2nd Friday Ceili | May 14th
Traditional Irish musicians Felim Egan and Brendan Fitzgerald
to headline May's 2nd Friday Ceílí in Salem
WHAT: 2nd Friday Irish Ceílí Dance With Live Music
WHO: Hosted by the Ceílí of the Valley Society & Maldon Meehan
DATE/TIME: Friday, May 14th, 2010
7-8 PM Lesson ; 8-11 PM Dance
LOCATION: VFW Hall, 630 Hood ST NE, Salem, OR
COST: $10 general admission / $8 for CVS members / $5 for students / $30 maximum for families
CONTACT: Julie S. Cutler
May 14th is just around the corner, so it's time to polish up your jig step and get ready for another rousing good time at Salem's 2nd Friday Ceílí dance. If you haven't yet experienced the fun of Irish social dancing, you won't want to miss this monthly event. Hosted by the Ceílí of the Valley Society & Maldon Meehan, the 2nd Friday Ceílí will be held at the VFW Hall on 630 Hood ST NE in Salem, OR on May 14th, 2010. Come and enjoy the spritely tunes of traditional Irish music while dancing on the VFW Hall's delightful sprung-wood, shock-absorbing floor.
Providing music for the event is Irish native Felim Egan, a virtuoso on the button accordion. Born into an accomplished musical family, Felim was raised in Co. Offaly, Ireland and began playing at the age of four. Tutored first by his father and then later by the legendary Irish musician, Dan Cleary, Felim spent his youth competing in numerous fleadh (festival) competitions on button accordion, the bodhrán (Irish hand drum), and ceílí drumming.
Joining Felim on stage will be Brendan Fitzgerald, a musician who can always be counted upon to delight audiences with his melodious fiddle playing. A student of Kevin Burke, Brendan has been known to occasionally sow consternation with his uncanny ability to mimic not only his renowned teacher's playing style but his speaking voice as well.
For those unfamiliar with the custom, an Irish Ceílí (pronounced Kay-lee) is a merry social gathering for the purpose of enjoying music, songs, dancing, and refreshments. While most people equate Irish dancing to the step dancing popularized by the show "Riverdance," this category of Irish dance is considered performance dancing, not the social dancing which is traditionally done at a Ceílí.
Irish social dancing is readily accessible to both experienced dancers and newcomers alike. While a traditional Irish band plays lively tunes, a caller will lead everyone through the dances. Both set dances and ceílí dances will be called. Set dances are performed in a square formation and include reels, jigs, slides, polkas, and hornpipes. Ceílí or figure dances involve from 2 to 16 or more dancers and were originally danced at house parties and corner road gatherings in the rural countryside. Many of these traditional country folk dances have a follow-the-leader pattern which is easily learned by new dancers.
Maldon Meehan, performer, teacher, and scholar of Irish Sean-nós and set dance will call the dances for the May Ceílí. Maldon's supportive and easy-going style of teaching and calling eases newcomers gently into the dance while her large repertoire of ceílí and set dances invariably surprises the more experienced with something new. And as a skilled Sean-nós dancer ("old style" percussive solo dancing), Maldon can usually be prevailed upon to offer up a demonstration of her art that's sure to please.
Come join us and taste the spirited flavor of Irish culture at May's 2nd Friday Ceílí. Newcomers to Irish dancing need have no fear of stepping in over their heads. The first hour of the Ceílí (from 7-8 PM) is a complimentary dance lesson and, in addition, all dances are walked through before they begin. No partner or experience is necessary and this event is open to all ages.
The Ceílí of the Valley Society is an Oregon non-profit dedicated to supporting, preserving, and celebrating Irish culture and heritage. For further information, please contact the Ceílí of the Valley Society at: