Dance and Music

Dance & Music

Punjab is known to have one of the most diverse and expressive culture in India and the Music and dance is an important component for showcasing it. The dances of Punjab are the most energetic forms of performing arts that you will ever witness. The synchronization found in the dances is simply outstanding. Almost all dances of the state are accompanied with a dhol. There are no dances where men and women dance together. Bhangra is for men whereas Giddha is performed by women.

Bhangra - The Dance of Beats

Bhangra DanceBhaṅgṛa refers to several types of dance originating from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest developed of these was a folk dance conducted by Punjabis in the central northern areas of the region to celebrate the harvest, and whose general practice had ended by the Partition, 1947.

In the 1950s, a new folk dance, representative of the state of Punjab and composed of glimpses of men's Punjabi dance styles, was created and eventually received the title of bhangra. First developed in India and attaining a rather standardized form by the 1980s, the folkloric bhangra was exported to other countries by Punjabi emigrants. By the 1990s, a still newer style of dance called bhangra was being staged in the Punjabi Diaspora, often characterized by a fusion with Western dance styles and the use of prerecorded audio mixes. Aside from these specific dance genres, Punjabi dancing in general, especially when done to popular bhangra music, is often casually called "bhangra"

Musical accompaniment

Bhangra dance is based on music from a dhol, folk singing, and the chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis.

Bhangra singers employ a high, energetic tone of voice. Singing fiercely and with great pride, they typically add nonsensical, random noises to their singing. Likewise, often people dancing to Bhangra will yell phrases such as hoi, hoi, hoi; balle balle; chak de; oye hoi; bruah, haripa; or ch-ch to the music.


Traditional men wear a chaadra while doing bhangra. A chaadra is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Men also wear a kurta, which is a long shirt. In addition, men wear pagri (turban) to cover their heads.

In modern times, men also wear turla, the fan attached to the pagri. Colorful vests are worn above the kurta. Phummans (small balls attached to ropes) are worn on each arm.

Women wear a traditional Punjabi dress known as a salwar kameez, long baggy pants tight at the ankle (salwar) and a long colorful shirt (kameez). Women also wear chunnis, colorful pieces of cloth wrapped around the neck.


Giddha DanceGiddha 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, Giddha. 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 musical instruments are accompanied 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 is a prominent feature of this art-form;

Giddha is essentially danced in a circle.All of them clap their hands and sing small couplets called Boliyan These Boliaan are emotional, humorous, teasing, love, nature and various topics. 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 etc.

Mimicry is very popular in Giddha. Gidha incorporates village life scenes of woman spinning cotton, fetching water from the well, etc. This is accompanied with appropriate Boli songs.

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