Provided by McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance
McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance won the world title for dance drama at the 2019 An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships held in Greensboro, N.C., April 14 to April 19.
“I knew our dancers could be successful with this performance,” said Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG, TCRG, owner/director of the school. “I’m proud of our team—all of the hard work they put in during the past year really paid off. They should all feel very proud of themselves.”
Twenty dancers, ranging in age from 8 to 21, performed “Banshee in the Bedroom,” which was choreographed by John Lawrence Morgan, TCRG. The story and drama were inspired by a range of traditional Irish folk lore, as well as the poetry of the poet W.B. Yeats and other contemporary musicals, including one of Morgan’s own personal favorites, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“Fantastic once again to choreograph and produce a world-winning drama for the third time,” said Morgan. “This time was particularly special having only been teaching in the States for 12 months and to walk away at a world championship in the States with a first place.”
McGrath Morgan competed in dance drama for the first time in the 2017-18 dance season. Dance drama is only performed at major Irish dance competitions. Teams, composed of eight to 20 dancers, portray a specifically Irish historical or traditional story or event. They are not allowed to speak, although a narrator is permitted to read the story before the six-minute performance.
In addition to the drama, McGrath Morgan solo dancers also placed among the world’s elite: Aisling Reynolds of Manassas placed 8th in the girls under-11 competition and Jessie Welgos of Boyds, Maryland, placed 15th in the girls under 13 competition. Both were the top-placed dancers from the United States. Both girls were members of the McGrath Morgan 8-hand ceili team that placed 19th.
“Giving our dancers multiple outlets to compete is very important to their growth as dancers,” said Ariel Raguso, TCRG. “Working independently and working as a team are skills the dancers will take with them for the rest of their lives.”