What are you doing this weekend? I know what I’ll be doing. The Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish dancers will be joining one of our very own, Bonnie J., as she portrays her alter ego of Chloe Luck McCoggles at Utah Winter Faire this Saturday in Farmington.
Chloe is a Steampunk Irish step-dancing leprechaun. And she’s ah-mazing.
So what is Steampunk exactly? Well, Wikipedia describes it as, “…a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.”
At it’s most basic, anything Steampunk seems to follow these guidelines:
- Includes steam-powered gadgetry.
- Occurs during the Victorian era in or around England.
- Includes items like gears and goggles.
Tina Baine says it’s a brilliantly “…unique combination of romance and technology, fantasy and history, or as writer/crafter Jean Campbell puts it, ‘Mad Max’ meets ‘Jane Austen.'”
So where does Bonnie and Irish dance come in?
Well, the story began when Bonnie’s dear friend Lisa (Madame Potts) dressed up in Steampunk for Halloween a few years ago.
“I didn’t really know what Steampunk was until that time, and I was immediately drawn to the style,” says Bonnie. “Soon after, I worked with her to create my first character with an English theme (Miss Jacqueline McHyde) and attended my first Steampunk Convention in Utah; [Salt City] Steamfest.”
After seeing all the costumes and character ideas at Steamfest that first year, Bonnie noticed a lot of the characters had different costumes for each day (Steamfest is a multi-day event). Having only one costume of her own, she found she too wanted to build a Steampunk style wardrobe and started collecting ideas.
She and Lisa had so much fun at their first convention, she says, “…we decided to volunteer and be directors of a Steampunk fashion show for [the] next year’s Steamfest.”
The theme? A Passage, Around the World in 80 Days. The theme would help people step outside the Victorian style.
“As part of the staff, I too wanted to step outside the Victorian style and be something else. I had this old leprechaun blouse in my Halloween box and I thought I’d somehow turn it into a floral, green woman’s aristocratic style outfit. But again it seemed to be too Victorian style. It honestly drove me crazy thinking how to come up with a character concept that wasn’t Victorian! I set the costuming aside for a while and went back to my normal routine.”
Here’s where lovely Bonnie is inspired by Irish dance.
A student with Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers for many years, Bonnie has always loved all things Irish/Scottish, from the music, the food, and her most favorite, the dancing!
“I have enjoyed the feeling of pride it always gives me,” she says, “Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks! Why change a leprechaun costume into something else Steampunk when I can just make a Steampunk leprechaun!”
And the idea for an Irish step-dancing leprechaun was born.
Lisa and Bonnie went to work on her costuming; adding thistles, flowers, twigs, cogs, charms, buckles, sporran, and of course, a leprechaun’s lucky pot of gold.
Though her costume was now essentially completed, a good friend always told her, “It’s the hair, makeup, and accessories that make the costume.”
“We wanted to go away from the standard curly hair you’d find on most Irish characters, so Lisa started creating a hair piece with the concept that this leprechaun came from the woodlands of Ireland and a woodland creature wouldn’t have curls, but braids and dreadlocks. I was a little nervous of the idea as she was making it, but when I put it on, it was perfect!”
Bonnie says proudly, “My finishing touch was my Irish dance shoes.”
“I put the entire costume, hair and makeup, on and I couldn’t help but feel the same pride as I do when I’m with my dance group.”
But every Steampunk character needs a name and a back-story. She said that finding a name was a little hard, but she finally decided on the name Chloe.
“Not only is Chloe the name of one of my favorite Celtic Woman, but also the name I plan on naming my first girl.”
She went on to say, “My grandmother’s, mother’s, and my own name is Irish/Scottish meaning beautiful, fair, lovely and I wanted to continue that by naming her Chloe; meaning fair, green, blossom.”
So Chloe Luck McCoggles was officially born.
A hit at the 2014 Steamfest, Chloe Irish danced her way into the hearts of steampunk fanatics throughout the festival.
Look for her this weekend at Utah Winter Faire, December 5 -7, 2014. She’ll be joining the Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers on Saturday in the Arena at 4:30 p.m. and again on the main stage at 6:00 p.m. When not on stage she’ll be available for photos, and if you’re lucky enough to find one of her shamrocks throughout the Faire booths, you could win a sweet prize.
“The Utah Winter Faire is a cross genre event that brings magic back to the Winter season in northern Utah. In some ways it could be described as an indoor Renaissance Faire, but it is also more than that. Join us on the first weekend in December when History, Fantasy, Steampunk and more come together to create a truly unique experience.”
Click on the image for more information and to buy tickets to the event.
“Monday Family Nights will be filled with colors, sounds music and dance from around the world. Local Utah cultural groups from diverse backgrounds provide a wonderful night to enjoy the music and dance from their heritage while children enjoy crafts and activities associated with the cultures. Join us as we explore the world of diversity in our own community! ” – Red Butte Gardens
Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers will be a part of this wonderful community event this year. Join us for one of our two performances held Monday, June 4 at Red Butte Gardens.
Performances 6pm & 7pm
Red Butte Gardens
300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City
Rinceoiri will entertain you with Irish dancing to live musical numbers by the band Shilaylee.
“Our world is in need of uniting and helping one another. The planet is going through changes due to catastrophic situations. We can come together and make a change for a better positive environment for our children, and grandchildren. Dance brings unity and peace to mankind. If we can feel unified, then we can support each other and our planet. The net proceeds from dance performances will go to help those people in need. ” -World Unity Through Dance
Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers are proud to be a part of this annual fundraiser. Performances are to be held June 2, 2012 at Utah Arts Alliance, located at 663 South 100 West, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Founded in 2003 by Derek Dyer, the Utah Arts Alliance (UAA) provides the infrastructure that enables artists from all walks of life, especially those who lack financial resources, to pursue their creative dreams.
The culturally inspired spirit of the Utah Arts Alliance first became evident during the 2002 Winter Olympics. At this time, most Olympic planning committees chose to bring in out-of-state art, with hopes of attracting greater tourism. Derek Dyer, however, saw that the local art culture was being largely neglected and organized the largest event for the local arts during the Olympic Games.
This passion remains firm and is instilled within its many projects and affiliated programs. More than 55,000 people annually attend programs, events, and classes facilitated by UAA and their partners. That number is expected to exceed 70,000 in 2011/12. The Utah Arts Alliance has its roots in the Utah art scene, and has been directed toward preserving and enhancing Utah culture since (and prior to) its conception.
Two performances will be held. An afternoon performance at 5:30pm, and an evening performance at 8:00pm. Donation is $10.00 per ticket.
These are fun shows, full of energy and excitement! Net proceeds will be donated to American Cancer Society to help children with cancer. Helping children in need will be a great unselfish, and rewarding contribution.
Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers will be performing this Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Living Traditions Festival in Salt Lake City.
The Living Traditions Festival is, “…a celebration of traditional folk and ethnic arts. Living Traditions brings people together to honour the diversity and cultural traditions of our community. Local ethnic artists—craftspeople, dancers, musicians and community groups—provide the framework for the Living Traditions Festival.”
We are proud to once again be a part of this important community celebration by representing Ireland through Irish dance.
We will be performing on the North Stage at 4pm. Come join us!
Where Irish Dance Comes First!
|Irish dancers wait for their cue before filming a scene|
It’s hard to wait. Especially when you’re between the ages of four and seven. Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Shamrocks, Grace, Mari, and Audrey, found out just how hard waiting can be as they waited hours for their turn to begin filming.
|Behind the scenes at the filming of a children’s dvd.
Rinceoiri don Spraoi dancers can be seen on the monitors.
Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers performed to a packed house last Friday night. The festival draws incredible crowds each year and this year was no exception. There were hundreds of people in attendance, with a large portion of those attendees watching one of the state’s best Irish dance groups.
Backstage the feeling of excitement and anticipation was palpable. For many of the dancers, this was their first time performing for an audience. For most, their first time performing for such a large crowd.
“That’s a lot of people,” a young dancer commented while walking on stage.
She easily could have been talking about the number of performers. Sixty-three dancers graced the stage, accompanied by the four member band Shillelagh. A record for Rinceoiri.
“We thought it would be fun to include all the classes this year,” said dancer Brooke Curnow. “The tiny dancers were definitely a hit!”
From the youngest dancer at age three, to the oldest dancer, who declined to give her age but did mention that her grandchildren were in attendance, the group really put on a grand show. On stage and off.
Backstage the group functions like a well-oiled machine. Stephanie Russell performed stage manager duties, checking the clock continually to ensure the show ended on time. A festival rep was overheard commenting “You guys really have it together, I don’t have to do a thing. I was just booking a cruise on my phone.”
And that sentiment appears to be the hallmark of Rinceoiri’s performance mantra. You don’t have to do a thing. Just sit back and enjoy a fun-filled traditional Irish dance show. The group knows what they’re doing, and they do it well.
If you have any photos or video of this performance and would like to see them on the blog or website, please contact Rinceoiri Don Spraoi to make a submission.
Where Irish dance comes first!
|Festival of Trees|
It isn’t officially the Christmas Season until the Festival of Trees starts in Salt Lake City. The festival celebrates it’s 41st year this December, and Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers can’t wait to join in the celebration!
The festival benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center, by offering decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, and the like, for auction.
Choral and dancing groups, orchestras and instrumentalists, perform each day. Entertainment is ongoing, to really enhance the festive mood. As in years past, Rinceoiri will be donating their time and talent to this great cause.
Join us Friday, December 2, 2011 at 8:15 p.m. on the South Stage for a celebration of Irish dance and culture; as Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers entertain with a mix of traditional and contemporary numbers. Rinceoiri will be joined on stage by Shillelagh, our favorite local Celtic band.