Giddha Dance Introduction
Giddha Dance is a popular Punjabi folk dance performed solely by women. This dance is the female counterpart to the Bhangra and has the same high-spirited revelry tempo. Gidha is performed at festive or social occasions, particularly during harvest sowing and reaping.
Giddha differs from other forms of traditional Punjabi dance in that it does not require the performance of the two-headed barrel dhol drum. Instead, women form a circle and clap rhythmically. A lead woman will recite boli (lyrics), followed by the entire circle repeating the refrain. This call and response form works through the entire form of a giddha song.
Giddha dance is featured in musicals based on traditional and contemporary folklore. The stings of this dance are the songs in Bolian verses. These songs tell stories about myths, daily life, special occasions, love affairs, politics, and many other topics. Because the Giddha is generally performed by women, the cordial base of the vocals is conversations between women.
The roots are deeply ingrained in Punjabi culture and are thought to have been inspired by the ancient ring dance, which is distinguished by graceful movements and high energy. Bright clothing, rhythmic clapping, and traditional folk songs combine to transform the dance into an unplanned display of joy.
This is accompanied by suitable boli and songs. To begin performing gidha, girls or women usually form a circle. They all clap their hands and sing short couplets. Gidha involves connecting the mind and soul through the expression of inner emotions through dancing and singing.
The dance is often thought to be derived from the ancient ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra while also creatively displaying feminine grace, elegance, and elasticity. It is a very colourful dance form that has now been copied in all regions throughout the country.
Origin Of Giddha Dance
Giddha is said to have evolved from the ancient ring dance that was prevalent in Punjab in the past. Women exhibit the same level of energy as men when performing bhangra. Giddha exemplifies a traditional way of portraying Punjabi femininity through dress, choreography, and language.
The ring dance, from which Giddha was inspired, was usually performed by women at social occasions, and Giddha is also quite popular at most joyous occasions held in Punjab.
Giddha is very popular because it is free-style, spontaneous, and creative; it is not performed according to any rigid set pieces or sequences. Giddha movements, which include swinging and twisting the body, shaking the shoulders, bending to a double, and clapping, are all about harmony.
Since India’s partition in 1947, and the division of Punjab into West Punjab (Pakistan) and East Punjab (India), Punjabi folk dances on both sides of the border have been consolidated, staged, and promoted as iconic expressions of Punjabi culture. While the form of giddha was not significantly influenced by Partition, Gibb Schreffler writes that it has been classified as the female counterpart to the male form bhangra, which is not entirely correct.
Giddha Dance Dress Code
The only costume expense for this dance is a Punjabi Salwar and Kameez with a Dupatta. Some light ornaments may be used in this dance, but this is not a dress-up condition. This dance is performed during happy times. Senior women motivate and encourage the young dancers.
Giddha’s dance style involves jerking the shoulders and bending the lower half of the body. Clapping, as a musical instrument, also lends support to this dance.
Traditionally, women wore brightly colored salwar kameez and jewelry. The outfit is completed by wearing a tikka on the forehead and braiding one’s hair in two braids with folk ornaments.
During giddha dance, the traditional dress is a short female style shirt (choli) with ghagra or lehnga (loose shirt up to ankle-length) or an ordinary Punjabi Salwar-Kamiz, which is rich in colour, cloth, and design. Suggi-phul (head ornament) to pazaibs (anklets), haar-hamela, baazu-band, and raani-haar are some of the ornaments they wear.
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The only major difference you will observe in the everyday clothes and costume is that the latter is much more vibrant and is teamed up with heavy jewelry. If you break down the whole costume then the dress includes the salwar kameez and dupatta. Salwar is primarily baggy pants and the kameez is the colorful shirt worn on the upper body. The dupatta is much like the stole that is matched with the salwar and kameez. The salwar kameez is generally quite vibrant in color and is decorated with heavy work and embroidery.
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Giddha Dance Music
No musical instruments are used in this dance. The music is only singing in a rhythmical manner with clapping and cheering up. In some cases, regular Dhol is used to provide musical support.
Gidha has no musical instruments or props because the distinctive hand-claps of the dancers are the most noticeable feature of this dance style.
Gidha incorporates boliyan, which are Punjabi couplets that express common situations and emotions that women experience collectively.
Giddha Dance Global Reach
Its popularity is not limited to Punjab or even India, as it has spread its glory all over the world. Places like London, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver are no strangers to this folk dance, which is also very popular in Pakistan.
Since the 1960s, when Punjabi dance forms were codified, bhangra and giddha competitions have grown in popularity throughout Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora. Since the 1960s, Punjabi dance forms have spread through collegiate-level dance troupes in Punjab, and since the 1990s, through South Asian student groups in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Giddha Dance Facts
- Giddha is a type of traditional dance of the Indian subcontinent, originating in Sialkot in the Majha area of Punjab.
- In a typical performance, several dancers executed vigorous kicks, leaps, and bends of the body to the accompaniment of short songs called boliyan and, most significantly, to the beat of a dhol (double-headed drum).
- The origins of traditional Bhangra are speculative. According to Dhillon (1998), Bhangra is related to the Punjabi dance ‘bagaa’, which is a martial dance of Punjab.
- 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 a dance of embodied consciousness that awakens feelings, sensations, visions, perceptions, dreams and freedom through the moving body experiences.
- Gidha remains a female-dominated dance that is deeply rooted in traditional dancing with boliyan.
- The Giddha songs are popularly addressed as bolis and this bolis are sung by the performers of the dance.
- It is generally performed in complete harmony and it is known for its energetic and vigorous nature.