Major exhibit celebrates Irish dance

Published Friday, 27 June 2014
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A new exhibition showcasing more than two hundred years of memorabilia celebrating Irish dance has opened in Co Down.

A Step in Time: The Story of Irish Dance is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra.

The display showcases the music, jewellery and fashion associated with Irish dancing and also focuses on the people who have helped make the style of dancing so popular throughout the world.

Former Irish dancing world champion, Pat Henderson, told UTV: "(My) shoes were battered round everywhere - they were in Carnegie Hall, they were in the Royal Albert Hall, they were in the Boston Symphony Hall, they were all over 33 states in America, tours to England, to Scotland.

"It's great to be able to take this memorabilia out and show it again...because then it's nice when you're interviewed and you can tell a bit of your story.

"It's really given me that hype again, where I feel I could maybe do it all over again."

Among the highlights of the exhibition is a dress made by Dun Emer Guild in 1928, on loan from the National Museum of Ireland.

Also on display are an eighth century penannular brooch, a 2013 Irish dancing costume by designer Gavin Doherty, and costumes from the hit show Riverdance.

This is the first time National Museums Northern Ireland has staged such an exhibition - believed to be the largest museum collection of Irish dance costume in Ireland.

The new exhibition opens on Friday and will run until January 2016.

© UTV News
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