‘Bollywood Dance’ – A Baffling Dance Fusion..

Bollywood, also known as the ‘Hindi Film Industry’ is based in Mumbai, India and rules over the hearts of the 1.3Bn strong populace. Over the years, with globalisation, the Indian diaspora has moved to various corners of the world. Bollywood movies, songs and dance have gained popularity beyond Indian borders. Now, the question here is, what exactly is the Bollywood style of dancing? So, here are some facts about Bollywood dance:

Checkout some of the most watched Bollywood dance videos in the end of the post..

How exactly has “Bollywood Dance” evolved:

The Indian culture comprises of two basic dance styles in the form of traditional and folk. Furthermore, dance has also been an integral part of Indian films particularly in movies produced in Bollywood. Now, many choreographers in Bollywood over the years have fused elements belonging to Indian folk dances and traditional dances such as Bharatanatyam and Bhangra and the western and contemporary dance forms to create a mishmash of choreography and dance. It is this fusion that has led to the development of what is known as “Bollywood Dance” style. If you are not from India and end up checking out some of the dance videos in the end of this post, you are in for some surprise and mixed reactions!

Some technicalities..

‘Hastas’ and ‘Mudras or hand gestures’ from traditional Indian dance styles have conveniently found their way in Bollywood Dance. About 108 Mudras exist in Indian traditional dance forms and each carrying its own subtle significance. Though the ‘mudras’ are used in the bollywood dances, these are not necessary of the pure classical form but again a fusion with contemporary and western dance forms.

“Pigeon head” is a neck and head movement which is used frequently in Bollywood Dance. It basically involves ‘side-to-side’, ‘forward and back slide’ and neck rotation movements, and helps add a lot of fluidity to the dance form. According to Anjali Mehta, a dance teacher settled in London ‘The neck movement plays quite a big role in the dance’ allowing for variety of expressions to convey emotions.

“Abhinaya” literally meaning ‘acting’, is also critical component of the Bollywood Dance. The essence of “Abhinaya” lies in bringing to life a story accompanied by dance and simultaneous use of appropriate facial expression and eye movements. Expressions display emotions such as anger, love, sadness, and happiness. According to Anjali Mehta ‘The facial expressions must be supported by skilled movement of the eyes and eyebrows’. It is therefore important that the heavy makeup for the eye is used so that the slightest movements become prominent.

Some flavours of popular Bollywood dance videos:

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commonspixabay and Yosomono

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