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Steps of Peace

Under bright and windy skies, eight lovely young ladies arrived at the dance studio to bring the traditions of Irish dance to the screen.

Under the tutelage of Geraldine Foy, these girls performed the complex footwork and patterns of the Gaelic traditional dance to the music of Beethoven's symphony No. 9.

Most of the girls have studied the dance for years--starting in Ms. Foy's basement studio, and now performing in many different venues throughout the Midwest US.

The Foy School of Traditional Irish Dance encourages not only artistic excellence, but also qualities of mutual support and comradeship. "Geraldine teaches the girls to root for each other, to support each other, even when they may be in competition against each other," explained one of the parents. Indeed, during the filming the girls were discussing the best ways to move and signal each other throughout the dance.

As with all the groups, choreographing their dance to a non=-traditional musical piece, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, was not easy. However, Ms. Foy and the families of the girls were inspired by the purpose of the film to build peace, and found ways to combine their movement to the different tempos and harmonies.

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, the dancers trooped several blocks away to shoot their opening and closing shots on a bright green field evoking their Irish roots, but against the powerful Chicago skyline. The roots of the ancestral culture are transplanted in new soil, but carry on the values and traditions still.

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