|Title||Traditional Irish ball sports and theatrical art|
|Nature of the activity||Presentation|
It is hard to imagine that during the whole week and also on our last day hardly one raindrop fell from the sky. Bright sunshine and temperatures around 16 degrees invited us to Ballinakill to learn more about the famous, traditional Irish ball sports - Hurling and Gaelic football.
Four well-trained men first showed us the equipment of these ball sports. Hurling - a team sport (15 players) of Celtic origin - is played with a bat made of ash wood and a leather ball. The stick named hurley gives the game its name. The end of the stick is wider than the handle so that the striking surface is placed there. A well-beaten ball can fly up to 80 meters and reach speeds of 150 km/h. Therefore, wearing protective clothing (helmet, face shield) is mandatory. Gaelic football resembles a compromise between classic elements of football and rugby. Therefore, the game device is a leather ball the size of a volleyball. The info-video gave us a first impression about the two sports played with a lot of body contact and physical exertion.
And then it was us to be on the field with racket (hurley) and ball, armed to test our first attempts to shoot the ball against a wall. This was followed by a few explanations of the most important basic rules. Thus, a goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts below the overlying crossbar. Such a goal scores 3 points. If the ball flies over the crossbar, 1 point can be charged. The ball is picked up with the hurley from the ground, beaten or also played with the foot. It is never allowed to pick up the ball from the ground with your hand. If a player gets the ball, he may walk four steps with the ball in his hand. You can also run the ball on the racket, but believe me, that requires a great deal of skill. Foul regulations are similar to those of football.
Afterwards we tested ourselves in Gaelic Football - also a team sport with 15 players per team. In this sport, the ball may be played with any part of the body. After a maximum of four steps you have to run with the ball in your hand. A popular way to lead the ball is the so-called toe-tapping. The ball is played while running and has to pass - after a maximum of four steps - from the foot back into the hand. In addition, the ball may also be hit on the ground, such as in handball or basketball. A player in possession may change the ball between his hands once. For hand passes, the ball must be played with the fist or open hand. Throwing the ball is not allowed. With a final match (which resulted in a draw) our day on the sports field ended. Time to have a great lunch near the beach (Martello Bar, Bray, Wicklow).
We were then taken by bus to the Pavillion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, where we saw a performance of the Graffiti Classics quartet.
This event was announced as "Drama at the Pavillon Theatre" – we thus had no clear idea what to expect...
It was a classical concert, a gypsy-folk romp, an opera, a stand-up comedy set and a brilliant dance show, all rolled into one! From Beethoven to Bluegrass, Baroque to Pop, Mozart or Offenbach to Elvis, Strauss to Saturday Night Fever, there really was something for everyone and Graffiti Classics never failed to get its audience laughing, clapping and singing along. Kids and adults alike loved the uplifting and virtuoso variety of musical styles, all tied together with audience interaction, where especially the children had great fun. A music cabaret that makes you want more!
By the way: On YouTube are some Grafitti Classic videos to be found, absolutely worth seeing! Grafitti Classics performs as a string quartet always in the same lineup (3 violins + 1 cello), only the musicians change, but always with two women and two men on stage. It can also be booked for festivals, e.g. wedding ceremonies, and for music projects in schools across Europe. These four highly professional musicians surpass the elite boundaries of the traditional string quartet with their weird, all-singing and all-dancing musical cabaret show. It is easy to imagine that their participation represents an almost 100% guarantee of a successful festival, and the students are to be envied for such music lessons!
„Like sports, music offers special possibilities and opportunities for human encounters, communication and integration, and gives respect to the most diverse cultures.”
"...Especially in these days it is very important for all Europeans to meet in friendship and respect. There are no boundaries in music, neither ethnical nor musical, and we should succeed in doing so in other areas as well. Europe has so many treasures of cultures, people, landscapes and friendships that we should all work together, with each other instead of against each other in the European future.“