Trinity Irish Dance Company

Forget the green beer. Forget standing out in the snow to watch a parade. Forget the corned beef and cabbage. Go see the best Irish dancers in the country–perhaps the universe. At the world championships of Irish dance last year in Ennis, Ireland, Chicago’s own Trinity Academy of Irish Dance (from which the professional company originated) won two gold medals for dancing and one for choreography for The Dawn, choreographed by artistic director Mark Howard and Richard Griffin. The Dawn–about “a platoon of tall beautiful women [who] landed on Irish shores….from Spain”–falls into one category for which the company is justly famed, in which traditional step dancing helps tell a story from Irish history. The Mollies is another such dance: it’s based on the militant struggles of Irish immigrants working in Pennsylvania coal mines, the Molly Maguires, as they protested employment discrimination and poor working conditions. Both these pieces, as well as the New Age Irish-modern dance The Mist, are on the company’s Saint Patrick’s Day program, along with plenty of the more traditional pieces–Blackthorn, Johnny, Treble Jig, Celt Thunder–and performances by the youngsters who won the dancing awards. Much of the music is performed live and composed by Chicagoan Mike Kirkpatrick of the Drovers; that’s reason enough to see the show. Go–you won’t be sorry. Wednesday at 7:30 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State; $16.50-$36.50. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-263-3123 for group sales. Students from the Trinity Academy also perform Wednesday at noon at the Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington; free. Call 312-346-3278 for information. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.