Thursday, September 29, 2011


DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Irish Dancing Documentary Due on DVD

If you are a big fan of Irish Step Dancing, where all the action is from the waist down, you might like to check out Jig. Directed by Sue Bourne, this delightful documentary chronicles 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 choreography 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. Also, instead of being all Irish, the contestants 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 examples, the girls all sport Shirley Temple wigs and don 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)
PG for mild epithets and mature themes.
Running time: 93 Minutes
Distributor: Screen Media Films
DVD Extras: Director’s commentary, commentary with the director and 8-time World Champion John Carey, “The Dziaks from Chicago,” ”Irish Dance Dresses,” and special footage of Champion John Carey breaking the Guinness World record.


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