Jig the Irish dance documentary premiered on American television this evening at 8. (If you missed it, it's on again at 1am.) Here are a few of my reactions. If you're looking for more of a blow-by-blow account, stop on by Moira's blog, On My Toes.
- Overall, the documentary was a good set up for the "Irish Dancing Tweens" show they have planned to premier this summer. The focus was on Julia, Brogan, John, and Joe. They were also able to edit the 99 minutes down to 60 without leaving anything important pertaining to these four stories out.
- Lots of Joe Bitter time. Watching him dance, especially his hard shoe pieces, is a real treat. His rhythms are so precise and intricate. Even my sister (who tries to stay as far away from the Irish dance world as possible) commented that he's quite good. If I was about five years younger, I would be so smitten because not only is he a phenomenal dancer, he is quite good looking as well.
- There was plenty of drama with the Julia/Brogan story. You can't help but root for both to win because they are both hard workers. The portrayal of their story is fun to watch: you have Julia (an American) who's parents will allow her to do things outside of weekly classes to succeed (private lessons, physical therapy, etc.), whereas Brogan (Irish) puts in a lot of hard work on her own.
- Old people dance too! One of my favorite parts of the documentary is watching the Claire/Simona/Suzanne story. The trio of them are such amazing dancers because of life-long dedication. It's watching their stories that make me want to strap on my shoes and drill till my feet bleed (probably because I'm competitive). Because of this, I'm sad they edited this part out. On that note, I understand the reationale behind it: they are not teens and TLC only allotted an hour for the show.
- Their music choice to dub over John's set was questionable. The music that is dubbed over Julia/Brogan's soft shoe round is completely out of left field. I'm sorry, Irish dancing gods.
- People outside of the Irish dancing world were probably a little confused with the terminology and the set up of competitions. I feel they didn't explain much. Newcomers to Irish dance who did watch could definitely appreciate the dancing, but I also fear that it will draw a lot of comparison to "Toddlers and Tiaras" because of the costumes and stage appearance. Our parents aren't that crazy, right?
I hope the documentary brings in new interest in Irish dance, and starts to expel the public's image of us dancing in a line like Riverdance. It's a great dive into the world of competitive Irish dance, as opposed to seeing a choreographed show. I can't wait to see what TLC does for the "Big Jig" show...
Goals: work on left side of Kilkenny step
Days till NANs: 177