Siamsa Tíre has a long history of contributing to and sustaining traditional Irish dance, as well as encouraging cultural exploration through dance via workshops and special events.
Dance is an important part of the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, and whether you experience it with us as a local on a night out or as a tourist searching for one of the best things to do when visiting Ireland, you won’t be disappointed by Siamsa Tíre’s dance programs.
Irish dance is famous around the world and with good reason, as our spirited dance traditions are rooted in the past, yet forward looking and ever evolving. Irish dance incorporates nature and culture, themes that transcend the boundaries of this island, reaching a global audience through its universal appeal.
Our commitment to dance can be seen in action by exploring Siamsa Tíre performances, workshops, festivals and even dance training.
Dance is at the core of many of Siamsa Tíre’s productions which start with strong storytelling, complemented by music and dance. A great example of this is, is the show An Ghaoth Aniar (The Wind from the West) which premiered in the Siamsa Tíre theatre on August 22nd 2018. The clip below of Ón Farraige – Irish for ‘from the Ocean’, combines the sounds of the wild west coast with the best of traditional Irish music and dance.
Watch more of our online performances, to explore how we incorporate stories through Irish dance that simultaneously tell the tales of Ireland past, present and future.
Although Siamsa Tire was closed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we still offered streamed dance workshops to audiences, reinforcing our commitment to make dance accessible to all. Now that restrictions have lifted, we continue to offer online multi-day dance classes for those that prefer to stay at home and still connect and learn or for our audiences worldwide.
Our online Munnix Dance Workshop series feature Siamsa Tíre’s Artistic Director Jonathan Kelliher. Munnix Dance is a vibrant and exciting old style Irish step dancing technique that dates back to beyond the 1700s. Classes can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, while experiencing professional instruction that keeps a classic Irish tradition alive.
In 2021, Siamsa Tíre held two Funk & Folk workshops that brought dance styles from around the world into the homes of our audience. We love collaborating with artists that help showcase styles new to our participants and traditions that our audience may not have access to otherwise.
The exciting traditional Irish dance styles offered at our workshops include: step dancing, jig dance, sean nos dancing, ceili dancing, and Irish tap dancing.
Each year Siamsa Tíre runs a Festival of Folk, celebrating Irish music, song and dance. Past performances have included five productions from our repertoire, including our most recent show, An Ghaoth Aniar along with Fadó Fadó (Long, Long Ago), Anam, which toured Ireland in 2017, Oileán and Turas. All of these performances explore Irish folk dance traditions, told through music, song and dance, about who we are, where we come from and who we are going to be.
We bring together the people of Kerry and visitors from all over the world to enjoy the best of Irish culture in our wonderful theatre in Tralee, in beautiful County Kerry, looking out over the Slieve Mish Mountains and the Dingle peninsula. And while some of this may be delivered online this year and in the future, the video below tells the story of the Festival of Folk, and gives a sense of what future Festivals of Folk will be like.
Did you know that Siamsa Tíre works with and trains the next generation of Irish folk performers? To keep the rich history of Irish dance alive, we work with a Community Cast who have trained and performed with the company for over fifty years. Most members of the 100 strong cast have been specifically trained from childhood in the traditional arts, with an emphasis on dance, music and performance which ultimately leads to auditioning to perform for live audiences. Our cast are trained in many vibrant forms of traditional Irish dance, including step dancing, jig dancing and sean nós dancing.
This is just one of the ways in which Siamsa Tíre is committed to keeping folk traditions alive. If you’d like to support this initiative and other Siamsa Tíre projects that enrich the community, and promote Irish culture, please consider making a donation today.