Irish Media Nation by John Lee
YouTube viral video hit for ex-Riverdance duo gone rogue. SEE VIDEO
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 at 05:15 PM
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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 Riverdance, followed by a stint as dancers and artistic directors for the touring Magic of the Dance. The pair began stretching the boundaries of Irish dance, absorbing the influences of other dance styles and blending in multimedia innovations that would culminate in Up & Over It!.
Here’s how a couple of reviewers took to the duo’s take on Irish dance:
“Just as shows such as Riverdance sought to release Irish dancing from the steely grip of the competitive circuit, this entertaining hour seeks to liberate the form yet further.”
The List, Kelly Apter, August 2009
“Billed as Irish dance for the post-pop generation, this is both a paean to and a deconstruction of the form…the pratfalls, physical comedy and character-based humour of this performance create a highly engaging show for a very enthusiastic audience. Marrying the genres of dance and character-comedy, the piece is a great success at every level.”
The Stage, William McEvoy, August 2009
Here’s the clip that’s spreading the latest strain of the Irish creative virus, set to the tune “Americano:”
Not surprisingly the pair has a strong social media presence with a popular YouTube site (http://www.youtube.com/upandoverit), an active Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/upandoverit?ref=ts ) with 2,132 fans (make that 2,133 as I just clicked “like”) and a website (http://www.upandoverit.com).
There are no US dates for Up & Over It! at the moment, but Cleary and Harding will be creating work specifically for online distribution over the coming months, and hope to announce US dates next year. With the spread of their viral video, they may want to make the trip even sooner.
MEDIA PINGS: David Jackson writes today in his USAToday.com column, “The Oval” that, “At first blush, it seems odd that President Obama would go on ESPN to talk about his ambassador to Ireland -- until you realize that the ambassador is one of pro football's most famous owners…Dan Rooney.” A lifelong Republican, Rooney endorsed Obama at a key point in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination campaign (article with the ESPN video is at http://bit.ly/bF53Me)...Farewell actor Kevin McCarthy who passed away last Saturday at age 96. A veteran of hundreds of film, TV and stage roles, he might have been best known for his Oscar nominated performance as Biff in the 1949 “Death of a Salesman” if it wasn’t for his cult-classic star-turn in the 1956 film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” He would also make a brief but memorable cameo appearance in the 1978 “Body Snatchers” remake. Noted author, Mary McCarthy, was his sister. His co-star in “Body Snatchers,” Dana Wynter, has homes in California and County Wicklow… Sophie Haslett writes in InsideIreland.ie that the vast majority of internet users in Ireland will not pay for online news, according to a survey issued by the online consultancy Amas and the Irish Internet Association. She cites research that shows that 88% of Irish users say they would not pay for content, with just 2% saying they would pay for all content (http://bit.ly/9bwIlW)....on Linkedin and interested in the Irish angle on media? Sign-up for the "Irish in Media" group!