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             My recent research explores how "traditional" Irish dance can exist, create and thrive within a contemporary context. Personal interest and extensive experience within the traditional world of Irish dance sparked a curiosity as to what else the dance form had to offer creatively.    

            Through physical research I work towards unearthing the unique choreographic potential of Irish dance. I am investigating my traditional dance roots and working to expand the Irish “tradition” through fusion and collaboration. While retaining specific characteristics that seem vital to the preservation of the “traditional” dance form I am also manipulating and erasing other aspects to expose the vast choreographic possibilities of Irish dance.

            My work does not fit into a mold, nor would I want it to. By integrating knowledge from a variety of sources I am constructing new arenas in which Irish dance can flourish. My work is energetic, athletic, intricate, detail-oriented, progressive with a “traditional” foundation, and blurs the lines between dance forms.

            I want to encourage further conversations on the definition of cultural dance and its role within academia. Cultural dances’ interdisciplinary nature allows it to permeate multiple areas of study; Irish dance is no exception. Its direct influence on American dance forms, national and global historical significance, and ties to political and economic trends makes Irish dance a fascinating and beneficial subject to incorporate into academic curriculum. 

© 2016 by Briana Blair Kelly

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