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Saturday 26 July 2014

Dancing senior citizens show Temple Bar how to party

Allison Bray

Published 24/04/2014|02:30

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Dancers from the CoisCeim seniors’ troupe performing for the launch of Bealtaine Arts Festival, which celebrates creativity in older people. Photocall Ireland/Sasko Lazarov
Dancers from the CoisCeim seniors’ troupe performing for the launch of the Bealtaine Arts Festival, which celebrates creativity in older people. Brian Lawless

A DANCE troupe comprised of seniors brought Dublin's Meeting House Square to a standstill as they performed a bewitching routine to launch the Bealtaine Arts Festival celebrating older people.

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Workers overlooking the square looked out from their office windows in awe yesterday as members of the over-50s dance troupe CoisCeim performed a sultry take on Tom Waits' haunting ballad 'Talking at the Same Time.'

Among the dancers was retired ESB worker Liam O'Brien (70), from Dublin.

The father of five with seven grandchildren was one of the few men in the troupe of mostly 60-plus women, and he loves every minute of it.

"It's fun. It keeps me loose. If I sit in front of the TV I'll seize up," he joked.

Also strutting her stuff was former professional dancer and ballet instructor Marie Doyle, from Co Wicklow. The widow once toured the world doing American jazz performances and ran her own dance studio.

CREATIVITY

And despite her age, which she declined to reveal, she isn't ready to hang up her dancing shoes just yet.

"I've always danced," she said, adding, "I'm as young as I look. It depends on the day."

The troupe's upcoming performance at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on June 1 will be among thousands of arts and cultural events sponsored by the festival taking place in May/June, which is geared towards celebrating creativity in older people.

The festival, which has been running for 19 years, has led to thousands of older people becoming actively involved in the arts, said Catherine Rose, CEO of Age and Opportunity.

A full list of events is available on the festival's website at www.bealtaine.com

Irish Independent

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