Irish dance is one of the most beloved aspects of Irish culture. From traditional step to Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, the emotion and opportunity for artistic expression has made it one of the most popular ways for members of the Irish diaspora to connect with their heritage. There is now a new movement underway that is taking Irish dance to the next level in a unique and modern way.
Slide Step is one such dance troupe that is changing the definition of Irish dance. Choreographed to modern music, the dancers clad in all black athletic apparel combine the quick feet of Riverdance with mesmerizing moves that would be at home in a dance-off on the streets of New York. Heart pounding rhythm sets the stage for the hip hop moves, as seen in their video below.
The group is made up of professional dancers and sell themselves as the perfect addition to events such as corporate gatherings. Imagine sitting down to your annual stockholder meeting and having a dancer stomp right in front of you, literally on your table. It is one of the styles Slide Step offers, in addition to shorter and longer show pieces.
Other modern dance groups, such as Hammerstep, a group of dancers from Brooklyn who appeared last year on America’s Got Talent, are helping to push the envelope in Irish dance as well. Hammerstep prides itself in being cutting edge- the edgier the better. Hammerstep’s world of mixing step dance with hip hop and even martial arts is highlighted in the short film “Indigo Grey: The Passage” seen below.
The deep and dark world the young boy enters, paired with the expert moves performed by the group speaks volumes in terms of emotions, despite faces being hidden under the gas masks. The film was written and produced by Hammerstep founder Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus.
Just watching these short videos makes our heart pulsate with the beat, and stirs up excitement and anticipation for impact these modern groups will have on the world of Irish Dance.
What do you think of this modern interpretation of step dancing? Is it something you would like to either watch or try out yourself? Tell us what you think!