Ag críochnú an tseimeastair! / Finishing the semester!

A chairde,

Tá súil againn go bhfuil sibh uilig go maith. Tá faoiseamh an domhain ormsa, mar chríochnaigh mé na haistí a bhí le scríobh againn don tseimeastar seo, yay! Tá Jonathan chór a bheith críochnaithe, agus tá sé beartaithe againn dul ó thuaidh go Tír Chonaill ar feadh seachtaine go leith fá choinne sosa bhig Dé Céadaoin. Ar ndóigh, ní thig linn sos rófhada a ghlacadh, mar beidh AN SCRÚDÚ MÓR againn an 13ú den mhí seo chugainn, agus caithfidh muid toiseacht ar ár dtráchtais chomh luath agus is féidir. Tosóidh mé an léitheoireacht fána choinne an tseachtaine seo, nó an tseachtain seo chugainn, ach anois, tá mé an-sásta bheith gan obair scoile fá láthair. 🙂

Aon nuacht eile? Hrm… bhuel, bhí mé ag déanamh ceachtanna le mo mhúinteoir damhsa, Gillian, agus ag foghlaim céimeanna ar dóigh, ach ar an drochuair, tá mé i ndiaidh mo ghlúin a chasadh thart fán seachtain ó shin, agus níl mé ábalta a bheith ag damhsa le tamall anuas.  Tá biseach ag teacht uirthi, gan amhras, ach tá mé mífhoighneach fá dtaobh de mar tá mé gafa leis an damhsa agus bhí nós á fhorbairt agam dul go dtí an coláiste agus seomra a chur in áirithe fá choinne cleachtaidh trí huaire sa tseachtain ar a laghad. Tá sé dochreidte cén sórt feabhais a fheiceann tú nuair a chuireann tú neart cleachtaidh isteach ar scil… níl mé ag rá go bhfuil mé rómhaith mar dhamhsóir ar chor ar bith, ach tá mé ábalta rudaí a dhéanamh anois nárbh fhéidir liom ag tús na bliana, agus tá andúil agam ar an damhsa anois! Le cuidiú Dé, beidh mo ghlúin ceart go leor i ndiaidh tamaill eile agus beidh mé ar ais sna bróga, ach tá súil agam nach mbeidh fadhbanna agam le mo chorp go minic, agus mé ag éirí níos tógtha leis an saol damhsa.

Ba bhreá liom a bheith mar ‘cnaguirliseoir’ le ceoltóirí i mo chuid damhsa, cosúil leis an rud a dhéanann Kieran Jordan anseo: http://www.youtube.com/KieranJordan. Feictear domh go bhfuil scaradh ag tarlú idir an cheol Gaelach agus an damhsa Gaelach (damhsa ‘step’ atá i gceist agam) sa lá atá inniu ann, agus caithfidh an ceol a bheith thar a bheith mall do na damhsóirí ionas go bhfuil siad ábalta na céimeanna casta uilig a bhrú isteach sa rithim. Is breá liom na céimeanna casta, ach is mór an trua go bhfuil an gaol idir iad agus an ceol ag dul in éag. Mar gheall air sin, tchím sórt… dímheas ar an damhsa step i saol na Gaeilge/an cheoil Ghaelaigh. Níl an dímheas céanna ar an damhsa seán-nós, mar is as traidisiún tuaithe é agus aontaíonn sé níos fearr leis an cheol a sheinntear sna tithe tabhairne agus sa bhaile. Ach is fearr liomsa an chuma atá ar an damhsa step (an damhsa agus na céimeanna iad féin, níl dúil ar bith agam sna foilt bréaga, na gúnaí uafasacha, an smideadh, srl)… mar sin, beidh orm mo stíl damhsa féin a fhorbairt leis an chuma damhsa step agus an rithim damhsa seán-nós, b’fhéidir. Beidh le feiceáil!

Bainigí sult as an lá!

Amanda

________________________________

Hello, folks!

We hope you’re all doing well. I am extremely relieved, as I have just finished all the essays required at the end of this semester, yay! Jonathan is almost finished, and then we plan on taking off up north to Donegal for about a week and a half for a bit of a break, on Wednesday. Of course, we can’t take too long of a break, because we’ll have THE BIG EXAM on the 13th of next month, and we need to start on our theses as soon as possible. I’ll start the reading for that this week or next, but for now, I’m quite happy to be without schoolwork for just a bit. 🙂

Any other news? Hrm… well, I have been taking regular lessons with my dance teacher, Gillian, and learning some fantastic steps, but unfortunately I twisted my knee about a week ago and haven’t been able to dance for a little while now. It’s getting better, no doubt, but I’m just feeling impatient about it since I’ve become mad for dance and had gotten into the habit of practicing at the college 3 times a week, at least. It’s amazing what progress you can see when you put in a lot of hours of practice into a skill… I’m not saying I’m that good of a dancer by any means, but I’m definitely able to do things now that I never thought I’d be doing at the beginning of this year, and now I’m obsessed with step dance! Hopefully, my knee will be fine in a bit and I can get back in my shoes, but I really hope I won’t be having physical problems like this the more involved in dancing I get.

I would love to be like a ‘percussionist’ with my dancing, like what Kieran Jordan does here with her group Triptych:  http://www.youtube.com/KieranJordan. I get the feeling there’s a separation occurring between Irish step dance and how traditional Irish music is played, and the music has to be incredibly slow for dancers so that they can squeeze in all these complicated steps. I love the complicated steps, but it seems a pity that their connection to the music is becoming somewhat disingenuous. Because of that, I see a sort of… lack of respect for step dancing in the Irish language/Irish music world. This lack of respect doesn’t seem to exist for seán-nós step dancing, since it’s from a countryside tradition and can typically be danced to music as it would be naturally played in pubs or in homes. But for my own personal taste, I prefer the look of the step dancing (the dancing itself, I have no interest whatsoever in the wigs, the dresses, the makeup, etc)… thus, I hope to develop in my own dancing some kind of style that incorporates both the look of the step dancing and the flexibility/rhythm of the seán-nós, perhaps. We will see!

By the way, if you don’t know what I’m talking about between step dance and seán-nós dancing, take a look at these videos:

Stepdance: http://youtu.be/OJkoxMSAVCA

And I LOVE this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBMsWg-rtM8

Seán-nós: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWW_1CLvBd4

Hope you all enjoy the day!

Amanda

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