back home NMNI HOME
  • explore /
  • engage /
  • enjoy

A Step in Time: The Story of Irish Dance

Time/Date - 11:00 - 16:00, Fri 27 Jun 2014 - Sun 21 Jan 2018

The exhibition charts the history of Irish Dance from the late 1800s to present day, through costume, embroidery, images and film.
Irish Dance has evolved over the last 300 years into a distinctive style enjoyed by performers of all ages and backgrounds, worldwide.
From the itinerant dance masters of the 1800s to today’s ‘masters of dance’ there is a rich and colourful story to be told. The exhibition is arranged in eight sections and tells the story of Irish Dance in almost 100 objects, ranging in date from a medieval brooch, to a contemporary diamante embroidered costume for solo competition.
The exhibition includes reference to the 1904 Feis in the Glens of Antrim, a landmark event in Ulster’s recent cultural history, with competition in music, drama, craft work and dance.
Embroidered costumes, medals and certificates will tell the story of the development of both dance schools and governing bodies for Irish Dance.
The exhibition will display, for the first time, a selection from the museum’s collection of costume for the Patricia Mulholland Ballet. Patricia Mulholland was one of Ireland’s most talented choreographers, performers and teachers of Irish Dance, for almost 50 years from the late 1940s.
The global phenomenon that was, and is, Riverdance will be interpreted in the gallery through dance costumes and film footage of the breath-taking 1994 Eurovision interval performance.


Image Caption: Dancers from the Revie School of Dance, Bangor, at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, March 2014. 

Hear more from exhibition curator

Useful Links

Sign Up To Our E-Newsletter

Please tick what you would like to hear about above:

 Security code


« Back