SET DANCING MADE EASY was shoot in Cloonacauneen Castle, which is situated in the hinterland of Galway City, west of Ireland in 2005. Matt Cunningham has previously released video recordings of set and ceili dancing and although many dancers have learned from these recordings they were not devised as instructional aides for dancers but more for entertainment. In contrast, this new series of recordings are specifically designed to educate the dancer. All of the sets are danced in their entirety and easily understood as a result of the very suitable recording process used. The instructor explains intricate movements within each figure in detail and also available on the recordings for the first time is an explanation of the most commonly used terminology used in set dancing.
The dance instruction on the recordings is provided by some of the world’s best known and most popular Irish set dancing instructors. The instructors and dancers include Pat Murphy, Betty Mc Coy, Padraig & Roisin Mc Eneaney, Tony Ryan, Aidan Vaughan, John Henchy, Eileen O Doherty, Terry Moylan, Johnny Morrissey and many more.
Cloonacauneen Castle has twined the ancient charms of the past with the recreational demand of today. Like the castle, the Irish Set and Ceili dance tradition has its own history and ever since the first ceilis were held in the 1890’s, the ceili phenomenon has spread from Ireland to the four corners of the world. The tutors featured on this recording, amongst others, have insured through their teaching that the unique characteristics of these dances remain intact and that the dance are preserved in the best way possible. Unless these dances are learned and danced in the proper fashion, over time they will become dramatically different. Matt Cunningham would like to thank the tutors, dancers and musicians who agreed to be part of this recording, for their time and enthusiasm and most especially for their fine performances.
Finally, this recording is for you. I hope that you enjoy it and if you learn from it and put what you have learned into practice on the dance floor, wherever in the world you may be, then this recording will have in its own way taken steps to preserve and enhance one of our greatest Irish traditions – so come with me and step it out! It’s easy!
DVD Volume 2
The Following are the Sets, Instructors and Dancers on this DVD
The Ballycroy Set:
1st Figure – Jigs 2nd Figure – Polkas 3rd Figure – Reels
Instruction: Pat Murphy
Dancers: Pat Murphy, Martin Murray, Tony Ryan, Dόnal Morrissey, Margaret Joyce, Mary Hughes, Bernie Nash, Mary Corcoran
The Caledonian Set
1st Figure – Reels 2nd Figure – Reels 3rd Figure – Reels 4th Figure – Jigs 5th Figure – Reels 6th Figure - Hornpipes
Instruction: John Henchy
Dancers: John Henchy, Lynn Kelly, Caroline Walsh, Yvonne Grogan, Martina Venneman, John Coen, Kieran Brown, Tommy Brown
The Fermanagh Quadrilles:
1st Figure – Reels 2nd Figure –Jigs 3rd Figure – Reels 4th Figure – Jigs 5th Figure – Jigs
Instruction: Pádraig McEneany
Dancers: Pádraig McEneany, Róisín McEneany, Donal Morrissey, Mary Conboy, Seán Whitelaw, Philomena Dooley, Shane Ryan, Mair?ad Devane
The Aran Set:
1st Figure – Reels 2nd Figure – Reels 3rd Figure – Polkas
Instruction: Aidan Vaughan
Dancers: Aidan Vaughan, Betty Mc Coy, Gerry Ryan, Eileen O’Doherty, Deirdre Morrissey, Johnny Morrissey, Terry Moylan, Pascale Gaudry.