"Tall and straight my mother taught, this is how we dance. Tall and straight my father taught me, this is how we dance."
"I'm livin in the 21st century, Doin' something mean to it, Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it. Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it. I guess every superhero needs his theme music."
- Kanye West, "Power"
Prodijig may have the same Irish dance roots as Riverdance, but they have certainly diverged from the usual Irish dance show pieces. Since Prodijig wowed the judges of "Got to Dance" with their cutting-edgy choreography to Kanye West's, "Power," the Irish dance world has been a buzz...and with good reason. Their technique is impeccable and their jaw-dropping fusion of traditional Irish dance with hip-hop is like nothing the Irish dance community has seen before. See for yourself... [Warning: I'm 90% sure I didn't blink the first time I watched this. Prepare to be amazed.]
Amazing right?! This next video is not as high-quality [I'm guesing some awesome Prodijig fan videoed their TV screen] but it contains the full, unedited version of Prodijig's semi-final routine...
Prodijig is not the first to perform Irish dance in a reality TV dance competition. Other talented dancers have graced the small screen on reality TV. In Season 8 of "So You Think You Can Dance," Mary Kate Sheehan made the first round of auditions with her graceful and fairly traditional routine. Up and Over It captured America's attention with their "hand-dance" routine [and what Irish dancer can't relate to that?] , and even landed a McDonald's commercial! Brosena's performance on this season's "Got to Dance" added to the list of accomplished Irish dancers capturing hearts on reality TV. [How adorable are they?! Plus, they've got talent to spare.]
But what makes Prodijig so special? They aren't the only foot-perfect Irish dancers in the world. They aren't the first to create ridiculously quick and unique rhythms They aren't the only group to perform those seemingly impossible steps in perfect harmony. Riverdance's Thunderstorm and Lord of the Dance/Feet of Flames' Warriors mastered that back in the '90s. Prodijig certainly hasn't introduced the world to intricate and flawless, contemporary Irish dance performances. Trinity Irish Dancers have continued to push the envelope [and win World Championships!] with their choreography in routines such as "The Dawn." Looking at what other Irish dancers and shows have already accomplished, Prodijig might not appear to be so special...
... but Prodijig is beyond exceptional.
This group of 7 extremely gifted dancers has made waves in the Irish dancing world because they changed the game. They took something beautiful and traditional [the Irish dance we all know and love], and made it ultra-modern and edgy. In doing so, they still managed to stay true to the characteristics that have distinguished Irish dance from other dance forms for centuries. Look past the hip-hop music and futuristic costumes, and everything is still there. Prodijig may not be dancing "tall and straight" as we expect it, but their turn out, the clarity of their sound, and their precise foot placement are undeniable. Prodijig is an Irish dancing phenomenon, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next. Who's with me?
Best of luck to Prodijig as they continue on their journey to the March 4th finals of "Got to Dance!" SKY1 [in Ireland and the UK]. Change the game!
Can't get enough Prodijig? You can find them on Facebook and twitter: @PRODIJIG. You can also follow the individual members of the group on twitter: Alan Kenefick [@alanPRODIJIG], Andy O'Reilly [@andyPRODIJIG], Ciara McGillan [@ciaraPRODIJIG], Craig Mason [@craigPRODIJIG], Dane McKiernan [@danePRODIJIG], Darren Casey [@darrenPRODIJIG], and Christina Havlin [@tinaPRODIJIG].
Don't forget to follow me on twitter while you're there :) @Moireee