Irish Dancing

Irish Dancing : The Festival Story

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The festival tradition of Irish dancing has played a significant part in Ulster's culture over the past century.

This historical account takes the reader on a journey from courtly ballrooms and cottage firesides across a landscape of barn dances, harvest homes, fancy dance classes, feiseanna and festivals, narrating how Catholic and Protestant children held hands in town halls, parochial halls and Protestant halls even when bombs splintered communities and deepened mistrust.

Highlighting the various provincial towns that nurtured and helped grow the festival movement throughout the 20th century, Angeline's work explores significant figures in the development of both 'feis' and 'festival', the champion dancers, influential teachers and unsung community 'heroes' who kept this cross-community activity alive.

Containing source and archive material drawn from newspaper reports dating back to the 1700s, Ordnance surveys, diaries, journals and interviews with more than 80 of the 20th century's festival dance teachers and pupils, this work will fill a significant gap in Irish dancing publications and appeal to the tens of thousands of current and former festival Irish dancers and Irish dancing enthusiasts in Northern Ireland and further afield.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 350 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23.88mm | 666.78g
  • Australia
  • English
  • 34 black and white photographs
  • 0648407586
  • 9780648407584
  • 477,447

Review quote

"As the first ever Festival-trained lead dancer of Riverdance, I am delighted to see this book, Irish Dancing: The Festival Story herald the remarkable contribution that Festival has made to the art form of Irish Dance. It's also so good to read about all the familiar names, both teachers and competitors, that I grew up knowing personally or knowing of their legacy." Lauren Smyth, Lead Dancer, Riverdance.
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About Angeline King

Angeline King, best known for her contemporary novels, Snugville Street and A Belfast Tale, is the writer and research-er of Mid & East Antrim Council's three-year museum exhibi-tion, 'An Irish Dancing Story.'

Angeline enjoys exploring shared culture in Northern Ire-land, her essays on Irish literature have been published in the Irish Times and her short story book, Children of Latharna, which is based on cross-community friendships, is on the reading list of some primary schools in County Antrim. Ange-line is a Professional member of the Irish Writers Centre and recipient of the Arts Council Individual Award. She also pro-motes women's writing through Women Aloud NI.

Irish Dancing: The Festival Story is Angeline's first histo-ry book, but she studied history at university, graduating from Queen's University with a BA Hons in Modern History and French in 1999. She went on to complete an MA in Applied Languages and Business at Ulster University and pursued a career in international business in the publishing and IT sec-tors for fifteen years. She now works on international projects in the education sector and dedicates her spare time to family, books and community activities.

Irish dancing has always represented an opportunity for fun and relaxation for Angeline. She took lessons at the An-drews School as a child and has since danced in various adult teams.
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