Kerry Dancers Sweets of May Set Dancing and Traditional Music Festival

March 19, 2019

In your own words, tell us about your project.
We held our first Sweets of May festival in 2012 in The Earl of Desmond Hotel Tralee. In 2013 we added our Compose a New Set Competition to celebrate The Gathering, This was a huge success, and we continued with it in 2014 and 2015. This festival has attracted dancers from all over the world. Our 'compose a new set' competition gave a forum for composers of new sets to have their set evaluated and also to have it included in the mainstream of sets danced at ceilis. This competition attracted dancers from across the world to dance their composition. Countries represented included Australia, Italy France Germany. Switzerland England Scotland and patrons from all over Ireland. We ceased the competition in 2016 and concentrated instead on recording and archiving sets for future generations to learn, teach and enjoy this element of our culture
Why did you do this work?
Kerry Dancers Set Dancing club was formed in September 2011. To address the fall of in numbers in Co Kerry at ceilis and also to bring a festival of Set Dancing and Traditional Music to Co Kerry as the county was bereft of this.
What was the impact or outcome of your project?
We are proud to host our Annual Sweets of May Festival. We bring dancers and audiences from across Ireland and  Europe to Tralee each year. We are privileged to have world-renowned Set Dancing Master Pat Murphy direct our Set Dancing Workshops and record all the sets so we can archive them. This facilitates future generations to teach them and it also ensures the correct way to dance the moves and steps which is so important to this element of our national tradition
Do you have any tips or advice for similar projects?
Running any festival of this magnitude is an onerous task and will need c0ommitment and dedication, but it is well worth the effort when you see so many people enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Which Sustainable Development Goals does your work link to?
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Location of Project
Tralee Co Kerry ( Earl www.of Desmond Hotel)
Contact Person
Joan Pollard Carew
Email Address
Contact Number
086 818819