Irish Film Institute -IFI & Tradfest: STEPS OF FREEDOM


Director: Ruán Magan

80 mins, Ireland, 2022, Digital

Steps of Freedom, a spectacular performance-based documentary, follows the evolution of Irish dance from humble origins to present-day global phenomenon which sees weekly Irish dance classes held in more than 60 countries around the globe, millions attending theatre shows and more watching programmes on TV. This broad-ranging documentary features striking performances from the finest dancers of their generation, rare archive film, and stunning contemporary footage from Ireland, Britain and the USA.  It explores how the cadences and styles of Irish dance were affected by a range of historical influences – both Irish and international and references an eclectic line up of expected and unexpected characters including Jean Butler, Michael Flatley, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Gene Kelly, James Cagney, Shirley Temple, and Queen Elizabeth.

With original music composed by Colm Mac Con Iomaire and a cinematic sensibility, Steps of Freedom captures the raw energy and vitality of a live show.

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