Reviews - What do customers think about Irish Moves: An Illustrated History of Dance and Physical Theatre in Ireland?
Probably the best commercial work on the topic to date Dec 7, 2006
There is a serious lack of books on Irish dancing that are not aimed at children or are not avaiable exclusively to an academic audience (for example, dissertations). It seems to me that before this, the only publicly available book on a comparable level was Helen Brennan's work- which is not nearly as sophisticated in terms of dance theory (although Brennan's book is well written, accessible, and definitely worth reading!). I see this book as attempting to correct some of this absence.
The book examines variety of dance practices and traces their developments in Ireland. It pays equal attention to traditional Irish dancing, ballet, and modern dance in Ireland. It offers a refreshing perspective, especially because it does not focus as much on an idealized image of Irish dancing, and because it makes note of and gives deference to cross-pollination between the forms (especially in the later Irish dancing chapters). It also makes some attempt to place dance in Ireland within a social and political context (although this could be more extensive).
There are currently no other publicly available books to my knowledge that are as comprehensive in their approach to dance in Ireland as this particular publication. I have also rarely seen a book relating to Irish dancing that felt so fresh and modern.
I highly recommend it. I also think it would be a great text for an introductory class on Irish dancing in a university setting. It could also be a good text for an undergraduate class in Irish studies.