Ogunquit Performing Arts again celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with the March 12th presentation of dancers from Maine’s Stillson School of Irish Dance, under the direction of Carlene Stillson, at the newly renovated performance space in the Dunaway Center in Ogunquit. The dancers performed a variety of dances in several changes in costumes and shoes. Dancers of all ages performed in groups, pairs, and individually, illustrating the rich heritage of this dance form.
The energy, the sound, the unison of movement were enthusiastically received by the full audience, who contributed rhythmic clapping for the best of the Irish tunes, and gave tremendous ovations at the end of each dance. Even though the dancers were scheduled for another performance this night, seveal took time to teach a few basic steps to children from the audience.
Congratulations to Carlene and her students, seveal of whom have qualified for and will be travelling to the World Championships in Glasgow this month.
The Ogunquit Performing Arts Committee had once again extended an invitation to Ms. Stillson and her students to perform here and she graciously accepted, citing Ogunquit as “one of our favorite places to dance.” The Stillson School is located n Gorham, Maine.
Stillson’s students range in age from three years old to college age. Before each dance number, whether solo or ensemble, Carlene introduces the dancers and provides a brief history of the specific dance being performed. She also explains the physically demanding training and the wholehearted commitment of all her step dancers. Many are also involved in other sports activities due to their athleticism. The students’ commitment extends to the unwavering support of each of the other dancers on the team.
The Stillson School of Irish Dance has an active show team which has performed throughout New England as well as on the Elipse lawn of the White House. They have been featured dancers accompanying such renowned Celtic performers as Solas, Cherish thee Ladies, Trinity Dance Company, Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey, Mick Moloney, and Eileen Ivers.
Several members of the audience told Ogunquit Performing Arts members that they enjoy this performance so much that they plan their trip to Maine to coincide with this event!
A special thanks to the Ogunquit Performing Arts Committee, and event coordinator Mikie Anne Boyd for inviting such world-class performers to Ogunquit. We look forward to another performance next year!