March 12, 1998 |
Forget "Riverdance"--the lords and ladies of Irish dance can be found right here in Southern California. Every day or night, in church halls, school rooms and studios, children and adults gather to rehearse intricate dance movements or perform at local competitions called feises (pronounced "feshes"). Irish dancing is both social fun and a strict discipline--it's an art form rooted in traditional music, complicated footwork and colorful costumes that reflect the rich history of the Emerald Isle.
November 13, 1997 |
Surely our calendars have gone haywire, and it's St. Patrick, not St. Nick, whose holiday is just around the corner. What else could explain the flood of Irish music and dance pouring through the area this month?
March 26, 1997 |
In 1991, Michael Flatley was living in a modest apartment in Beverly Hills and touring as a featured dancer (and flutist) with the famed Irish musical group the Chieftains. It was a nice enough life for an Irish American folk dance champion but hardly the stuff of massive mainstream success. Yet, just a week and a half ago, on St. Patrick's Day, there Flatley was, on stage at Radio City Music Hall, preening and strutting like a rock star while 6,000 rabid fans roared his name.
July 14, 1996 |
Spiritually, if not geographically, San Pedro in July is just about as far from the green hills of Ireland as you can get. The sun-blasted freeway dumps you at a harbor hemmed in by spires and spans and industrial haze. Yes, there are boats and water, which, one could argue, are also found nestled against the Emerald Isle, but most of these boats are moored by cell-phone-wielding landlubbers trying to escape the heat of Torrance (or maybe just Torrance), and the water, well, why get into that?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1996
Ireland never has been famous for its food, but things may be changing. Some Irish food is taking on a European flair--partly because more Irish citizens are traveling to Europe and bringing culinary influences home. Nowadays, for example, potatoes often are replaced with pasta--rarely eaten in Ireland years ago.
March 11, 1996 |
Donegal has been called Ireland's forgotten county, and considering its spot on the map it's not a surprising appellation. Facing the sea on the west and north, pressed against troubled Northern Ireland on the east, its only physical connection to the rest of the Republic of Ireland is its 10-mile border with County Sligo to the south. County Donegal, a dramatic land of mountains, river valleys and rugged shore, has produced a music that might also be called forgotten.
February 24, 1996 |
Some purists cry foul when such bands as the Pogues and Young Dubliners bend the boundaries of Irish music with such noisy, modern-era instruments as the electric guitar, bass and keyboards. The members of Craob Rua, a quartet from Belfast (pronounced Creev-roo-ah), would seem to be good boyos, rooting their jigs and reels firmly in the traditional style of the Chieftains.
July 25, 1995 |
The air in Dublin's St. James Gate area along the River Liffey has a sharp but pleasant tang: the smell of roasting barley that gives Guinness Stout, the national drink of Ireland, its distinctive color. For St. James Gate, which once served as an entry to the old, walled Irish capital, is the home of the Guinness Brewery, the world's largest producer of the dark, heavy brew known as stout.
March 23, 1994 |
Roddy Doyle stood by the window of his 12th-floor hotel room and peered through the hard gray afternoon light at what he assumed to be the general direction of Los Angeles, conjuring his mythic picture of what the city 379 miles south looked like. "This is as close to L.A. as I want to get," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1994 |
St. Patrick's Day on Thursday is that time when everyone wants a "wee bit o' heaven" and to be Irish for a day. But for Tom and Mary Kelly of Tustin, every day is St. Patty's Day. At their gift shop on El Camino Real, the shamrocks never disappear. Kelly's Gift and Hobby Shop sells a variety of Irish products throughout the year, from food to clothes to jewelry to gifts.