-Riverdance, YouTube video has gone viral for a pair of traditional Irish dancers gone rogue. “Look Ma, No Feet! - Irish HAND Dancing,” types one online fan of the quirky 2:20 minute video clip featuring the hands, arms, and off-beat (and on-the-beat) talents of dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding, alumni of Riverdance and creators of their own original take on Irish stepping, the multimedia enhanced Up & Over It!.
Cleary and Harding first met on the Irish dance competition circuit where they jigged their way to a slew of championship titles, earning them a four-year tour with
Though there’s a social media component to this story in the form of websites and blogs, this time “Irish Media Nation” is kicking it old school with traditional media--the printed word in the form of books, lots and lots of books, amassed by a collector in Denver, Co., and hopefully bound for South Park, Co. (yes, that South Park, as seen on TV), to be housed in a facility inspired by a library in Wales. And there is the requite Irish angle here in the form of an Irish American natural historian and book collector, Jeff Lee (yes relation--Jeff is my younger brother). Many years ago he and his wife Ann Martin, who could pass for Irish but is actually of Norwegian/Swedish ancestry, had stayed at the St. Deiniol's Residential Library in northern Wales, a kind of “Bed, Breakfast & Books” for bibliophiles, “a health farm for the mind” in the words of its website.
This ye olde media center concept stayed top of mind for the two when they returned to work at Denver’s legendary Tattered Cover Bookstore, especially as they contemplated just what to do with the over 20,000 books on the natural history of the Rocky Mountains region Jeff had amassed. They envisioned a library and site-specific environmental education center, where people could come to study, explore and even stay for a while. They call their rustic rendering of St.Deiniol’s (http://st-deiniols.com/) the Rocky Mountain Land Library (RMLL).
While nudging their dream along inch by inch, they launched the Rocky Mountain Land Series in partnership with the Tattered Cover, an author series focused on the land and communities of the American West featuring such authors as Barry Lopez, Bill McKibben, Lester Brown, Stewart Udall, and John & Teresa Kerry. With the common goal of connecting kids to nature, the RMLL partnered with Denver Water and the Thorne Ecological Institute to established a 3,000 volume Kids & Educators Library.