Giddha (Punjabi, Pronounce: Gidha) is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
The dance is often considered derived from the ancient dance known as the ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra; at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity.
It is a very colourful dance form which is now copied in all regions of the country. Women perform this dance mainly at festive or social occasions.
Giddha costumes consist of bright-coloured clothes complemented by heavy jewellery. The Punjabi salwar kameez or ghagra in bright and rich colours are the typical costumes of the dance. Women also wear ornaments like mathapati on the forehead.
Giddha is usually danced in harmony, swinging and twisting the body, shaking the shoulders while bending knees and clapping.
Normally, there is no accompaniment by musical instruments with Giddha, except (sometimes) a dholak (small two-headed drum) which provides the rhythm for the dance. Mostly women prefer clapping as the rhythm. The hand-claps of the dancers are a prominent feature of this art-form.
Performance and Acts
Giddha is essentially danced in a circle. All of the dancers clap their hands and sing small couplets called Boliyan. These Boliaan are emotional, humorous, and teasing, and cover various topics such as love and nature. Then, two of the dancers come to the centre and perform the dance. These Boliyan cover themes from nature to the excesses committed by the husband or mother-in-law or other relatives, and love among other things.
Mimicry is very popular in Giddha. Giddha incorporates village life scenes of women spinning cotton, fetching water from the well, etc. This is accompanied with appropriate Boli songs.
Bhargava, Gopal. Land and people of Indian states and union territories. p. 215.