This Friday 28th October at 8pm, Siamsa Tíre celebrates our Irish cultural and sporting traditions in Cultúr. This Centenary celebration showcases the traditions that inspired, sustained and united our people for centuries, through the Civil War right through to today. This enthralling evening keeps the cultural flame alive and blends old and new with live performances of Irish song, music, dance and poetry against a backdrop of historic cultural and sporting stories and film.
Our traditions have given us hope when times were bad and they helped us to celebrate the good times. In the past our music, song, dance and native literature were outlawed. Musicians, singers, dancers and poets risked their freedom and, indeed at times, their lives in pursuit of their various arts. Their tunes, songs, dances and poems grew out of the soil of Ireland and were the incarnation of their people. What we have today has been hard fought for. The artists who handed down their culture, did so often with great difficulty. They were poor artists performing for a poor people. Yet they persevered. They continued to perform and, vitally for us today, they taught their songs, tunes and dances to a people who were only too willing to join in the dance of life.
More importantly, during the Civil War, when brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, family against family in a desperate struggle for the soul of Ireland, this cultúr was a bond that united friend and foe in a space where art discovered symmetries where politics must wait.
In more recent times, with the arrival of radio, television, the internet and so on, our native culture has had to face new challenges. For a time in the mid twentieth century, it looked as if our native music, song and dance were in trouble. New music, new songs, new dances were all the rage, and the old artists were all but forgotten. But these musicians, singers and dancers kept faith in their various arts and continued to perform and, even more importantly, teach their art to the young. We are greatly in their debt. Today our native culture is thriving, and the old songs, tunes and dances are performed all over the world.
Today, Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland encompasses a cast of professional performers who run a training academy for young people alongside staging its annual Festival of Folk and staging other performances. They pass on the traditional songs, music and dances to the next generation and work with young people to weave those songs, tunes and dances into new productions for future performances. They also create bespoke productions like Cultúr, working with other community groups to celebrate specific moments in time and showcase associated music, song and dance.
The performance starts at 8pm so don’t miss this evening of enthralling music, song, dance and historical context as we mark the Centenary year. Tickets are €16/14 and can be purchased online at siamsatire.com (https://bit.ly/3TIH4oO)