Giddha Dance is the popular folk dance of women. It is quite popular in northern Indian region particularly in Punjab region. Giddha dance is also famous in Pakistan. It is the female counterpart of the Bhangra and has the same energy and high spirited tempo as the Bhangra. Giddha dance displays the feminine grace, elegance and flexibility. Giddha Dance is performed during the festive and social occasions specially during sowing and during harvest. It is also performed during wedding functions exclusively by women. The dance is followed by rhythmic clapping and a typical traditional folk song is sung by the aged ladies.
Giddha Dance does not require any dhol or drum instead women gather in the circle and make rhythm by clapping. A lead woman will recite a boli (lyrics) with a refrain that the entire circle then repeats. Giddha details stories of women’s lives, including marriage, sexuality, domestic life, and homesickness.
Giddha is believed to be originated from the ancient ring dance which was famous in the Punjab region during olden days. During Giddha Dance females show the same energy level as the men show during Bhangra. Giddha is performed only by the ladies and hence the viewers get to watch the feminine grace that the female dancers bring to the performance. Giddha displays a traditional mode of performing Punjabi femininity, as seen through dress, choreography, and language. Since the Partition of India in 1947 and the division of Punjab into West Punjab (Pakistan) and East Punjab (India), folk dances of Punjab on the Indian side of the border have been consolidated, staged, and promoted as iconic expressions of Punjabi culture.
Giddha and Bhangra dance competitions have become quite popular in Punjab and in the Punjabi diaspora. Punjabi dance forms have also spread through collegiate-level dance troupes in Punjab since the 1960s and in South Asian student groups in the US, UK, and Canada since the 1990s.
The traditional dress
during giddha dance is short female style shirt (choli) with ghagra or lehnga
(loose shirt upto ankle-length) or ordinary Punjabi Salwar-Kamiz, rich in
colour, cloth and design. The ornaments that they wear are suggi-phul (worn on
head) to pazaibs (anklets), haar-hamela, (gem-studded golden necklace)
baazu-band (worn around upper-arm) and raani-haar (a long necklace made of
Traditional dress for gidda is quite elegant. It adds charm to feminine grace and is comfortable enough to allow women to perform giddha dance with ease. Giddha dress is quite simple and one can find women in rural Punjab donning it everyday. The only difference is that costume for giddha makes use of brighter colors and is complemented with heavy jewellery. The attire is completed by dressing the hair in two braids and folk ornaments and wearing a tikka on the forehead.
During the performance, women gather around in a circle. The dance is followed by rhythmic clapping and a typical traditional folk song is sung by the aged ladies. Mimicry is quite popular when it comes to Giddha and this dance depicts the scenes from the routine life of village women from Punjab. It is generally performed in complete harmony and it is known for its energetic and vigorous nature.