On our visit to Antalya, Turkey, we observed one thing throughout our stay. Every time the DJ played a Bollywood track the crowd in the disc of the resort used to go crazy. It used to be a moment of awe, joy, and pride to see people doing the signature steps of popular Bollywood tracks. Be it ‘Chhaiyya Chhaiya’, ‘Lungi Dance’ ‘Kaala Chashma’, or any other Bollywood hit, every time we could see the energy levels soar infinitely. Even if you ask your friends abroad, they’ll always make you smile by telling you their favorite Bollywood dance tracks. This is just a glimpse of how the Bollywood Music and Dance Style is influencing people outside India.
‘Dance has always been at the core of Bollywood’- Shiamak Dawar.
And, with Bollywood making its mark at a global level, even the dance style has made its way to the international stage.
A beautiful amalgamation of various dance forms, Bollywood dancing is less about technique and more about expression. Bollywood artists like Prabhu Deva, Remo D’Souza, Farah Khan, and many others, with their expertise, have redefined Bollywood Dance to a whole new level.
The Evolution of Bollywood Dance Style
Inspired by the Indian classical dances, offline and online Kathak classes, and same Bharatnatyam classes, the Bollywood Dance style, like a sponge, has been absorbing different dance forms over the years. So basically, it is more of a style, a trend than a form. It is flexible and ever-evolving, with one thing perpetual – the fun element.
The dance style emerged in the 1950s, as a fusion of classical and folk dance forms. Songs like ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar’, ‘Saiyya dil Me Aana Re’ with beautiful dance steps, live up to the art of storytelling through music and dance. By the end of the decade, technicolor made its way to Indian cinema and revolutionized the dance style too.
Throughout the 60s and the years to follow, dance was associated with vibrant costumes, grand sets, and of course talented dancers like Helen, Sandhya, Geetanjali, and Mahipal. To date songs like ‘O Haseena Zulfo Wali’, ‘Badan Pe Sitaare Lapete Hue’ of the decade can make you groove in Shammi’s style.
Influenced by the global trend, the 70s saw a mix of both the cabaret and disco styles. Songs like ‘Dum Maro dum’, ‘Ye Jawani Hai Deewani’, ‘Hungama Ho Gaya’ were some of the foot-tapping tracks of the decade. The decade which followed saw a humongous change in every aspect of the Dance Style.
In the 80s, the Indian Cinema was popularly known as Bollywood- inspired by ‘Hollywood’ and Bolly indicating the birthplace of Indian Cinema ‘Bombay’. With this, the free-style Bollywood Dance emerged and wooed the audiences.
The 90’s and the years which followed, saw artists like Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, and others redefining the Bollywood Dance Style with their own signature styles.
What We See Today…
Although the Bollywood Dance Style had incorporated elements of western forms like hip hop, jazz, and salsa by the end of the 20th century, it is the 21st century that noticed a remarkable change, the style evolved, improved, and became crisper than ever before. In fact, there was a change in how the dance style was perceived by the audiences – not only Indian but International.
With the introduction of Dance Reality Shows, the Bollywood Dance Style which was just a mode of entertainment earlier became an aspiration. People across the country started training themselves to meet the expectations of Reality Shows. Once followed as just a hobby, the Bollywood Dance Style became a passion for many. And with the advent of technology, various online and offline classes are reaching dance enthusiasts across the globe.
The dance style gained more popularity with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical production, Bombay Dreams, which brought Bollywood dance to the stages of London’s West End and New York City’s Broadway.
Slumdog’s Millionaire track ‘Jai Ho’ also received international acclaim for both its music by A.R Rahman and choreography by Longinus Fernandes, an Indian choreographer and dancer. Moreover, artists like Britney Spears, Madonna, and Shakira have incorporated Bollywood dance steps in their performances. As demonstrated by the Frame by Frame UK symposium, Bollywood dance is now really an international dance form.
A Little Bit of Everything!
There is a significant western influence in the music which is reflected in the dance movements also. In response to the growing enthusiasm for the dance style, several Bollywood dance classes have sprung up in India and abroad.
The best part is that the dance style claims to offer several health benefits too! As it is a blend of various dance forms, it is capable of offering an interesting workout, and boosts coordination, rhythm, and balance. Not only in India, but in other parts of the world, instructional DVDs eagerly praise the cultural authenticity and health benefits of Bollywood dance. So, dance your way to the Bollywood style by first getting your hands on the best online Bollywood dance classes.