28 dancers and 11 musicians from the National Folk Theatre of Ireland have come together virtually to celebrate 30 years of the world-famous Blackbird dance step.
The step was specially devised by the members of the National Folk Theatre along with their founder Director Fr. Pat Ahern in 1990 and has been celebrated in Irish dance circles around the world ever since.
It is based on the many recordings held by the company of Munnix pupils, such as Jack Lyons, Jerry Nolan, John McCarthy, Phil Cahill and many more, and is seen as the finest tribute to the North Kerry style, still used by the company to this day.
The theatre, along with hundreds of venues across Ireland, was forced to close its doors in March following the Government’s ban on all mass gatherings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the first time in 52 years, the company of musicians, singers, and Irish dancers will not be delivering their summer show series to the tens of thousands of tourists visiting Kerry.
And as this year their Festival of Folk marked the creation of the famous step, they couldn’t but not find a way to pay tribute from their homes across the country.
The video piece includes cast members young and old, past and present, that have trained in the National Folk Theatre Training Academy over the last 50 years.