The Rise of Bollywood

April 6, 2009

So I’ve noticed that recently, Bollywood has been garnering more attention in mainstream American media. Last summer, the American-Idol counterpart dance reality show  So You Think You Can Dance showcased its first Bollywood routines. For those who have grown up watching Bollywood films, I thought that the dance choreography was alright in comparison to some of the Bollywood routines I’ve seen at cultural festivals, but as far as the entertainment factor goes the audiences seemed to love it:

For me, some of the best choreography came from the movie Devdas. Although the film came out in 2002, I still think that it’s one of the best representatives of Hindi cinema. All the dance items in Devdas are excellent, but this one was the pinnacle of the movie. The year it came out I saw dozens of girls replicating the same dance moves for the same cultural shows for the next 5 months:

A more recent Bollywood film is Luck By Chance, a movie about Bollywood actors struggling to make a break in an industry where the lead roles are dominated by a handful of established actors, as well as the children of established directors and producers. Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma are fresh faces playing the lead roles of the movie, but the film’s marketing appeals by using star power:

Who wouldn’t rush to see Hrithik Roshan dance in a veritable Aladdin-costume replica while surrounded by a vibrant circus? The man is the best dancer in Bollywood! (Sharukh Khan fangirls, please don’t kill me.)

If you are  interested in learning Bollywood dance, the Bollywood Funk NYC Dance School and BAX, or Bollywood Axion, are a couple places in New York where you can take lessons. For those who are more economically-minded, just pick up the moves by renting a few Bollywood films! Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun.


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