Dances of Punjab

Dance is a “form of expression that uses bodily movements that are rhythmic, patterned (or sometimes improvised), and usually accompanied by music.”


Bhangra is one of most popular dances of India performed during Baisakhi only by the men in Punjab. Bhangra includes the drummer who usually stands in the center of the circle in an open space surrounded by dancers who even recite meaningless `bolis`, words such as hoay, hoay; or Balle, Balle, which not only inspire themselves but also others for the dance.


Giddha (or Gidda) is another popular of Dance form which is specially performed by the women of Punjab. Accompanied by claps, the Dance involves interesting dialogues or bolis about any subject under the sun. [3]


The tribal communities of Punjab perform the Sammi Dance, which is popular in Sandalbar, which now is in Pakistan. Wearing vibrant kurtas and lahangas, the women of Punjab perform the Dance of Sammi. The unique feature of this Dance lies in a traditional hair adorning jewellery that is used by the Dancers.


Literally Jaago means wake up! When there is a marriage in the house, girls dance through the village streets carrying a pot (gaggar) decorated with lightened candles and sing Jaagu songs. The themes of the songs are social and usually a bit of teasing, often aimed at elders, goes with the song.


Luddi dance is another wonderful folk dance which is performed only by male folk dancers. This dance is generally performed to celebrate any kind of achievement or success attained in any field. This is an extremely popular dance form of Punjab next only to Bhangra. In this dance form the dancers place one of their hand at the back while the other hand is put before the face and perform the dance.The dance moves of Luddi Dance are similar to movement of a snake’s head. Luddi is a folk dance which consists of slow movements and a lot of practice is required to master this form of folk dance.


Kikli is a highly popular folk dance among the young girls of Punjab. This dance is generally performed in pairs. Two girls stand facing each other as they get ready to perform the Kikli dance. As the dance performance starts the folk dancers move in circles in fast rhythmic movements. It makes for a beautiful experience as the dancers swirl their whole body with their colourful orhnis` or `daupttas`. Traditional folk music and songs are also important part of Kikli dance and are used to enhance the charm of this impressive folk dance of Punjab.


This dance, originally from Sandalbar (now in Pakistan), is very much a part of Punjab’s folk heritage. It is a graceful dance based on a Jhumar rhythm. Dancers circle around the drummer and sing graceful lyrics as they dance.


Also called the Gaatka dance, this is a dance of celebration. Two men, each holding colorful staves, in rhythm with the drums dance round each other and tap their sticks together. This dance is often part of marriage celebrations.


Jalli Dance, also known as Julli Dance, is a devotional dance form of Punjab. Jalli is associated with the Pirs – the Muslim holy men. It is generally performed in the khangahs (hermitages) of Pirs. A unique feature of this dance is that it is performed in sitting posture. The dancers wear black dress and sometimes they wear ghungroos around their waists. This dance associated with Muslim holymen called pirs and is generally danced in their hermitages (khangahs). This dance is mostly performed in sitting posture, sometimes it is also danced around the grave of a preceptor. A single dancer can also perform this dance. Normally the dancer wears black so is his head covered with black scarf. Sometimes, the murids (followers) also the tie ghungroos (Jingling bells) around their waists like the Bhangra dancers of yore. This dance is fast disappearing.