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Traditional Munnix Dance Goes Global

Jonathan Kelliher dancing in spotlight

As part of Siamsa Tíre’s continued focus on sharing and sustaining our traditional arts, and as a response to the Covid pandemic, it launched a series of online traditional Irish dance, music and song workshops in January 2021, which return again this autumn.  The traditional Irish dance workshops focused on teaching the unique and beautiful North Kerry “Munnix” style of Irish dance. This style dates to the early 1700s and was handed down through the generations by traditional dance masters.

Irish Dance Master, Jonathan Kelliher shared his insights and the background of tunes and step dances, as well as teaching and performing these long preserved steps.  Jonathan has been studying this North Kerry style of dance since the age of 6 and followed in the footsteps of a long line of North Kerry Dance Masters to become one of the most respected voices in discussing the style and its history and is known as one of the best exponents of the style in Ireland.  Jonathan continues to learn long forgotten and recently remembered steps and sequences from his Dance Master Jimmy Hickey, who continues to dance and teach to this day.

The Munnix Dance series was a great success and attracted dancers from all over the world to learn this unique generational dance style. Students have hailed from the USA, Canada, Japan, all across Europe and as far as Australia. One of these students, Anna Zacharias, is a Canadian journalist and author raised in the United Arab Emirates. She recently wrote an article in New Lines Magazine documenting how Munnix Dance Masters Jimmy Hickey and Jonathan Kelliher are working together to continue passing on these traditions and gives an inciteful overview of the history of Irish dance and how Sharing the Traditions workshop series is helping to sustain these dance traditions that could have been lost. Here is a link to the full article. Once-Banned Irish Dance Style Is Back – Munnix had thrived in the wild countryside; the pandemic has given it a new lease on life.

Our Sharing the Traditions Series of workshops in music, song and Munnix Dance begin again this Autumn both online and in person so for more information please link to the relevant workshop below:

In Person Folk Skills Classes – Munnix Dance, Song and Folk Drama Workshop Series – Ages 7-12 years – 24 years (Commencing 30th September)

In Person Adult Music & Munnix Dance Classes (Commencing September 26th)

Children’s On Demand Online Music, Song & Dance Workshop Series (Commencing 3rd October)

Adult Online Munnix Dance Workshop Series (Commencing 6th October)

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