Dances of Punjab


Bhangra

Bhangra

The most popular instinctive dance of men in Punjab, Bhangra , if not the most robust, is one of India's popular folk dances. This dance is performed during the Baisakhi festival to the accompaniments and songs of Dholak. The dancers snap their fingers, do balancing tricks and indulge in acrobatic feats. They recite witty couplets known as bolis and out of sheer exuberance mouth meaningless sounds such as hoay, hoay. The dancers are dressed in lungis and turbans. The drummer usually takes his place in the centre of the circle. The counterpart of the Bhangra is the Gidha, danced by womanfolk. The dance is a group number, but often individual dancers or pairs detach themselves from the group and perform while the rest keep clapping in rhythm. In this as in the Hikat of Kashmir, pairs of dancers go round and round with the feet planted at one place. The festival of Teeyan, to welcome the rains is the principal time for the Gidha.

Gidda

Gidda

Gentler than the Bhangra, the Gidda is danced by women and young girls on family and festive occasions. The girls and women form a circle, with one of their number in the center. The tradition of Boliyan (light-hearted satirical verse) is observed here as well, and is as much a part of the dance as are the colorful regional dresses. The dholki drum provides music and often singers keep music by tapping spoons on the body of the drum.

Jhumar Dance

Jhumar Dance

The Jhummar dance is a dance of ecstasy. It is a living testimony of the happiness of men, so performed only by men.

Jago Dance

Jago Dance

Literally, "wake up!" When there's a marriage in the house, girls dance through the village streetscarrying a pot (gaggar) decorated with lightened candles and singing jaagu songs.

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