Rinnce Fada

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X:0 T: No Score C: The Traditional Tune Archive M: K: x



RINNCE FÁDA. Irish, Long Dance. This generic name has become a title in the corruption of the Gaelic to English: thus "Rinnce Fada" becomes "The Fading." The Rinnce Fada, or the Kerry Country Dance, was one of the four figure dances taught at the Gaelic Revival dancing class taught in 1901 at 3 Beford Street in London (along with the four-hand reel, eight-hand reel, and St. Patrick's Day). Reg Hall (A Few Tunes of Good Music, 2016) notes other similar public mentions of the dance: "In June, 1901, 'the old country dance', almost certainly Rinnce Fada or the Kerry Country Dance, was enjoyed at a seilg in Epping Forest, and Rinnce Fada was specifically mentioned again at a sgoruidheacht in Epping Forest in August, and in October the report of an event in Wellington Hall used the expression 'country dance'" (p. 188). Hall unearthed a critique of the dance from an anonymous correspondent, 'Country Born', who wrote to The Leader on July 12th, 1902, casting doubt on the authenticity of the dance:

Is it a true Irish dance, or is it a Kerry dance at all? It seems to me to be neither the one nor the other, but a mixture of quadrille and polka, with some promenading and a few crude steps, like the mis-named eight-hand and four-hand reel...Eighteen years ago I was at the Puck Fair in Killorglin, and saw there hundreds of dancers from different parts of the country. I saw Irish step-dances in plenty and some quadrilles, called by the country people "sets", but nothing at all with the slightest resemblance to the rince fáda. If this is an old Kerry dance, surely one would expect to find it at Puck Fair along with the step-dancing.


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