This year, we were graced not with one, but two St. Paddy’s Days thanks to UR Celtic’s Irish stepdance performance this past weekend in Feldman Ballroom.
The showcase was filled with both traditional Irish dances as well as a several choreographed by the members of the organization. The show was also a perfect balance between hard shoes and soft shoes and made you smile from beginning to end.
There were a couple of performances choreographed for the Intercollegiate Dance Competition hosted at Villanova every year, one choreographed by junior Tor Breza and the other by senior and co-president of UR Celtic Bee Hamilton.
Both were incredibly fun and decently impressive with the various formations and added arm movements. The music for these pieces was a medley of both traditional Irish music as well as current songs on the radio, which is what Celtic is known for and makes it even more enjoyable to dance along to. “Children of Lir” featured awe-inspiring formations, though I preferred the musical medley of “Out of the Fire.”
I loved the pieces performed using hard shoes without lacked music. For those who have never seen an Irish dance show, or aren’t aware of the difference between soft and hard, hard shoes are similar to tap shoes. With hard shoes, dancers can create audible rhythms that sound phenomenal with or without music. “A Capella” and “Maggie’s Dance,” choreographed by first-year Maggie Brennan, left me in awe.
Without music to support and offer a beat, the dancers were left to sync with one another to create one cohesive and collective sound. This was incredibly more impressive and in sync than their performance of “Believer,” because though it was a small group performing with hard shoes, it seems more difficult to perform immensely quick or more difficult choreography keeping to the rhythm of a poppier song.
The tradition of having the Dunleavy School of Irish Dance, a local Irish dance school, come and perform is a treasured one on both ends. The younger girls are able to perform with pride in a wonderfully supportive environment and have the UR Celtic women to look up to as their dancing future. The girls performed in Glasgow for the Irish Dancing World Championships and decided to present their piece themed around the folklore of the Glasgow Geese.
First-year members Brooke Schirmer, Mairead Bresnahan, and Sisi Falcone were given the opportunity to choreograph a piece to “Smooth Criminal.” The piece was more theatrical than typical performances by Celtic, following the storyline of an officer following as thief who stole an engagement ring. It was refreshing to see a piece that was funny and quirky yet intriguing and skillful