National Folk Theatre of Ireland performed at the Visit Heritage and Culture Stand at the 2019 Ploughing Championships
On the opening day of this year's 2019 Ploughing Championships, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland provided three excerpt performances from the production of Anam on behalf of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. They took place throughout Tuesday 17th September at the Visit Heritage and Culture stand (487-461 (Orange), Block 3, Row 21).
Anam was first created in 2016 in association with the Dublin Dance Festival. It has since toured Ireland and is now a feature of the National Folk Theatre’s summer Festival of Folk programme. Anam is an exhilarating, upbeat fusion of hard shoe step dancing styles from US, Canada and Ireland woven cleverly together with personality, humour and superb Irish traditional music. At the Ploughing Championship's performance Anam showcased the skills of three world-class step dancers featuring Jonathan Kelliher (North Kerry “Munnix”), Nathan Pilatzke (Ottawa Valley, Canada) and Sean Hanafin, (Modern Irish Dance). They were accompanied by lively traditional Irish music and Sean nós song by musician and composer Fergal Ó Murchú, (played accordian and performed Séan Nós song), Tom Hanafin – Music Director Siamsa Tíre (played traditional flute and accordian) and Ian Sheehy (on guitar).
The full production of Anam incorporates a personal insight into each of the dancers and includes American Appalachian Flatfoot dancer Matthew Olwell. The infectious party atmosphere is accompanied by live music and song by Fergal O'Murchú, Uilleann piper Mikie Smyth. Authentic and raw, this percussive dance piece explores the similarities and differences between the dancers, each with their own distinct hard shoe style. Anam attests to the tradition of ‘passing on’; celebrating the dance’s essential spirit, yet injecting it with fresh energy to create something new.