14th Annual
Irish Dance Festival

Admission: FREE

Reservations Encouraged, But Not Necessary

Photo credit: Amanda Gentile, Darial Sneed

14th Annual
Irish Dance Festival

Sunday, May 3 | 1 pm - 7 pm

Curated by artistic director Niall O’Leary TCRG, ADCRG

Riverside Park South
Pier I at W 68th Street

A start-of-summer tradition for the whole family to enjoy!

The 14th annual day-long celebration of Irish dancing features traditional music and moves from notable talent from around the country and local students alike. Audience members can immerse themselves in Irish arts and culture with workshops, music sessions, language lessons, dance classes for all ages, among many other offerings. The summer evening ends with a lively céilí set to live music for all!


1:00pm Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance Performance
1:30pm Ceili Dancing!
Learn a few traditional steps!
Everyone out on the dance floor
All ages, group dancing
Join in and Learn!
2:00pm Deirdre O’ Mara School of Irish Dance Performance
2:30pm Sean Nos Dance Jam with Shannon Dunne Performance
2:45pm Seagda Coyle Performance
2:50pm Learn Sean Nos Dance with Shannon Dunne Participation
3:20pm Andrew Vickers and Jonathan Srour Performance
3:30pm Niall O’Leary Fun Dance
Learn a few traditional steps!
Join in and Learn!
4:00pm Donny Golden Dancers Performance

Percussive Dance Jam
with Andrew Vickers and Jonathon Srour

All styles of percussive dance welcome!

4:30pm Darrah Carr Dance Performance
5:00pm Donny Golden Fun Dance
Everyone out on the dance floor!
All ages, group dancing
Join in and Learn!
5:40pm Niall O'Leary Irish Dance Troupe Performance

Evening End Céilí for All!

Everyone out on the floor for some fun and easy group dances
Music by Matt Mancuso (fiddle) and Annemarie Acosta (keyboard)

Join in and Learn!



Traditional Irish Music Session – All Welcome!
with the Irish Arts Center Céilí Band, led by Elsa Regan
Open to all Ages!


ModERIN with Darrah Carr Dance
Open to all Ages!


Céilí Dance with Betty Sheehan
Open to all Ages!


Irish Language Conversation Circle with Donall O’Healai
For Adults


Irish Traditional Song Circle with Carrie Erving
Open to all Ages!



Children’s Face Painting

Sky Dancers: Kite Making for Kids

Chalk Dancers

Salmon of Knowledge Fact Finding Hunt

2:00pm-2:30pm Hero’s Journey Obstacle Course (just beyond the tent)
3:30pm-4:00pm Irish Recess: Fun Games in Irish and English
4:00pm-4:30pm The Crone’s Great Boulder Relay

Please note: all schedules subject to change

DARRAH CARR DANCE is a Bessie Award nominated professional Irish dance company that specializes in ModERIN: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. The company blends Irish music, step dance footwork, and spatial patterns to create high-energy, rhythmically based work that is accessible to a broad audience. Darrah Carr Dance recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary during the company’s annual fall season at the Irish Arts Center. In commemoration, Macater Press published "ModERIN: Contemporary Irish Dance Works - Darrah Carr Dance," a retrospective artist catalogue that documents the company's significant contributions to the field of Irish dance. Additional performance highlights include: a guest appearance with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall; a featured spot on NBC’s “The Today Show;” and The Yeats Project at the Irish Repertory Theater. The company has appeared nationally at venues such as Jacob's Pillow, MASS MoCA, and The Yard. And, they have toured to Canada and Ireland. Artistic Director Darrah Carr graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University and holds an MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Dance through Texas Woman's University. Carr teaches in both the Dance and Irish Studies programs at Hofstra University. www.darrahcarrdance.com.

SEAGDA COYLE started playing the button accordion at the age of 7 and considers musicians such as Joe Madden, Joe Burke and Bobby Gardiner as his earliest musical influences. Learning most of his music from the playing of John Nolan, Seagda has gone on to acquire a collection of gold medals from the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh and has competed in the All Ireland Fleadh multiple times. Both a fan of the traditional as well as the contemporary, Seagda is a composer of tunes and can be found regularly at sessions throughout the New York area as well as teaching music at the Martin O’Grady School of Music and Arts in the Bronx.

SHANNON DUNNE is an undeniably engaged proponent of sean-nós dancing—a highly improvisational percussive dance form from Ireland. Her study with native-born practitioners has left her with a depth of knowledge and experience unmatched by many in her field. A resident of Washington, DC, Shannon has long been engaged with the folk music communities in the Mid-Atlantic region, cultivating among them an appreciation for sean-nós dancing and an understanding of its symbiosis with Irish traditional music. This community engagement has served her well as a dance educator at many nationally recognized festivals such as the Augusta Heritage Center’s Celtic Week in Elkins, West Virginia and the Sean-nós Northwest Festival in Olympia, Washington; and as the dance director for the CCÉ Musical Arts & Dance (MAD) Week held annually in the D.C. area. She has choreographed for many organizations and schools including the Washington Christmas Revels and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, and has appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, and the National Theater, to name but a few, and has taken part in the Washington Sound Museum project collaborating with Grammy award-winning progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon. Her dedication, achievement, and vision has afforded her much recognition including a dance fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and from the National Endowment for the Arts. With such breadth of ability and experience extending from North America to Ireland and beyond, Shannon Dunne dances from both the homeplace of heart and from the headspace of imagination.

DONNY GOLDEN was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, of Irish parents, who actively encouraged all of their children to study Irish music and dance. In a short time, Donny became a North American step dancing champion, and the first American to place in the All-Ireland and World competitions. He has traveled the globe performing and adjudicating in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and throughout North America. He has choreographed shows for his dance troupe in such prestigious venues as Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall, and has developed dance scenes for major motion pictures like The Devil's Own. He has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis & Kathie Lee. He has trained over a thousand children in the art of Irish step dancing, including the original star of Riverdance, Jean Butler. In 1995, President Clinton awarded Donny the National Heritage Award for his invaluable contributions to the promotion, preservation and development of Irish dancing throughout the world. Donny and his dancing school continue to excite audiences with their regular performances with the top Irish musical groups in the world, such as The Chieftains and Cherish the Ladies.

DÓNALL Ó’HÉALAÍ holds a 1st class honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, in Irish Language and Media Studies. He has worked professionally as an actor in both stage and screen for the past 5 years. His credits includes Pursuit (2015), Traders (2015), Corp & Anam and Sínte. In 2008 he received The Dr. Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary Prize for Irish awarded by the National University of Ireland.

NIALL O'LEARY, TCRG, ADCRG, is a former All-Ireland and World Champion. His teachers included Kevin Massey, proclaimed by Michael Flatley to be the greatest Irish dancer ever, and Rory O'Connor, the first man to do Irish dancing on the radio. O'Leary qualified as an Irish dance instructor in 1994. In 1996, he put together and choreographed the first-ever multi-national team to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships, including dancers from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Botswana, the US and Ireland. Niall O'Leary performs regularly as a solo artist, in duet with Darrah Carr, and with various acts such as Mick Moloney’s Green Fields of America, Natalie MacMaster, Cherish The Ladies, The Prodigals, and the Andy Cooney Band. He conducts occasional workshops and master classes around the US, Ireland, Mexico, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. He has released an instructional video on Irish step dancing entitled Cuts from the Kitchen. He is the founding chairman of Úll Mór CCE, the Manhattan branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, a feis musician playing accordion and keyboards, and also practices as an architect. O'Leary was honored in 2004 by Irish America Magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish-Americans of the Year. 212 726 1602 ireland@nialloleary.com www.nialloleary.com

NIALL O'LEARY IRISH DANCE TROUPE is a professional Irish dance company performing traditional and contemporary Irish dance. They perform at festivals, showcases, weddings, corporate events, and concerts. The Troupe has toured the US and Japan , performing in such prestigious venues as Osaka Festival Hall. In December 2001 and March 2002 the Troupe toured the US with The Three Irish Tenors. The Troupe participate in the New York City Irish Dance Festival every year. They performed a free open-air concert every summer in New York at the Union Square Summer in the Square concert series for many years. They also performed at the Wintergarden at the World Financial Center three times in recent years. They have also performed for DKNY and danced on NY1 TV, Fox 5 TV and CBS Good Morning America on St. Patrick's Day this year. The dancers in the Troupe are from Ireland and across the US but now all live in New York City. Together they blend their influences and
experiences to create an exciting Irish dance show, combining traditional forms with new choreography. 212 726 1602 ireland@nialloleary.com www.nialloleary.com

NIALL O'LEARY SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995, and was established in New York in 1996. Classes in solo dancing, céilí dancing and dance drama for children and adults are held in Manhattan , Queens, Staten Island, as well as the Florida Panhandle and Cancun, Mexico. Manhattan venues include the Irish Arts Center and seven other locations, making this the largest Irish dance school in the city. Classes are taught by Niall O’Leary TCRG ADCRG. The school has been featured on NBC-TV, FOX-5, CBS Radio, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Irish Echo, Irish Central, various Queens papers and Fuji-TV ( Japan ), and for the last six years has taken part in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade on 5th Avenue. We instill a love of Irish culture, while teaching excellence in Irish dance. 212 726 1602 ireland@nialloleary.com www.nialloleary.com

DEIRDRE O’MARA SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE provides a unique experience that is both cultural & creative, fun & hard work. Competition is an option, but not a requirement. Scoil Rince Saoirse (Freedom Dance School) is the competitive part of our school, under the direction of Noreen Hughes TCRG.The only requirement to take classes is a love of dance and a willingness to work hard & have fun.“I feel our school provides the best combination of the traditional & the many changes that have occurred in the world of Irish dance. My wish for our dancers is that they dance with not just their feet but with their heart. Our school will develop confidence, as we teach in an atmosphere of growth & inspiration.”
Deirdre O’Mara is from Dublin, Ireland, & studied with Marie Walsh ADCRG.

BETTY SHEEHAN (TCRG) has been dancing since she learned to walk. Early on, she showed an affinity for percussive dance, much to the chagrin of her mother, who long lamented her much-scuffed kitchen floor. Betty studied Irish Dancing with Marie Moore, TCRG/ADCRG, in New York, and competed at the local, regional, and national levels during her competitive career. Betty is a registered teacher with An Coimisiun in Ireland since 2005, and she is director of the Aherne Sheehan School of Irish Dance which holds classes on the Upper East Side as well as in Sussex County, NJ.

MATT STAPLETON hails from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. He has become a sought after guitar player for New York City's traditional Irish sessions in recent years, and is a member of the Bronx based band New York Brogue. He is also an actor and has worked both on screen and with a number of theatre companies in New York and New England. www.matt-stapleton.com

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Clips from 2013 Festival


Donny Golden Dancers
Niall O'Leary Irish Dance Troupe
Darrah Carr Dance
Shannon Dunne
Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance

Matty Mancuso (fiddle)
Seagda Coyle (accordion)
Annmarie Acosta (keyboard)



1 Train to 66th St.

Walk west on 66th St. to the end of the block (past ABC). At the end of the block make a right onto Freedom Place? Walk up the block and make a left onto 68th St. Walk past the large high-rise apartment buildings to the Riverside Park South entrance. You will be able to see most of the park from this entrance.

A, B, C & D Trains to 59th St. Columbus Circle.

Transfer to the 1 and follow the above directions.

2 & 3 Trains to 72nd St.

Walk west on 72nd St. and make a left onto West End Ave. Walk down (south) to 69th or 70th streets. Turn right and walk over to Freedom Place. Make a left onto Freedom Place and a right onto 68th St. (You may be able to take 70th St, straight to Riverside Blvd.)

4, 5, 6, 7, E & F Trains must transfer to the above trains and follow the appropriate directions.


Use the West End Ave and Broadway lines and follow the above the directions.

Cross-town buses: M72 headed west. The bus will stop at Freedom Place & 68th St. This stop is a block away from the park.

Photo Credit Darial Sneed

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