Current Affairs

The Earliest Gaelic Dances

The Virtual Gael

What kinds of dance did Gaels do before the European dance trends of the Renaissance (and later) came to Ireland and Scotland? It was only then that the jigs, reels, and so on, now considered “traditional,” came into being. Is there any evidence about what bodily movement they did to music, when, why and by whom? How did these early dance forms differ from those that emerged later and eventually replaced them (a topic I’ve explored in two previous blog entries, here and here)?

In this blog entry, I’ll be providing some new ideas (I hope!) and novel solutions to these challenging questions within Irish Gaeldom. This will, I think, help shed light on the situation in Scotland as well, but where there is considerably less surviving evidence from Gaelic contexts. Besides pointing out some evidence that hasn’t been examined in this light, I’m also making use of a new book…

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