Dancing: What Is Dance ?

Dancing: What Is Dance ?

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Abbots Bromley, Blithfield Hall, Cushendall, Derrylin, Yeatsall Farm




Production 08/08/1988


25min 00sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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First in the series of programmes exploring dance, its various forms and functions. The series looks at a whole range of activities which can be described as dance.

What do we mean by dance and why do people choose to express themselves with dance? The first episode of Dancing, presented by John Blacking, suggests that the tendency to dance is an inborn characteristic of all human beings. Take a journey away from the conventions of ballet, ballroom and period dancing to consider the varieties of dance in Northern Ireland and other parts of the world and the range of human activities that are dance-like. This journey of dance exploration will lead to the 19th century Cushendall Fair for a bit of craic, to Abbots Bromley where the traditional Horn Dancers continue to perform annually, to the Isle of Man for a bit of Morris dancing but also to the corner of County Fermanagh near Derrylin where Pat Cassidy demonstrates the traditional ‘Strawman’ as well as ‘Besom Dance’.


Writer/Presenter: John Blacking

With Acknowledgement to: The Royal Ballet, The National Trust, Cushendall Golf Club, The Glens of Antrim, Historical Society, Laban Centre, Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers, Stringfellows, London Traks, Portrush, Marble Arch Caves, Enniskillen High School, RSPB, Richard Hall, Ken McIlroy, Brian Moore, Pat Cassidy, Paddy Gun, Dr Michael Bailey

Title Music: John Anderson
Graphic Designer and Cave Paintings: Brian Owens
Electrician: Ivan Heaslip
Post Production Sound: Colin Somerville
Production Assistant: Felicity Creaney
Sound Recordist: P.J. McGirr
Camera: Blane Scott
Editor: Robert Sellex
Deviser/Researcher: Janthia Yearley
Producer/Director: Bruce Milliard

Ulster Television Production


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