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Ikbal Singh: Giddha

This video installation encourages visitors to participate in a Punjabi folk dance called giddha.

In Giddha, Ikbal Singh organizes four video screens in a tight square encompassing a 360-degree sequence of dancers. Each screen reflects the performance as it was filmed from four fixed cameras. The images are played back in sync so that when the Gallery visitor moves around the screens, they take the position of the dancers participating in the original dance. Singh’s use of four different cameras—from professional to domestic quality—in shooting each video symbolizes the diversity of potential interpretations of the dance.

The performance presented on the monitors is a Punjabi folk dance called giddha. Giddha is most often performed at festive or social occasions by groups of women who can range in number from four to more than twenty. The dancers take turns reciting couplets of poetry called boli; after each boli the women take turns dancing solo or in small groups at the circle’s centre. These Boliyaan are emotional, humorous, or teasing; they often address themes of love, nature, and family dynamics.

Artist: Ikbal Singh
Videographer: Michael Sider
Camera Assistant: Arjun Singh Sandhu

Presented as part of the exhibition Spectacular Sangeet, curated by Naveen Girn and Jordan Strom.

Image credit: Visitors watching Giddha by Ikbal Singh at Surrey Art Gallery.