Few would imagine a film shadowing a little known Irish dance competition could hook you in to relate to the dancers themselves.
In a story-style documentary, Jig explores the personal journeys of a number of young competitors in another year leading up to the World Irish Dancing Championships 2010. Director Sue Bourne digs into the lifestyle and personal equity each of the competitors, their tutors and their parents invest in their intense efforts to achieve a no-money first place position in the finals.
Talented dancers as young as 10 years old from Russia, America, Holland, Republic of Ireland and the UK are visited in their own homes and rehearsal spaces to talk about their experiences dancing and what it would mean for them to win the competition to be held in Glasgow.
Shining a light on unexpected emotional struggles such as living up to expectations and dealing with family deaths, the feature-length documentary is about more than just an Irish Dancing competition.
It soon becomes apparent that this is an everlasting cycle of dancers who started at an extremely early age and will be in it for life; if the competitor doesn’t win this year, they will try the year after, the year after that and so on. Irish dancing is a culture behind the mainstream curtain where competitors and their families will fly all over the world, sometimes spending the majority of their income, to simply compete with the hope of winning.
"I didn’t care if she couldn’t read or write. Irish dancing is the most important thing in my life," one mother says.
In one case, a family has left behind their Florida home and their well-paid jobs to move to England where their son can excel in his dancing for the competition. There are no prizes for a top place at the World Championships, cash or otherwise; just an obsession with the sport.
Few would imagine a film shadowing a little known Irish dance competition could hook you in to relate to the dancers themselves. Jig offers itself as an eye opener to the dedication of all those involved in the fight for a first place.
Jig is an inside look into a sport which the mainstream world has never been exposed to before, revealing the dedicated and determined spearheads of Irish dancing, a constantly evolving and growing sport.
Not the most gripping theme, seemingly exciting only for those who are already interested in the sport.
Surprisingly engaging and presents itself openly to a wide audience.
A nice eye-opener to one of the many small pockets of intense interests right on our doorsteps.