Film Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Happy Feet Documentary Highlights Annual Irish Dance-Offf
If you are a big fan of Irish Step Dancing, where all the action is from the waist down, have I got a film for you. Directed by Sue Bourne, Jig is a delightful documentary highlighting the grueling training regimen of some of the 3,000 entrants preparing to compete in the 40th Annual Irish Dance World Championships which were staged in Glasgow, Scotland in March of 2010.
The action is reminiscent of what might come to mind to folks familiar with the Broadway show Riverdance, except that the performers are in competition with each other and they reflect a cornucopia of ethnicities, including Asian-American, Russian, Dutch and Sri Lankan.
Though both male and female, it appears that the sport appeals more to the latter, especially since the contest tends to take on the tone of a beauty pageant. For, the girls don Shirley Temple wigs and elaborate costumes which can cost in excess of $2,500.
Given that the prize money couldn’t come close to covering all the travel, wardrobe and practice lesson expenses, the pursuit of perfecting the Irish jig is basically a labor of love with bragging rights awaiting the ones crowned high-kicking King and Queen in front of the appreciative audience. Apparently there’s a degree of subjectivity in the judging which makes it hard to predict which hoofers are apt to emerge victorious.
A captivating primer on tripping the light fantastic with your arms pinned to your sides.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 93 Minutes
Distributor: Screen Media Films