The harmony of Gaelic culture and dance

After what was to be a one-time performance during Celtic Colours of 2012, a few Gaelic College staff members got together to dance during one of pipe ensemble Nuallan’s premiere sets. Cut to 3 years later, and this group of 10 have made that an annual tradition. In 2015, they were featured performers during the Celtic Colours International Festival, learning, creating, and showcasing original material as well as older square sets from around the island, and more recently performed and taught at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Fileanta delights with spectacular traditional dance that embodies the true essence of Gaelic culture. Their energy and intricate rhythms work in perfect harmony with traditional Gaelic music and language, while maintaining the lively, spirited feeling of any Cape Breton dance hall. These world-renowned dancers will inspire and leave you exhilarated.

Fileanta (FILL-enta) is most commonly translated from Gaelic as “fluent,” but could also be used to say eloquent, poetical, tuneful or melodious.

In using this name we are emphasizing the very close ties between our Gaelic language and Cape Breton stepdancing. The seemingly effortless transitions, tuneful operation, and rhythmic expression heard in spoken Gaelic can be attributed to the rhythms and fluid motion observable in stepdancing.

Our mission is to foster the living dance traditions of Gaelic Nova Scotia, by promoting an avenue for new-generation, youth and professional dance artists to share their vision, create, and collaborate with musicians and engage with communities and organizations. In late 2015, Colaisde na Gàidhlig and Fileanta signed an MOU with plans to further their mission of traditional dance in the years to come.

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