Thursday, 17 September 2015

Irish Ceilis set to start again this Saturday night!

This Saturday night, 19 Sept 2015, sees the return of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE) Ottawa Branch monthly ceili. The event starts at 8pm, and Blessed Sacrament Church, in the basement hall, accessible from Fourth Avenue (Glebe). Free street parking is available. Kids 12 and under are given free admission! (save the babysitting fees, bring the kids!).

The CCE ceili is a social occasion for all ages, celebrated mainly with dancing to live Irish music, provided by the branch's highly regarded ceili band. Young and young at heart are encouraged to attend to enjoy a night of real Irish culture right here in the nation's capital, a city rich in Irish heritage going back to it's founding days.

What should you expect if you go to the ceili?
You should expect welcoming and smiling faces, people eager to help you learn the dances and support you during the dances. Refreshments are available (including home made Irish soda bread, with tea), door prizes, raffles, and halfway through the evening local talent is showcased as an entertainment period. Of course, mingling takes places when people aren't dancing. The dancing will go to about 11pm.

What kind of Irish dancing?
There are usually two kinds of Irish dancing at the ceilis in Ottawa. First is ceili dancing (sounds generic..), but these are very easy dances performed by the entire group at the same time in a large arrangement. They are very easy to learn, generally, and a lot of fun. Over the course of one dance you may interact with each and every other person on the dance floor. The other type is 'set dancing', which is very basic terms is 'Irish square-dancing'. Groups of 8 dance set moves to various kinds of Irish music (jigs, reels, etc.) in preset patterns. These are more complicated than the ceili dances, but before each set dance 'figure' instruction is given. Mistakes are often made and that is ok, as the emphasis is on having fun. People who want to improve the quality of their set dancing are encouraged to take up lessons which are taught on Monday nights.

Check the CCE webpage for more details, dates, and other activities.


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