“Close to the Floor” — a conference on percussive dance, the first of its kind to be held anywhere in the world — will take place at New York University on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the dazzling emergence of Riverdance: The Show onto the world stage, a distinguished cast of dance historians and ethnochoreologists will convene along with renowned dancers, dance teachers, and choreographers to discuss and reflect upon a variety of topics in the world of percussive dance.

The conference is free and open to the public; for further information call 212.998.3950. Events on Friday take place at Glucksman Ireland House, One Washington Mews (at Fifth Ave.); Saturday’s events take place at NYU’s Silver Center, Hemmerdinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East (at Waverly Pl.).

Co-sponsored by Glucksman Ireland House at NYU and the NYU Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Science, the conference will highlight varieties of percussive dance: Irish step dance, flamenco, tap dance, African American stepping, English clog dancing, Appalachian clogging, North Indian Kathak, and Canadian step traditions from Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Quebec, and the Ottawa Valley.

Participants include: Riverdance stars Jean Butler and Colin Dunne, featured in a panel chaired by Mick Moloney; New York dancers and dance teachers Donny Golden and Niall O’Leary; Mark Howard, director and founder of the Trinity Dance Company in Chicago; Lynn Dally, director of the Jazz Tap ensemble in California; Catherine Foley, Mary Nunan, and Orflaith Ni Bhriain from the University of Limerick, Ireland; Darrah Carr, Hofstra University; and Helen Brennan, author of The Story of Irish Dance.

For a complete listing of conference events log on to www.nyu.edu/pages/irelandhouse. To cover any aspect of the conference journalists should contact Barbara Jester at 212.998.6844; email: barbara.jester@nyu.edu.

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