Nice Moves presented by Deirdre Mulrooney, is a 5-part series which traces the history of the body on stage in Ireland.
Irish people have always danced, but our first record of the word ‘damhsa’ doesn’t appear until 1520.
In the 1920s, the Abbey School of Ballet was founded by Yeats and the Co. Wicklow-born dance legend, Ninette de Valois. Dancing had its dangers though, if the many reports of the ‘Devil in the Dancehall’ were to be believed.
The 1980s brought an explosion in physical theatre in Tom Mac Intyre’s controversial plays, while the final year of that decade brought devastating Arts Council cuts in dance funding.
The 1990s heralded the phoenix-like resurgence of contemporary dance in this country, and of course the face of Irish dancing was changed forever by Riverdance.
Meanwhile, our dancing ‘Wild Geese’ have been making their mark on the international stage: Dancers such as, Margeurite Donlon who has her own dance company in Germany and Finola Cronin who worked with Pina Bausch and is now bringing back that experience to the Irish dance scene.
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra Tuesday 27August 2013 6pm