- Copyright Page
- Introduction: Competition Culture: Winning and Losing at Dance
- Taking the Cake: Black Dance, Competition, and Value
- You’ve Got to Sell It!: Performing on the Dance Competition Stage
- Competitive Capers: Gender, Gentility, and Dancing in Early Modern England
- Endangered Strangers: Tracking Competition in US Federal Dance Funding
- Marking Your Territory: The Struggle to Work in Flamenco
- Reappropriating Choreographies of Authenticity in Mexico: Competitions and the Dance of the Old Men
- Above and Beyond the Battle: Virtuosity and Collectivity within Televised Street Dance Crew Competitions
- Shifting Dynamics: Sean Nós Dancing, Vernacular Expression, and the Competitive Arena of the Oireachtas
- Visible Rhythms: Competition in English Tap Practice
- The International Dancehall Queen Competition: A Discursive Space for Competing Images of Femininity
- Congratulations, We Wish You Success: Competition and Community Participation in Romanian Dance Festivals
- Non-Competitive Body States: Corporeal Freedom and Innovation in Contemporary Dance
- Reclaiming Competitive Tango: The Rise of Argentina’s Campeonato Mundial
- Dance-Off, or a Battle for the Future: Dance Reality Shows in India
- Miss Exotic World: Judging the Neo-Burlesque Movement
- Rapper Dance Adjudication: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Decision-Making
- Dismantling the Genre: Reality Dance Competitions and Layers of Affective Intensification
- Why Are Breaking Battles Judged?: The Rise of International Competitions
- Not Another Don Quixote!: Negotiating China’s Position on the International Ballet Stage
- Dancing with the Asian American Stars: Margaret Cho and the Failure to Win
- Loss of Face: Intimidation, Derision, and Failure in the Hip-Hop Battle
- Making Play Work: Competition, Spectacle, and Intersubjectivity in Hybrid Martial Arts
- You Can’t Outdo Black People: Soul Train, Queer Witnessing, and Pleasurable Competition
- Freedom to Compete: Neoliberal Contradictions in Gaga Intensives
- “We’ll Rumble ’em Right”: Aggression and Play in the Dance-Offs of West Side Story
- Dancing like a Man: Competition and Gender in the New Orleans Second Line
- Man and Money Ready: Challenge Dancing in Antebellum America
- Afterword: Who Is Competing?
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the shifting dynamics of practice and transmission in sean nós dancing, an Irish solo, percussive, and semi-improvisatory dance form. This dance form extended its contexts of practice in the 1970s from rural, informal, and intimate gatherings in Conamara in the west of Ireland, to a national staged competitive event, the Oireachtas, considered to be the primary national competition for sean nós dancers. The chapter argues that competition culture influenced the transmission and practice of the dance form and the ethno-aesthetic embodied in its practice. With live television broadcasts of the competition from the first decade of the 2000s, an increased interest in sean nós dancing in Ireland and further afield followed, and concerns around issues of performance, identity, place, and authenticity arose.
Catherine E. Foley is Senior Lecturer in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She is Founding Chair Emerita of the international society, Dance Research Forum Ireland; Founding Director of the National Dance Archive of Ireland; and is the elected Chair of the International Council for Traditional Music’s Study Group on Ethnochoreology. Catherine has published widely and is a dancer and musician.
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