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The Walking Polka: A Collection of Sets

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A Collection of Sets

"Dancing is almost universal in every cabin and dancing masters travel throughout the country from cabin to cabin with a fiddler or a blind piper; and the pay is sixpence a quarter." - Arthur Young (An Eighteenth Century Traveller in Ireland)

The years 1990-1995 have probably witnessed the greatest growth in the revival of old sets throughout Ireland. This collection, the fifth such publication from Na Píobairí Uilleann, is a record of twenty-five of these sets representing the living local tradition of set-dancing in twelve counties and three islands. Also included is an account of the evolution of the Plain Set from its traditional origins into the most popular set in the modern repertoire, by Michael Tubridy, founder member of The Chieftains and a noted authority on traditional music and dance. Special tribute is paid by the editor to the work of Ireland's foremost modern dancing master, Connie Ryan, in an account of his dancing life and times. Diagrams of difficult movements and detailed descriptions of the appropriate steps for the different sets are also appended, along with a comprehensive bibliography and discography. The collection is edited by Eileen O'Doherty who teaches a weekly dance class with Brooks Academy in Dublin and also teaches set dancing at the annual Willie Clancy Summer School. A previous collection edited by her, "Set Left - Set Right", was also published by Na Píobairí Uilleann