The dancing style in Bollywood has changed a lot after 2000, mainly because of the dance-based reality TV shows. Everyone knows about the varied dance styles nowadays. The actors are also quick to pick up dance forms such as locking, popping, breaking and hip-hop. So, this factor has changed the industry’s dancing style as a whole.
Look at Madhuri Dixit [Nene]. Give her a song, tell her the dance form, and she will do her best to work it out perfectly. Then there is Hrithik Roshan, who can perform both western and Indian dance forms very well. Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan,
Tiger Shroff, and are also great at picking up varied dance forms. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see classical dance styles in Bollywood very often nowadays. Only directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who make period films, have songs in their movies that facilitate the inclusion of classical dance forms. No one else is concentrating on making pure classical numbers. So, as choreographers, we also have the scope to do something different. I hope in the near future, we get to see more classical and folk dance styles in films.
I also feel that we are losing out on the Indian-ness of Bollywood dance. Like how Sarojji (Saroj Khan) used to choreograph songs in the past. They used to have thumkas and nakhras. People are now more into western dance. But I feel we should have some out-and-out filmi numbers too.
However, one thing that hasn’t changed in all these years is the concept of the signature steps. It is usually catchy, and that’s how you remember the song. Generally, choreographers in India blend different dance forms to create something. We also blend the dance form in a way that it suits Bollywood songs and films
I think the younger generation is working really hard. They are exploring new styles, and of course, because of these shows on TV, they have tough competition. People know about different dance styles now, so there’s a big challenge for the choreographers that belong to this age. They should remember one thing that it’s not about how you can dance to a song; it’s about how the actors can perform to it. So, always make sure that you keep the actors in mind and then choreograph.
As far as I’m concerned, dance is a passion for me. I don’t do homework and go to the sets. I believe in being impromptu. I just go on the sets and start doing whatever comes to my mind.
In the end, I would say people should make more films that are based on dance. I want to see movies that explore different forms and new styles of dance, and also those that revive the old.
As told to Jayeeta Chatterjee