They came from Ireland and everywhere—South America and Brazil, New Zealand and the Netherlands, Russia and Canada. They came to Boston, a city green with Irish pride, to one of the Emerald Isle’s most cherished events—the World Irish Dancing Championships.
Maria Tallchief danced in the early days of American ballet, soaring like the Firebird she so vividly portrayed and setting a standard of magnificence for subsequent New York City Ballet ballerinas to follow.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since Riverdance generated a craze for Irish dance—if you mention the show to your younger students, you might get a blank stare. But the rapid-fire, unison dancing of Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and kindred shows appears to have taken root in the United States—and not just among those of Irish ancestry. Its teachers report strong continued interest from students of varied ethnicities. What’s more, they say that training in Irish dance can be helpful to students in ballet and other genres.