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Dragon wants to dance like the elephant

The desi dance shows in the India Pavilion at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo have caught the attention of Chinese art academies.

world Updated: Oct 01, 2010 00:34 IST
Reshma Patil

The desi dance shows in the India Pavilion at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo have caught the attention of Chinese art academies.

Officials from three Chinese cities including Shanghai have approached India Pavilion to help them find Indian faculty to set up yoga and Bollywood choreography schools. One of their goals is to supply Chinese dancers trained to dance like Indians if Bollywood producers film in China. “We’ve seen a great interest from Chinese students to learn Bollywood dance,’’ Bo Jiang, president of Shanghai film and art academy, said. “Any initiative for a joint production of movies, and Chinese artists performing in Bollywood and vice versa, will be very interesting for Chinese industry.”

The India Pavilion issued a media statement on Wednesday, saying that Anji city in east China, from where India sourced bamboo for the pavilion, and Xian also plan to start Bollywood dance and yoga schools this year.

Bo said his Academy plans to invite permanent Indian faculty. “We are in communication with Indian academies and plan to visit India shortly,’’ he said. “Bollywood is in Chinese hearts since Raj Kapoor’s Aawara.’’

Private Bollywood dance classes have sprouted across China but training options are limited. Bollywood films are not imported for screening in Chinese theatres, but the young Chinese track new releases online. The India Pavilion statement said these Chinese schools plan to start a Bollywood dance production house next year, to present shows and attract Indian producers to shoot in China.

Meng Jie, a spokesperson of Shanghai academy, said they need Indian yoga practitioners to teach the science of yoga, not the modern mix taught by foreigners in China. “Most Chinese yoga centres focus on weight-loss, not paying attention to teaching even basic ideas of what is yoga,’’ Meng said.