Bernard’s – Irsko, irské tance a něco navíc

Seznamte se! 27. 1. 2009

Lisa Delaney Galal

The first time we met Lisa was during two workshops in Prague 6 – Dědina. They were organized by Zdeněk Pilecký‘s dancing studio Zig Zag at the end of year 2002 and beginning of year 2003. Both events were attended by a large number of dancers from various dancing groups from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Lisa introduced Irish dancing from a bit different side, than what we used to come across up to that time, and we learnt a lot from her teaching method. She also brought over music for practising, which we hadn’t known before and for the first time we heard of the Grade exams. After that we haven’t heard about Lisa for a long time. In autumn 2003, Tereza Bachová and Tereza Bernardová went to London for a year to attend Lisa’s classes in her London school. When Anne-Marie Cunningham TCRG stopped her cooperation with us (end of year 2005), we started looking for a new teacher and school, that would help Rinceoirí get back to competitions. At that time, we were also working on preparations for Summer school 2006, for which we needed to solve new teachers´ board. As Tereza started visiting Lisa’s classes in London again in spring 2006, the idea of inviting Lisa appeared. Lisa accepted the invitation and during Summer School in Prague, Rinceoirí agreed on cooperation between Lisa and the group. Since then Lisa comes over to Prague regularly to teach workshops at Delaney Academy Prague and is part of Prague Summer School teachers´ board.

Učitelka irských tanců s plnou kvalifikací (TCRG) a porotkyně (ADCRG) komise irských tanců (An Coimisiún Le Rince Gaelacha). S vlastní školou v Londýně a jejími pobočkami v Praze a Varšavě. Mimo jiné také první kvalifikovaná učitelka irských tanců, která přijela do Prahy před několika lety odvést několik seminářů na pozvání tanečníka Zdeňka Pileckého (Zig-Zag). Během své soutěžní kariéry se v Americe na šampionátech umísťovala v nejlepší desítce v sólových tancích a na předních místech v týmech. Vytvořila choreografie do irské sekce show, německé produkce „Fire of Dance“ a byla též přizvána jako odborný dohled k české show „Swan Legend“, která od konce října 2008 cestuje po Čechách. Dále učila na seminářích na Slovensku, v Polsku a v Kanadě.
S Lisou jsme se prvně setkali v Praze na Dědině na dvou seminářích, které pořádalo taneční studio Zig Zag Zdeňka Pileckého koncem r. 2002 a začátkem r. 2003. Na obou seminářích se sešel nemalý počet tanečníků z různých tanečních skupin z Čech a Slovenska. Lisa nám představila irský tanec z trochu jiné stránky a také z jejích tréninkových metod se dalo hodně převzít. Přivezla tenkrát i hudbu na cvičení krokové techniky, kterou jsme do té doby neznali a také jsme se od ní poprvé doslechli o tzv.Grades-úrovnostních zkouškách. A pak dlouho nic. Na podzim r. 2003 odjely Terezy Bachová a Bernardová poprvé se na rok vzdělávat k Lise do její taneční školy v Londýně. Když ke konci roku 2005 s námi Anne-Marie Cunningham TCRG ukončila spolupráci, začali jsme se rozhlížet po učiteli a škole, která by Rinceoirí pomohla dostat se zpět na soutěžní mola. Tehdy jsme též řešili lektory na letní školu 2006. Vzhledem k tomu, že Tereza od jara 2006 opět začala dojíždět do Londýna za Lisou, napadlo nás v té souvislosti pozvat mimo jiné i ji. Lisa pozvání učit na letní škole přijala a tam se s ní také vedení Rinceoirí domluvilo na budoucí spolupráci. Od té doby jezdí Lisa pravidelně do Prahy vyučovat na semináře Delaney Academy Prague a zároveň je i každoročně lektorkou na letních školách v Praze.

1. When did you start with Irish dancing? In which countries and schools have you danced? Why did you decide to open your school in London? What has changed at competitions since you were competing? You taught at various workshops in different parts of the world. How would you compare people’s approach to Irish dancing and Irish culture as such in different countries?

Kdy jsi začala s irskými tanci, a ve kterých školách a zemích jsi tancovala? Co Tě vedlo k tomu usadit se a založit si školu právě v Londýně? Jaký je rozdíl v taneční úrovni na soutěžích od dob, kdy jsi sama soutěžila? Vyučovala jsi na řadě seminářích různě po světě. Jak bys srovnala přístup lidí k irským tancům, potažmo irské kultuře v různých zemích?


I started Irish dancing in Larne, Northern Ireland with the Hooper School. We used to live in South Africa and I did ballet there but when we moved to Ireland there were no ballet classes nearby. My sister started Irish dancing first as some of her friends in school did it. I used to go to class with her and eventually I was talked in to starting, and have never looked back since. When I was 9 years old we moved to Calgary, Canada and we started dancing with Sally Houston. The school was called the Houston Academy and was later changed to Ard na Greine.
I am very fortunate to be teaching at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. I started there in 1999/2000. We have a great relationship with the Irish Cultural Centre who are always keen to promote Irish culture and dance.
I have taught workshops in many different countries. I think it is great to see Irish dancing spread all over the world and for dancers to be so keen to learn more and to continuously improve their dancing. I love the enthusiasm and commitment of dancers throughout the world, this does not change wherever I teach.

 
2. What is your opinion on competing versus show dancing? From my experience in Ireland and UK, competitions are preferred to performances or shows. For example in the Czech Republic, Irish dancing has spread out through dance performances showed by rising amount of dancing groups. Because of the relatively small number of competitions per year in continental Europe, most of the Irish dancing groups here still concentrate on work on choreographies for different performances. Lots of people, especially at the continent, fall for Irish dancing after they see some Irish dancing show, which currently tours in their country. Most of those doing the Irish dancing for longer time and achieve certain success, dream about joining one of those famous shows. Do you think there is real chance for them to make it there?

Jaký je tvůj pohled na soutěžení versus tančení v show? Z mé zkušenosti se na ostrovech upřednostňují soutěže před tanečními vystoupeními, případně show. Např. v ČR se irský tanec šířil prostřednictvím tanečních vystoupení postupně přibývajících tanečních skupin a vzhledem k četnosti soutěží na kontinentě za rok se stále většina tanečních skupin věnujících se irským tancům zabývá přípravě choreografií na různá vystoupení. Hodně lidí, především na starém kontinentě, se snadno nadchnou pro irský tanec po shlédnutí nějaké taneční show, která právě cestuje v jejich kraji. Většina těch, kteří se např. v Čechách věnují irským tancům delší dobu a zaznamenávají nejeden úspěch, touží potom připojit se k nějaké z těchto známých show. Myslíš, že je zde reálná šance, že by se to někomu mohlo povést?


There is no doubt that the shows are the reason for the wide spread interest in Irish dancing. When I danced (pre-Riverdance) people did not know what Irish dancing was and it was difficult to explain – it’s not like Scottish dancing, kind of like tap and ballet …but not really! The shows are great publicity and exposure for the world of Irish dancing which was previously an unknown world (except maybe in Ireland). It is true that in the UK we are much more focussed on competitions but I think you have to remember that the original cast of dancers in Riverdance were all ex-World Champions (or top 3). They were the creme-de-la-creme of Irish dancing and because they were such good dancers they made it look easy and effortless. Only the top dancers were chosen for the shows and this provided (and still provides) professional and top quality shows that were not seen prior to the Eurovision song contest.
I think it is great that the dancers in Europe are spending time on shows and choreographies. I have always enjoyed the last evening of the Summer School where dancers showcase their choreographies and I think this should continue. However technique is still very important and that is where competitions come into play. It is the competitions that make you concentrate on turning your feet out, crossing your feet, keeping your lines, good posture, etc. Also the choreographies look better when the dancers are technically better, so it has to be a combination of both. Dancers in mainland Europe have every chance of being in one of the big shows but they need to go to competitions including the majors in order to be seen and to be aware of the standard of dancing that is out there.


3. You cooperated on two Irish dancing shows… You have choreographed Irish dancing part of show “Fire of Dance”, German production, and you were also invited as a professional supervisor to the first Czech show “Swan Legend” . What was the collaboration with those two shows like, how demanding was it and what was unique, different or same in comparison to the world-known shows from your point of view? By the way, what is your no. 1 among the famous Irish dance shows – Riverdance, LOTD or perhaps some other?

Spolupracovala jsi na dvou tanečních show. Podílela jsi se choreograficky na irské sekci německé produkce „Fire of Dance“ a byla jsi také přizvána jako odborný poradce k první české show „Swan Legend“. Jak se Ti s oběma tělesy spolupracovalo, jak náročné to bylo, čím byly tyto show z Tvého pohledu výjimečné, jiné nebo naopak stejné v porovnání s ostatními světoznámými show? Mimochodem, která známá irská taneční show je Tvým číslem jedna – Riverdance, LOTD nebo snad nějaká jiná?


Fire of Dance and Swan Legend are two very different shows. Fire of Dance was a German production of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance along with segments from other great shows such as Westside Story, Fame, Stomp, Grease, etc and we had the original music and storyline to work with where as Swan Legend was completely new. Swan Legend was choreographed from scratch and is all Irish dancing with a little bit of contemporary dance.
It is difficult to choose one show that I favour more. I am grateful for the success of Riverdance which I think is a great variety show for the family. I like that it includes the tap dancers, Russian dancers and flamenco alongside Irish dancing. I also love Lord of the Dance for it’s energy and production. Dancing on Dangerous Ground I think given more time would have been a lot more successful. The dancers were fabulous, choreography interesting and costumes great – it just needed more time to make the storyline more cohesive.


4. You are not only qualified teacher, but also adjudicator registered with An Coimisiun Le Rincí Gaelacha. What is the advantage of being a member of this body (An Coimisiún), what are your obligations towards An Coimisiún? What is the difference between the Teacher´s and Adjudicator´s position – from your point of view – you used to be “just” a teacher, lots of people are happy with this degree – what made you do the ADCRG exams? You are one of the few teachers, who propagate Grade exams. What is it good for to a dancer without an ambition to become a teacher or contrary to those, who would like to become a TCRG one day – how does it affect the TCRG exams?

Jsi nejen kvalifikovaná lektorka, ale také porotkyně An Coimisiun Le Rincí Gaelacha. Jakou výhodou je být členem právě tohoto tělesa (An Coimisiún), jaké jsou tvé povinnosti vůči komisi? Jaký je rozdíl mezi pozicí učitele a porotce – z Tvého pohledu – byla jsi nejdříve „jen“ učitel, spousta lidí se spokojí s tímto titulem-co Tě vedlo k tomu udělat si porotcovské zkoušky? Jsi také jedna z mála učitelů, kteří ve své škole propagují tzv. Grade exams. K čemu je to dobré pro tanečníka bez ambicí udělat si někdy učitelské zkoušky nebo naopak pro ty, kteří by se časem chtěli stát TCRG-jaký vliv to má na TCRG zkoušky?


An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha is the largest organisation of Irish dancing teachers and adjudicators in the world. The Coimisiun is always striving to keep a balance between the ongoing advances in Irish dancing yet still maintaining the Irish culture. It is not always an easy job because as you know Irish dancing is always changing whether it is new moves or jumps in our steps or new styles of costumes, wigs, make up, etc. This is what makes Irish dancing exciting – it is always changing.
This organisation is also very important as it maintains the highest standard of dancing, teaching and adjudicating through the TCRG and ADCRG exams. I believe judging helps with your teaching. When you are judging a competition you have to decide which dancer is the better dancer and why. You are looking for faults and/or that little extra that makes one dancer stand out above the rest. I always notice when I go back to class after judging a feis, I have usually picked up something else that my own dancers need to work on.
The grade exams are great for people who may never take their TCRG exam but may want something to work towards. The exams are different from competitions in that you are given individual feedback. There are no costumes allowed and you dance on your own. It is also quite good for dancers trying to get into better academic schools as they can prove that the have grade x in their Irish dancing (similar to music and ballet). Once a dancer passes all 12 grades they are awarded the Diploma in Irish dancing. If a dancer then wanted to go on and do their TCRG exam, so long as they achieved a high enough mark and they do the exam within 2 years, they would not have to do the dancing part of the exam.


5. Don‘t you think, that access to An Coimisiún rules and regulations is practically impossible for normal dancer and that permeability of rules and information languish? I am not judging that only from outdated An Coimisiún website, which may have direct conjunction with other outdated websites in the organization succession.

Nemáš pocit, že přístup k pravidlům, regulím, stanovám a ustanovením An Coimisiún je v této organizaci pro běžného tanečníka téměř nemožný a že prostupnost pravidel a informací vázne. Soudím tak nejen podle neaktuálních webových stránek An Coimisiún, které pak mají přímou souvislost s neaktuálností stránek dalších v posloupnosti organizace.


The rules of An Coimisiun are circulated to registered Irish dance teachers and adjudicators. These are then passed onto the students/ dancers of these schools. The rules are not really intended to be sent directly to students as it would be impossible to regulate.


6. Current ladies competition dresses don‘t have any relation to the Irish history evolution. They look more like traditional costumes of Russian countrywomen who used to wear even the same style head piece. Don’t you think it is a bit false trend, which can take judge’s attention away from the level of dancing?

Aktuální dívčí taneční kostým na soutěže nemá v historickém vývoji Irska žádnou oporu. Nám z „východu“ to spíše připomíná ruské báryšni (selky), které měly podobné kroje včetně čelenek. Nemáš pocit, že je to falešný trend, který pak může spíše odvádět pozornost od úrovně tance?


I believe a good adjudicator is not concentrating on the costume of dancers, they are judging on the actual dancing. This applies whether or not the dress is over the top or very plain. Presentation is still very important and dancers should make sure their shoes are polished, they have white poodle socks and their hair is neat and tidy. Remember adjudicators notice even the smallest details such as black tape sticking out the sides of your shoes!


7. How big is the difference between competition level in the UK and Ireland, and the rest of Europe? What should dancers heed beside the perfect knowledge of their dances, before they even step out on the stage? What are the things that judge watch when giving marks on the competitions?

Jak velký je z Tvého pohledu rozdíl mezi úrovní soutěží na kontinentě a na ostrovech? Co by mohlo podle Tebe pomoci přiblížit kontinentální úroveň té ostrovní? Na co by měl soutěžící vedle perfektní znalosti svých tanců ještě dbát, před tím než vykročí na soutěži na pódium, respektive na co všechno porotce přihlíží při známkování na soutěžích?


In my experience I would say that the European dancers are improving at a great rate. Adjudicators that have been to a mainland Europe feis have been impressed at the standard. I think the biggest difference in standard is with the Intermediate and Open dancers – this is the level that needs the most improvement but this will come over time.
Adjudicators mark on timing, carriage, footwork and execution. This is at the root of all judging whether at the beginners or open level so dancers should keep this in mind at all times.


8. When (and what conditions should be fulfilled) will continental Europe reach the level of the rest of the Irish dancing world?

Kdy (za jak dlouho a po splnění jakých podmínek) se srovná úroveň kontinentální Evropy s ostatním světem irských tanců?


Yes, of course. It will just take a bit of time. Some European dancers are now attending competitions in the UK and Ireland which will only help the standard of dancing in Europe. We have already seen European dancers doing well at some of the majors.


9. Don’t you think that some rules and regulations generated by the organization slow down Irish dancing growth and promotion, build up barriers among dancers and don’t create sufficient space for dancers´ informal contacts? It reminds us of the totality regime, where rules were made even for friendship between friendly nations in order to prevent the citizens’ friendship from developing too much.

Nepřipadá Ti, že organizace produkuje pravidla a příkazy, které spíše brzdí rozvoji a šíření irského tance, buduje bariéry mezi tanečníky a nevytváří dostatečný prostor ani pro neformální kontakty tanečníků? Připomíná nám to doby totality, kdy i družba se spřáteleným zahraničím nesměla překročit stanovená pravidla, aby se občané neskamarádili „příliš“.


I do not always agree with the rules of An Coimisiun but I have to follow them. The rules may not make sense to dancers but they are created for a reason. For Europe the new workshop rule has had quite a big impact because the area is still developing and dancers rely on workshops to develop their technique and style. There is now an opportunity for organisers running open workshops and summer camps to apply for an exception to this rule. This is good news for European dancers and shows how An Coimisiun is trying to tackle on issue but also make it fair for others. It is complicated!

Thank you very much for your answers!

Václav Bernard

Další články z rubriky Seznamte se!

15.–21. 8. 2020

Kam za Irskem v ČR?

24.říjnaDálach (Hudba)
Opava, Trap Music bar od 19:00
24.říjnaVeřejný taneční trénink irských setů (Tanec)
Praha, Skautský institut (Dům U Minuty - Staroměstské náměstí) od 19:00
Pořádají The Prague Irish Set Dancers
25.říjnaBran (Hudba)
Brno, Stará pekárna od 20:00
26.říjnaUjetá ruka (Divadlo)
Praha, Činoherní klub od 19:30
M.McDonagh
28.říjnaSkotské tance ve Whisky&Kilt (Tanec)
Praha, Whisky & Kilt od 19:00
Pořádá Caledonian Club

Objednávky tanečních bot a doplňků

Objednávky tanečních bot a doplňků