Hi my name is Emily. I am the webmistress for Emily's Irish Dance Page. And this is it's newsletter. In this newsletter there will be information on updates of my page, upcoming feiseanna and events, featured Irish Dance pages, info. on Irish Dance Shows, Irish Dance in the Media, a consignment center, tips, interviews, stories, poems, any questions that anyone has, prayers and blessings, and much more. This is the May/June 1999 issue. If you have any questions, comments, or anything you would like to add fill out the form at the bottom of the page or e-mail me at Gillie365@yahoo.com or Irishtoes9@aol.com. Thanks a bunch -Emily
A feis(pronounced "fesh")is an Irish Step Dancing and Irish culture competition. Many feisanna have only Irish
Step Dancing Competitions,but some also have other forms of competition involving Irish culture such as an
Irish soda bread making contest or a piping competition. Feisanna is one of my favorite parts of Irish Step
Dancing. They are tons of fun. Girls running around in half unsipped dress drinking soda with their mothers
runing behind them with their smocks so as not to ruin their thousnd dollar dress. One gets to learn from other
people by watchi them and how they dance learning from their mistakes and achievements (well your ones as
well, but . . . ). But feisanna were not always like this.
Throughout the kingdoms and provinces of early of early Ireland, there were times and places set aside for the
general assembly of the people. Chief of these, the one to which each territorial assembly sent representatives,
was the Aonach of Great Fair at Tara, seat of the Ard Rhi, or High King of Ireland. Tara had been founded by
the Firbolgs, predecessors of the Gaels in Ireland, as their own capital.The Gaelic Milesians turned it to the
same use, with considerable additions and embellishments. This Aonach or Great Fair of the people of all
Ireland must gone on from time immemorial, but it was seven or eight hundred years before the time of Christ
that historic fame of the Feis became associated with it. The great king Ollamh Fodhla is cited as founding the
Ardh Feis at Tara. The Feis then was a parliamentary assembly, and to it came the provincial kings and
nobility, chiefs, judges, doctors, poets and bards of all Ireland. Thus were assembled in one place the living
repositories of the Gaelic culture and tradition. Residences for them were maintained at Tara, and we can but
imagine the pomp displayed and protocol observed at their gatherings. While the deliberative functions of the
Feis were taking place, it was one of the pleasures of the people assembled to be entertained by recitations of
their history, the important men and events that had gone before, the genealogy or descent of the leading
families among them, and the legends, songs and stories so dear to them. It was this feature that gave the best
of the seanachies (storytellers), bards, poets and genealogists their pride of place by demonstrable ability. One
can imagine even then the people drifting from place to place, listening to each one and deciding for
themselves which were the best. It is a matter of record that athletic events and games took place at these
assemblies, the winners of these events becoming heros of the people from whom they sprung, the earliest
martial-type events of horse and chariot racing gave way to tests of strength and agility by the individual.
Date -- Feis -- Location
June 4 - 6
Scoil Ar Na Greine
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 4 - 6
Silicon Valley Feis
San Jose, CA
Detroit International Feis
Greater Buffalo Feis
Patricia Murphy School of Irish Dancing Feis
Etobicoke, Ont. Canada
Western Massachusetts Feis
Southern Classic Feis
Irish Heritage Feis
United Irish Counties Feis
Jamaica, Queens, NY
June 19 & 20
N. Vancouver, BC, Canada
Feis Na Eireann
Oak Forest, IL
Coyle School Feis
Greater Boston Teacher's Feis
Illinois State Feis
Des Plaines, IL
Project Children Feis
North Wildwood, NJ
Dayton Area Feis
Peter Smith Feis
New Haven Feis
New Haven, CT
It is not the night before's sleep that matters, but instead two nights before the feis.
From experience it has made my body feel much better than if I don't
sleep well two nights before the feis, and then sleep really good the night before the feis.
During a feis I consume a lot of cold water, but I would notice water sloshing in my stomach and it was
annoying and uncomfortable. I started using warm water in my instead and the problem went away. I surmised
that cold water causes the blood vessels in your stomach to contract and delays absorption. Warm water allows
the blood vessels to remain dilated and encourages or maybe even hastens absorption. -anonymous
Peppermints simulate the brain so before a feis, dance class or performance eat one!
Putting duct tape and/or hairspray on the bottom of your hardshoes prevents slipping. I have found that duct
tape works better than hairspray.
Use endpapers when curling your hair. It drasticly improves the curl you get.
Two Irishmen met and one said to the other, "Have ye seen Mulligan lately,
Pat said, "Well, I have and I haven't."
His friend asked, "well what d'ye mean by that?"
Pat said, "It's like this, y'see...I saw a chap who I thought was Mulligan,
and he saw a chap that he thought was me. And when we got up to one
another...it was neither of us."
(Setting the scene, Ballymun outside of Dublin has a reputation as a rough spot) Fifteen minutes into Aer Lingus Flight EI109
from Madrid to Dublin the Plane encounters a serious problem with the Instrument landing systems. In a Fit of Panic, Paddy the
Pilot turns to his co-Pilot and says. "Jazus Mick...Well have to turn back...none of the equipment is working!." Mick says to
Paddy; "No Problem...Sure I can tell where we are by sticking my hand out the Window!
"OK!" says Paddy, "Where are we then?"
Mick winds down the window and sticks his hand out and replies; "Well Paddy, I reckon were over the Bay of Biscay. The
humidity seems to be gone out of the air. This is caused by the seawater. Just Head North"
"Brilliant!" replies Paddy, and precedes north bound. Fifteen Minutes later Paddy asks: " Where are we now Mick?"
Mick winds down the window and sticks his hand out and replies; " Were over the English Channel now. The air is much cooler
here. Just head in a north easterly direction."
Thirty minutes Later Paddy asks: " Where are we now Mick?"
Mick winds down the window and sticks his hand out and replies; "Were over the Ballymun flats. Quick...Bank left here and
you should be on Course for Runway One. Paddy, Responds and 5 minutes later the plane lands safely on Runway One. Paddy
turns to Mick and says: "That was Brilliant...But...Tell Me . How did you know we were over the Ballymun Flats". "Well!" said
Mick...When I pulled my hand back in.. My Watch was Gone!"
Two Irishmen had just won $5000,000 in a lottery. Having a pint in a pub Tim say to Sean, what about all them beggin letters, Sean
replies, we'll just keep sending them.
Irish Musicians and Music Groups
"SOLAS, Irish for "light", definitely makes the world of traditional Irish music glow. Considered a "supergroup" composed of solo
artists who have mastered their instruments of choice, the group has existed for more than three years, and it does not seem like the
light is getting dimmer-- only brighter. With their latest release The Words That Remain, they have topped charts once again."
Solas formed in late 1994 and made its official debut at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall in Washington, D.C., February 1995.
In its short life span, SOLÁS has has grown into a mold that has redefined traditional music. Already counted among the most prestigious of bands, such as
Altan and the Chieftains, Solas continues to hold its own when it comes to sound with their edgy interpretations of traditional melodies. “I hold great
importance in the melody,” says Séamus Egan. “Even as I try to innovate, I don’t want to lose that. Melodically, if you read it off the page, Irish music can
seem very simple. But that doesn’t represent the true nature of the melody. The goal improvisation in Irish music is different than it is in jazz. You want to
maintain that, whereas, in jazz, you’re taking it apart and creating new lines out of a particular melody. In Irish music, I’ve always felt that the idea is how
much you can do while maintaining the initial melody.” How innovative? “I’d probably say to an extent that might horrify people. I think within the group
the whole notion of what’s traditional and what’s not and if we’re straying from it, we more or less look at the whole thing as not something that we’re going
to be bound by.”
Solas’s versatility to weave their own improvisation throughout their tunes has won the Association for Independent Music (AFIM) award for best album
and the Irish Echo best album award, each two years in a row—1996’s debut album Solas and 1997’s Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers (both
Shanachie). The band has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Morning Edition on NPR, Mountain Companion, World Café,
CNN Showbiz Today, Weekend Today on NBC and The Late, Late Show, Ireland’s most popular television program.
Solas not only demonstrates their ability to renew songs through their arrangements, but they have also illustrated a remarkable ability to write their own
songs in the traditional style that they have all grown up with. Through their addition of reels and jigs such as “The Stride,” “Viva Galica,” “Aodhan’s
Jig” and the “Sproggies Reel,” which were written by the members of the band.
The members in the band, on the other hand, seem to have kept their own careers on the side. Karan Casey remarked, “Winifred is doing something and
John [Doyle] has been ‘threatening’ to do something for a while. It’s great when you can do your own thing and then go back to the band.” Casey and
Egan have made their own solo albums. Egan responded, “Group situations are always a delicate balancing act between egos and what’s good for the group.
One of the things that helps us is what we’re doing creatively. So whatever we can’t do in Solas, we can do somewhere else.”
Throughout its three-year growth, Solas has developed a natural sound, in which the individual timbres develop its own characteristic without straying from
the initial collective tone of the group.
The band’s growth and roots go beyond it sound, however. John Doyle and Séamus Egan Had been playing together on and off for a long time, Winifred
Horan had been playing with Cherish the Ladies, while Karan Casey and Solas’s original squeeze box player John Williams had been doing their own
things. “For this one festival,” Egan recalls, “Win, myself, John Doyle and John Williams went up and played with one another and there was a
decent-enough response.” As for Karan Casey? “I met Seamus and Win at a festival,” she adds about her abduction into Solas. “We got to chatting, and
then we realized that we were living next door to one another. And so we started going out to the pub together—said, ‘Let’s form a band!’” It turned out that
the three of them had been living on the same block in Manhattan. Soon enough, their informal jam sessions led into recording sessions.
Now that they had a valid reason for a name, what deep root influenced the name of their band? “We were like, well, we need to call ourselves something. It
was more the sound of the word that we actually liked. It’s simple to remember,” Egan answers. Very deep!
Soon Solas made their stunning self-titled album debut, forever changing traditional music with their sets of reels and jigs and song arrangements. The
following year, the band had released their second album, Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers. Egan points out, “Each [album] is a conscious attempt not
to repeat ourselves.” Luckily, with the release of their most recent album, The Words that Remain, Solas has not only NOT repeated itself, but has also
surpassed the excitement, virtuosity and boundaries set by their previous albums. The Words that Remain is also the first album featuring Mick McAuley
after he had replaced John Williams in October 1997, who left for personal reasons. So far, there seems to be no dimming as Solas leads a new generation
growing in their light.
Article written by MAY PESCANTE
Irish Slang Words
Word -- Definition
Sleeveen -- Sly person, calculating
Shook -- Ill, Pale
Scarlet -- Blushing, often in sympathy with a friend's reddener
Reddener -- Blush
Puss -- Face, usually sulky
Gas -- Fun, enjoyment
Horse's Hook -- spoof, exagerater story
Letting on -- Pretending
Mary Hick -- unfashionable
Messages -- groceries
Mooching -- sponging (ex. He's mooching agin for money)
Jacks -- Toilet, restroom
Holy Show -- Spectacle
Holliers -- Holidays, vacation time
Gob -- mouth
Lord of the Dance Lyrics
Lord of the Dance
Gwyddion Pendderwyn, Amy Falkowitz, Ann Case, Len Rosenberg
She danced on the water, and the wind was her horn
The Lady laughed, and everything was born
And when She lit the sun and its' light gave Him birth
The Lord of the Dance first appeared on the Earth
Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, you see!
I live in you, and you live in Me
And I lead you all in the Dance, said He!
I danced in the morning when the world begun
I danced in the Moon and the Stars and the Sun
I was called from the darkness by the Song of Earth
I joined in the Song, and She gave Me Birth!
I dance in the Circle when the flames leap high
I dance in the Fire and I never, never die
I dance in the waves of the bright summer sea
For I am the Lord of the wave's mystery
I sleep in the kernel and I dance in the rain
I dance in the wind, and through the waving grain
When they cut me down I care nothing for the pain
In the spring I'm the Lord of the Dance once again!
I dance at the Sabbat when you dance out the spell
I dance and sing that everyone be well
And when the dancing's over do not think that I am gone
To live is to Dance! So I still Dance on.
I see the Maidens laughing as they dance in the Sun
And I count the fruits of the harvest one by one
I know the Storm is coming, but the Grain is all stored
So I sing of the Dance of the Lady, and Her Lord:
The Horn of the Lady cast its sound cross the plain
The birds took the notes, and gave them back again
Till the sound of Her music was a Song in the sky
And to that Song there is only one reply:
The moon in her phases, and the tides of the sea
The movement of the Earth, and the Seasons that will be
Are the rhythm for the dancing, and a promise through the years
That the Dance goes on through our joys and tears
We dance ever slower as the leaves fall and spin
And the sound of the Horn is the wailing of the wind
The Earth is wrapped in Stillness, and we move in a trance,
But we hold on fast to our faith in the Dance!
The sun is in the southland and the days grow chill
And the sound of the horn is fading on the hill
'Tis the horn of the Hunter, as he rides across the plain
And the Lady sleeps 'till the Spring comes again
The Sun is in the southland and the days lengthen fast
And soon we will sing for the Winter that is past
Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn
And we dance the Dance of the Sun's return!
They danced in the darkness and they danced in the night
They danced on the Earth, and everything was light
They danced out the Darkness and they danced in the Dawn
And the Day of that Dancing is still going on!
I gaze on the Heavens and I gaze on the Earth
And I feel the pain of dying and rebirth
And I lift my head in gladness and in praise
For the Dance of the Lord and His Lady gay
I dance in the stars as they whirl throughout space
And I dance in the pulse of the veins in your face
No dance is too great, no dance is too small,
You can look anywhere, for I dance in them all!
Some Irish Proverbs
A constant guest is never welcome.
A short visit is best, and that not too often, even to the house of a friend.
Blind should be the eyes in the abode of another.
A man with loud talk makes truth itself seem folly.
It is difficult to soothe the proud.
The peacemaker is never in the way.
No heat like that of shame.
No pain like that of refusal.
No sorrow like the loss of friends.
Death is a poor man's best physician.
Katoe Porter who can be e-mailed at G2657@mcb.co.uk is selling a solo costume which in "excellent
condition". Selling it for $650.
"It is a beautiful two tone green and orange velvet individually designed solo costume. It is a must to see it and
photos can be fowarded to anyone seriously interested."
Catherine Appert who can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org would like to purchase a second hand solo dress.
She is interested in buying one in "very good condition" for $300.
"I am interested in buying a burgandy velvet solo comstume. My measurements are bust:34", waist:30", and hips:38". I am 5'5". I would love to find one with cream satin insets in the skirt not TOO much embroidery and no flourescents or fishnet. Thanks."
Eileen Simmons which can be e-mailed at email@example.com would like to purchase a second hand solo dress for her eleven year old daughter.
She is interested in buying "a good condition solo dress" for 350 or less.
"My daughter is eleven years old. She is 5 foot tall and 95 lbs. She wears girls 14-16.
Name: Katrina Malazdrewicz
interested in purchasing.,I am interested in a 7 pair of hardshoes.
Need to be flexi-soles.,,I am interested in spending up to $120,canadian.
require:Comments: Where?: The size is Canadian, someone told me that in
Irish shoe size, I would be a size 5 or 6. I don't know if that istrue.
This section is a place where dancers can post any questions they have along with there e-mails. If you know the answer or can help feel free to e-mail that person. Thanks a bunch! -Emily
A girl named Allison posted a question from the last newsletter but did not leave her email. So I will post the question here and if any of you have something to add mail it to me or fill out the form at the bottom of the page and I will post it in the next newsletter.
"I was wondering how long it usually takes everyone to move up from level to level. I have heard that novice and prelims are the two hardest levels. Is this true?? What does everyone think?
Marie who can be emailed at Twinkletoes@celtic.com asked:
Do you think that judges are give more credit to boys than girls in feiseanna?
Have other questions?? You might want to check out the FAQ's section here on EIDP.
New to the Irish Dance Scene
This is a new section I will put information in this section which will be especially helpful for beginning Irish Dancers. If you have anything to add or would like me to place in here in future issues e-mail me or fill out the form at the bottom of the page. -Emily