The Story Behind Bollywood Dancing
Bollywood dancing has gained popularity over the years and has become an international sensation. These dance numbers are full of energy, elaborate dance moves, extravagant costumes, and lively music.
All About Bollywood Dance
The stars of Bollywood movies are their intricately choreographed dance numbers along with their masterful original soundtracks. Over the years, Bollywood productions have managed to develop its very own style of dance and music that has become internationally recognized and praised for their uniqueness.
In fact, Bollywood has become so internationally ubiquitous that it now has it’s own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary!
Source: Rhythm India
What Is Bollywood?
The term “Bollywood” came to be by merging two names: Bombay (now referred to as Mumbai) and Hollywood. Bollywood is the largest film industry in India —and also the world— based on the amount of films they’ve produced and the number of tickets that are sold there every year. The term also refers to the art and culture around these productions. Bollywood is not the only film center in South Asia; there’s also Lollywood in Lahore and Tollywood in Andhra Pradesh. However, Bollywood is a term so popular that it is used to refer to the entire South Asian film culture as a whole.
Traditional Dance Foundations
In the beginning of the Bollywood film era, the dance numbers were based solely on Indian classical dances and folk dances. You would see a lot of influence from classical dances such as Bharat Natyam and Kathak. After the 60s, Bollywood dance started to go through an evolution process. Choreographers started to manage larger groups of dancers. Over the years, the style of dance started to change as it became influenced by other styles like the Cabaret style and Disco in the 70s, and Western styles of dance after the 80s. Today, Bollywood dance is a fusion of many styles of dance, but it keeps its classical foundations.
The wonderfully elaborate costumes that are used for Bollywood dancing are one of the main elements of this style. There are usually bells (Ghunghroo) around the ankles which emphasize the dancer’s timing and footwork, and there’s also a lot of jewelry involved like a choker, a necklace, or a headpiece. These headpieces are supposed to have a sun on the right side and a moon on the left side.
“Traditional dances are very much about the gods and deities, and the sun and the moon reflect that. They are a thank you, or a tribute to them.”
If you’re drawn to this culturally rich type of dance, stop by Bella Diva Dance and join one of our BollyX classes. We embody the infectious energy, expression, and movement of Bollywood and aim to expand the reach of fitness to more people worldwide.