Even as top Bollywood actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone have no qualms about doing item numbers, veteran actress Hema Malini feels there is no need for them to do such songs. "I feel all big heroines who have earned a good name, there is no need for them to do item numbers. We have different people for doing item numbers," she said.
Incidentally, over the last few years several leading actresses have fallen for the popularity received from a hit item number. Kareena danced on Chammak Challo (Ra.One), Katrina did Sheila Ki Jawani (Tees Maar Khan) and Chikni Chameli (Agneepath), Aishwarya danced on the popular Kajra Re (Bunty Aur Babli) number and Bipasha performed the Beedi (Omkara) item song.
In the 60s, actresses like Helen, Bindu or Aruna Irani did most of the dance numbers, now called as 'item songs'. "Today we have item numbers...dance repertoire is item number one, two, three...but now this item number is some Munni Badnam Hui, Jalebi...these are all items. People like it. It is not my taste, but the taste of people is changing, they love to see that," Malini said.
The actress, who is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, lamented that the elegance of classical dance was missing in today's films and that it was dance that helped in building her acting career. "I really miss classical dance in films. Audience today likes Munni Badnam Hui and Jalebi Bai kind of dances. I remember in the past we have had Vyjayanthimala and Padmini, both trained Bharathanatyam dancers. They both got opportunity to show good dance forms in Hindi movies."
"That time acting school was not there...we did not know what to do, how to act so danced helped in a way. I was petrified when I got offer to act in a film. In my case, dance helped me a lot. Today there are institutes and it helps in a way," she said.