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 and 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 the regions of the country.
Girls or women generally form a circle to start performing gidha. All of them clap their hands and sing small couplets. these couplets are humuorous and sponken in punjabi language. or boliyan or bolis. Then, two or three of them come to the centre and perform the dance. These boliyan, or two-line poems known as couplets, cover a variety of themes such as the excesses committed by husbands and mothers-in-law. The Punjabi salwar kameez (tunic top and loose fitting pants worn by women in India and Pakistan) or lehenga (colourful skirt worn by women in India) in bright and rich colours are typically worn by women in this dance. Normally, no musical instruments are accompanied with gidha, except sometimes a dholak (small two headed drum) and provides the rhythm for the dance. Women clap and/or clang spoons to keep the rhythm. The distinctive hand-claps of the dancers is a prominent feature of this art-form.
Mimicry is also very popular in Gidha. One girl may play the aged bridegroom and another his young bride; or one may play a quarrelsome sister-in-law and another a humble bride. In this way Gidha provides for all the best forum for venting of one’s emotions. Gidha dance incorporate village life scenes of woman spinning cotton, fetching water from the well, grinding, etc. This is accompanied with appropriate boli and songs.