This Spellbound-style doco takes us into the world of competitive Irish dancing as we meet some dazzling (and charming) dancers, boys and girls from all over the world preparing for the 2010 World Championships in Glasgow.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
The most arresting and engaging of the post-Spellbound spate of kids-in-competition documentaries to cross our path recently, Jig is possessed of a fierce energy – and an agreeable warmth. Even the parents are likeable! Put the ferocity down to the sport in question: competitive Irish dancing in the rigorous, straight-backed, legs-of-lightning, feet-of-thunder style made famous by Michael Flatley. There’s no need to ask what’s driving these kids: their exhilaration is contagious. More pushed than pushy, the parents we meet have often sacrificed recklessly to support their children’s passions. (For girls, dressed and bewigged in kitsch splendour, this is an expensive sport.) Filmmaker Sue Bourne interviews dancers as young as ten years old, from Russia, Florida, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK, hanging out and rehearsing before converging onGlasgow for the 2010 World Championships. The only glittering prizes are cups, but by the time the dance-off comes round we’re as likely to be trapped in the reality-TV terror of the judges’ calls as anyone on screen. — BG