Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Theatre and Dance

Document Type



During the past 15 years, traditional Irish step dance experienced dramatic changes. As a traditional dance form, Irish step dance lends itself to and is dependent upon innovation and change; it is a living and flexible art form, and thus, change is expected and necessary to keep it novel, fresh and progressive. However, its “traditional” signature is now a focus of debate as its “modern” signature gets explored and as traditional Irish dance scholars study the impact touring Irish dance shows have caused. The seven-minute interval act Riverdance during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest ignited the debate. Moreover, the rate at which these changes occurred is extraordinary and foreign to Irish step dance. Its impact on the developing Irish national identity, its worldwide practice, its current style, its current competition costume, and its current employment opportunities have all changed since Riverdance.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Mac McKerral



Included in

Dance Commons