History of Highland Dancing

September 13, 2022
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inside final part in a series, Dr. Michael Newton of the division of Celtic scientific studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia talks about the ongoing future of Highland Dance into the Canadian Maritimes.

I’d always make some remarks inside last installment about how precisely the past reputation for dance practices pertains to our planning for tomorrow, whether at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, within our classrooms, or perhaps in our houses.

Just what do we mean by “Gaelic tradition” or “Highland tradition”? (“Gaelic” and “Highland” have essentially been associated since the medieval duration.) This question features truly been in the centre of a few of the heated debates surrounding modifications and promises about modifications to custom since ahead of when the Gaelic College had been started – in fact, every reported songs and dance development when you look at the Scottish Highlands for the last three hundred many years or even more is followed by debate.

All custom was conceived, or introduced, by some one at sometime – one of the keys concerns, i do believe, tend to be: how can the city react to the development? Just how do they adjust and transform it to match their visual parameters and social requirements? So how exactly does the development communicate with other components of tradition, weakening or strengthening them? Does the innovation get embraced and integrated as it really enriches the remainder of tradition, or because the community is really so compromised and eager for external validation so it allows whatever is expected of it?

The interesting thing is the majority of the elements today considered “traditional” into the Gaelic songs and dance custom for the Atlantic Maritimes – the fiddle, step-dancing, and party songs (reels and jigs) – were fairly belated introductions that have been initially resisted by about some Highlanders. The fiddle, for instance, just entered HighlandScotlandfrom continentalEuropein the second half the seventeenth century. Pretty much all the present day party types now connected with Scotland – the reel, nation dances, “Highland Dance, ” step-dancing, Nova Scotian square units, etc. – in the end originate (to different levels) in France. A number of these tend to be dances introduced by French, or French-trained, moving masters in second half associated with eighteenth century – so, to put it differently, these “essential” facets of custom remained fairly new whenever Highland immigrants came toCanada.

There might be bit disputing the reality that Highland Dance will not be a folk art for most generations today: it will not occur in regional difference, you'll not view it performed by neighborhood members as a standard part of a céilidh, etc. Step-dancing, in comparison, still is a people art practiced by Gaelic communities. But In addition like to stress that step-dance isn't in some way naturally “more Gaelic” in its essence than Highland Dance: it simply experienced a phase of being modified, embraced and performed by a Gaelic-speaking community. There's absolutely no built-in good reason why that failed to or cannot occur to “Highland Dance” and, given the correct circumstances. In fact, we're able to state the same about some other expressive art types: hip-hop, tango, Bulgarian round dances, etc.

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Source: www.celticlifeintl.com
Highland Dance Competition - Shaw TV Port Alberni
Highland Dance Competition - Shaw TV Port Alberni
myEdmonton Highland Dancing
myEdmonton Highland Dancing
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