John Egan on a “blockbuster three day event” at Citywest
CRDM (Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa) recently held its Oireachtas Laighean (Leinster Championships) at the Citywest Hotel & Convention Centre in Dublin.
It would be fair to describe this as another CRDM blockbuster event. There were very big numbers that challenged the 3-day timetable and once again in several of the younger age groups, dancers had to be split into cohorts of those born January-June and July-December because of the very large entries. With a total of 800-900 dancers it rivals the size of the regional oireachtais held by any other of the major dance organisations.
And it augurs well for the organisation’s healthy future. Admittedly the entry spanned all age groups, ranging from age three to seniors. Most of these dancers belong to schools who are full members of CRDM while others maintain their open platform independence and are described as ‘visitors’.
Visitor status can exclude them from some competitions that are confined to full CRDM members, and on the other hand there are competitions that are confined to visitors only.
CRDM is the largest ‘open platform’ Irish dancing body in Ireland and possibly in the world. Arguably that title might be in the ownership of WIDA, the World Irish Dancing Organisation, with strong open platform and affiliation connections in continental Europe.
Open platform means that unlike the two major organisations, Coimisiún and Comhdháil, dance schools do not have to be members in order to enter their feiseanna or oireachtais (major events).
CRDM however does not encourage entries from dancers from non-open platform schools that are mandated to other overarching major bodies so as not to compromise their membership of that body.
Judging from the all ages multitude that attended their Leinster Championships 2015 it was clear that the popularity of CRDM is such that ‘poaching’ is not an issue.
Just like the other major dance bodies CRDM has come a long way in its 13 years of existence. Its venues have graduated to the high echelons of luxury hotels and conference centres. Its next three major events are the Dublin Championships in February, Ulster Championships in May and All Ireland Championships in June in wonderful Killarney.
It is also looking forward to its World Championships in 2016, its third such event, and currently a suitable upmarket venue is currently being sourced. I note that the CRDM Dublin Championships in February will be held in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin.
• For more information on CRDM visit www.crdm.ie
For all the photos check out this week’s edition of The Irish World