Nothing influences Indian minds more than movies. Bollywood has been a major contribution for cultural exchange in Indian states as well as in foreign countries.
Since Hindi movies always have songs and dance, there emerged a scope fo varity. (Also see: Why Bollywood Movies Have Songs And Dance?)
From traditional dance to western dance, Bollywood has tried to deliver every kind that stimulated the audience to circle around its movies. Here are some of the dance styles from India as well as around the world that introduced different cultural moves.
1. Acro dance
Acro dance is the shortened name for Acrobatic dance. This style increases flexibility and uses group formations in the dance style. Acrobatic dance emerged in Canada and the US in the early 1900s. Kamli is probably the first song introducing Acrobatics in Bollywood. Katrina Kaif performed up to the mark on Sunidhi Chauhan’s strong and heavy voice. The song introduces a fusion of Punjabi song with western moves. It received amazing response from the viewers.
2. Bharat Natyam
Bharatnatyam originates in Tamil Nadu which is also referred to as artistic yoga and Natya yoga. Bharatanatyam is arguably the oldest and most traditional classical dance style which seemas a synthesis of philosophy, sculpture, music and literature. Piya Tose Naina Lage Re from Guide presented a beautiful choreography with Waheeda Rehman’s magical performance. She is professionally trained in Bharat natyam. Deepika too showed her best in Om Shanti Om’s classic revival song Dhoom Tana.
Bhangra is a folk dance originated in Punjab which was initially performed for celebrating harvest. There are numerous films that portrayed Punjabi culture, but whenever we hear Bhangra, the first song that comes to our mind is Nagada Baja from the very popular film ‘Jab We Met’. Throughout the song, a sensational energy strikes down inside us that we want to dance to the beat. And if a dancer like Shahid Kapoor joins in, it has to get into the limelight.
4. Belly dance
Belly dance is an expressive dance which emphasizes complex movements of the torso. Originally a Middle Eastern folk dance, it has evolved to take many different forms depending on the country and region. Belly dance was introduced very much earlier when the dancing queen ‘Helen’ enchanted us in the song Mehbooba. Afterwards in Guru, Mallika Sherawat danced on Mayya Mayya and then Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger’s climax song Mashallah. We can also see a little bit belly dance in Sheila Ki Jawani from Tees Maar Khan, Afghan Jalebi from Phantom, Le Le Maza from Wanted and Dil Cheez Tuze De Di from Airlift.
5. Break Dance
An athletic style of street dance, this was came from Puerto Rico and African American youths. Though Hrithik Roshan’s Kites did not do well in box office, its songs were much loved by everyone. One of the songs called Fire includes his exceptional break dance at the very start. Ranbir Kapoor also has featured in break dance during Badtameez dil from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and the Breakup song from Aey Dil Hai Mushkil. The Student of the Year has Varun Dhawan break dancing on the very famous disco song.
Emerged from the state of Gujarat, Garba is famous during the nine day celebration of Durga (Navaratri). From the very old song of Saraswatichandra – Mai to bhool chali baabul ka des to Mai to aarti utaru from Jai Santoshi Maa; Aishwarya-Salman’s Dholi taaro dhol baaje; and now Nagada sang dhol baaje of Ram Leela with stunning swings of Deepika, Garba has redeveloped its magic throughout the years.
The origin of Kathak is rooted in ancient northen India. ‘Khubsoorat’ added more beauty to the talented Rekha who performed Kathak on the song Piya Bawari. Rekha is a professional in Kathak dance form. Another queen of dance after Helen is none other than Madhuri Dixit. Not only she is a trained dancer, but the aura she carries around while dancing leaves us awestruck. Same happened in the song Aaja Nachle when we all fell in love with her once again.
Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance. In Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh and North Karnataka, it is performed by the female performers wearing nine-yard long saris. The song Mala Jau De from Ferrari Ki Sawari brings a special appearance of Vidya Balan. She is seen dancing Lavani in a dark red saree on a stage show. The lyrics and dance adds zest to the performance.
Evolved in Carrebian, Latin America, Salsa is a modification of earlier dance forms performed there. Akshay Khanna’s ‘Naquaab’ delivers a lovely song Ek din teri raho mein with some soothing salsa moves that will make your day. Don’t forget the song Pyaar ki ek kahani suno from Honeymoon Travels. Unlike the previous one, this song engross on its spiciness in the beat as well as in the moves. Senorita from Zindagi na milegi dobara is undoubtedly a part of this list. Also, Behke Behke from Aisha is a sensational piece of Salsa.
10. Tap dance
Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. It has its roots in the fusion of several ethnic percussive dances. Wo ladki hai kahan? from the evergreen movie Dil Chahta Hai included a sweet and small section where Saif is seen tap dancing in a shining white suit and dark black shoes. Also, the third installment of Dhoom involved Aamir’s tap dance. Like a perfectionist as always, he actually did a professional tap dance course for that portion of the movie.
11. Hip Hop
A wider form of break dance, hip hop consists of various types of street dance. Hip Hop was the dance style that welcomed western moves in India. From Saturday Saturday of Alia and Varun to Bezubaan kab se and Bezubaan phir se by dancing champions and now Katrina’s Kala Chashma, Hip Hop is establishing its simple swag across India.
It combines elements of the native classical Kathak dance with native music including thumris and ghazals which were performed during Mughal era. Back in old days when traditional and classical dance forms were the soul of Indian movies, Mujra was renowned for its beautiful aura. Rekha killed it in Umrao Jaan’s Dil cheez kya hai and Mukaddar ka sikandar’s Salam-e-ishq, Madhuri in Maar dala from the movie Devdas and Kareena in Dil mera muft ka from Agent Vinod.
Odissi was performed predominantly by women in Odissa- eastern coast of India, and expressed religious stories and spiritual ideas. Who can forget the most loved and appreciated classical song by Shreya Goshal? Mere dholna sun from Bhul Bhulaiya reincarnated the faded craze for traditional songs. The song and dance overall create a perfect ambience for mystery and instrumental pleasure.
Bollywood is inclining more towards western dance which is emphasized by the American culture.
Over the years, an altogether new culture called Popular Culture is formed. This fusion is breaking all the individuality and bringing a creation of its own.