Do That Funky Hand Jive!

I saw this on Mark Shea’s blog today and could not stop watching it. Really amazing stuff

Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding are world-class Irish stepdancers who became bored with the strict requirements of the form and decided to turn the genre on its ear by blending it with other styles of music and dance. Videos like this are the result. They perform under the name Up and Over It and bill themselves as “Irish Dance for the Post-Pop Generation.” From the duo’s website:

Acclaimed Irish Dancers Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding blow the brains out of the Irish Dance show genre in a multi-media extravaganza. This brand new show liberates Irish Dance from its velvet-clad, tin-whistle-blowing, diddly-idleness and drags it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Inspired by hip-hop theatre, contemporary dance and electro-pop, Cleary and Harding present their alternative take on the Irish dance show format, asking what’s next for the 90s phenomenon we all loved or loathed?

I’m not sure I like their rather dismissive, “Oh, we’re so beyond all that,” attitude toward traditional Irish dance; for me, as an American who discovered Celtic culture as an adult, much of the traditional music and dance is still new and interesting. However, there’s no denying their talent or the fun of this video.


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