The precise origins of Irish dancing are unknown, but it is generally accepted that this form of expression developed from a number of sources. The most ancient source would appear to the Druids.
It has come a long way since this time going through changes with influences from the Celts, Anglo-Normans and the Gaelic League. The Irish Dancing Commission was then set up in 1929, establishing the rules for dance competitions and standardising methods of teaching.
Riverdance and similar spectacular shows have pushed Irish dancing to the forefront of worldwide attention in recent years. At home, feiseanna or competitions are held regularly, with winners from local competitions competing in the annual All-Ireland Championships The World Irish Dancing Championships are also held annually and attract entrants from all over the world.
As with Irish dancing, the origins of Spanish flamenco dancing are lost to history, but it is thought to have begun around 1492, when a number of different cultures blended into a new form of music - and dance. The new form came to be particularly identified with Spanish Gypsies, and their nomadic lifestyle helped flamenco to spread, survive and flourish.
Through the 18th and 19th centuries flamenco changed and professional artistes began performing.
By the 1950s, commercialisation came close to debasing the entire genre, as Spain became a popular tourist destination. A revival of interest in flamenco as an art form then developed, helped by the flamenco festivals of the 1960s and 1980s.
In another parallel with Irish dancing, flamenco is today fiercely popular the world over. This popularity can be clearly seen at the annual festival in Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain, where thousands of visitors gather from all over the world each year to celebrate the beauty and energy of flamenco.
Both stamps will appear on a miniature sheet issued jointly by An Post and Correos de España.
Date of Issue: 07 November 2008
Value & Quantity: 55c (.294m), Euro 1.37 MS (50k)
Illustration: Conor Walton (Illustration - Irish Dancer), Design Tactics (Miniature Sheet)
Typography & Layout: Design Tactics (Irish stamp & Irish side miniature sheet), Jesus Sanchez (Spanish stamp and Spanish side miniature sheet)
Stamp Size: 27.94mm x 44.45mm
Colour: Multicolour with phosphor tagging
Make-up: Sheetlets of 12
Perforations: 13.75 x 13.75
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Irish Security Stamp Printing Ltd