How many of you musos actually DANCE! - or play for dancers?
Irish dance music seems to be played by a staggering number of people who want little or nothing to do with dancing, myself included.
How many players have actually played for, or danced, solo dances? How many are in ceilidh bands, or are experienced ceilidh dancers?
Et cetera; don’t all shout at once, this is not a census (even if it was, the feedback probably wouldn’t break the system..)
And this is the question - What’s it like? And especially, what does a dancer want from a player, and how is a player’s approach defined by the requirements of a dancer? Can a player’s musical freedom flourish when he/she is playing for dancers, or is it irksomely restricted?
I do get the impression that ceilidh band music is fairly cut-and-dried, and wonder if tension between a musician’s personal wishes and the requirements of playing for dancers has run through the history of ITM. But I get the impression that the worlds of the dancers and of the session musos and ITM album-buyers have grown further and further apart. Were the music and the dance really much closer in the past? I get the impression they were, but it might be an illusion.
And "Riverdance" - The soundtrack was agreeable but not what I’d think of as Irish traditional dance music - but what of the dancing? Was it recognisably Irish, or something quite different?
To conclude these ramblings - If the Bothy Band could reappear in their 1975 incarnation and do a ceilidh, even I’d take the floor…