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The Bollywood boogies!

Ever wondered what sets your feet tapping or your head shaking suddenly in middle of nowhere when you hear your favourite Bollywood number? Titash Roy Choudhury shares the fascination of Indians with Bollywood dancers.

entertainment Updated: Apr 28, 2010 17:20 IST
Titash Roy Choudhury
Titash Roy Choudhury
Hindustan Times

DanceEver wondered what sets your feet tapping or your head shaking suddenly in middle of nowhere when you hear your favourite Bollywood number? Suddenly you remember that dance step you always loved and wanted to imitate, well that is the craze of dance among Indians and all the credit should go to our very own stars whose signature dance moves make it so special.

From parties, to weddings and personal get-togethers, dance especially Bollywood dance has dominated the scene. Be it a youngster, a middle-aged pot-bellied man, or a coy housewife, in India they would all shake a leg like their favourite film star. So on World Dance Day, Hindustan Times shares this fascination of Indians with Bollywood dance and the dancers.

Dance in India can be traced back to our classical Gods Shiva, Krishna and Kali, from where it is said to have originated. Well this was the Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi that ruled Bollywood cinema for a definite period of time when we had heroines like Meena Kumari performing a flawless performance of Kathak in Pakeezah or Madhubala's lavish classical dance style in Mughal-e-Azam, classical dance was the flavour of the era.

Few years later we had heroines like Vyjayanthimala, a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, matching her steps both on classical dance like hothon pe aisi baat or rock-n-roll dance style of that era. But slowly the dance styles started to reinvent and there was an influx of western influences, permeating in Bollywood's dance sequences and from there in to the common man's life.

Then there was the eclectic, bizarre, overenthusiastic, one of its kind dance style of Shammi Kapoor, especially in Junglee that made everyone shout yahooooo. The pulsating beats and foot stomping dance steps created by Shammi Kapoor taught the public to freely express themselves through dance and his style went on to become a legend in itself.

With Shammi Kapoor we can't afford to overlook the major influence of the evergreen dancing queen of Bollywood, Helen. Her scintillating and sensuous dance moves won millions of heart all over and in a way initiated the concept of item numbers. No one can forget this Monica and her dance moves and during that period every girl wanted to shake her hip the way Helen did it.

Talking of influence of Bollywood dancing style on audience how can someone forget the exercise like dance steps of Jeetender. Our very own jumping-jack though became a butt of many jokes for his funny dance moves, yet he created his very own signature style that was admired by Jeetender fans. People danced his way whenever they heard of any Jeetender song, may be just to poke fun or have masti.

'D se hota hai Dancer', well Mithun was the ultimate disco dancer of his time and his rendition of disco popularised a new form of dance in India. Young boys started wearing tight bellbottoms and shake their pelvis the way Mithun did it. The frenzy over his signature dance style still exists and even today whenever an ultimate disco number plays in any club you see everyone dancing on Mithun's steps.

Rather a black sheep in Indian cinema, Govinda soon became the master of Bollywood masala films and his vigorous dance steps and flexibility gained him recognition. Wearing red and yellow pants, he could carry out almost all kinds of dance steps with ease, giving it a touch of his own dancing style. Govinda's dance manoeuvres soon dominated public's heart and mein toh raaste se jar aha tha became the anthem for any roadside-Romeo.

Madhuri Dixit became a household name with her dance sequence in Tezaab where her hip-shaking steps and vibrant expressions gave Madhuri the tag of a popular dancer. Later she proved her prowess as a dancer skilful, both in classical dance as we recently witnessed in Devdas and in western Dil toh Pagal Hai is a proof to that.

And all the steps immortalised by Madhuri on screen have gained a place in public's heart. Even today people can't stop staring at her sensuous dhak dhak dance sequence in Beta.

The creative and cool step that was being imitated by everyone in pubs and parties alike, and that got synonymous with the stars identity, Hrithik can be hailed as the present God of dance. Be it any style, in any form, he performs it with élan and to the perfection. No one can forget his solo performance on the song main aisa kyun hu in Lakshay which became an overnight hit. Today every single child wants to dance like him, every girl fancies his moves and sometimes even mothers.

An average Indian lives a very mellow and down to earth existence but Bollywood cinema and its dance styles give him the scope to explore and reinvent his inner self.

First Published: Apr 28, 2010 16:41 IST