Irish dancing is a group of traditional dance that is originated from Ireland. Irish dance is further categorized as Social dance and Performance dance. There is a lot of difference between these two dances. The difference is about the number of people that takes part in the performance.
The social dance is of two types: ceili and set dancing. Irish set dances are quadrilles that are performed by 4 couples. While the Irish ceili dances have various formations that includes 2 to 16 people in the performance. Apart from number of performers and formation there is also stylistic difference between these two dance performances.
Along with the importance of dance formations and steps, the costumes, Irish dance shoes and other Irish dance accessories used for dancing has equal importance.There are two type of shoes used for dancing. Soft shoes also known as ghillies and hard shoes. The Irish hard shoes are similar to tap shoes but are made up of fibre glass instead of metal and are heavier in weight.
Earlier there was also other type of shoes used for Irish dance that were made up of wood in 19th and early 20thcentury.These hard shoes had wooden or lather taps with metal nails, but later the design was replaced using fibreglass to reduce weight and to increase tap sound.
The second type of shoes used is ghillies which are black lace-up shoes. These types of shoes are worn by only girls. Boys in the dance group put on black leather shoes called reel shoes that look like black jazz shoes with hard heel. The soft shoes worn by boys give audible heel clicks.
Along with these shoes, the costumes used for dancing adds traditional look. Earlier generations used to wear â€œSunday Bestâ€ (clothes one would wear to church).In general performers in schools wear school dresses but public performers used to put on their own unequally designed dresses.
If we go in past say in 1970 and 1980, ornately embroidered dresses became popular. Even today more ornaments are used while designing a girlâ€™sdance dress. Today most of the women curl their hairs or wear a wig whereas men put on shirt, vest and tie paired with black trouser.
Itâ€™s all the existing knowledge about Irish dance, Irish shoes and costumes that exist in one of the popular European tradition. India has a vast culture with number of traditions ever seen in the world. It celebrates the highest festivals from different communities in the country. If we consider Middle East, it includes some European and some Asian countries. Majority of these countries either follow Islam or Christianity. The countries with major Christian population celebrate most of the festivals celebrated in other western countries.
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