How to bollywood dancing
10 Best Bollywood Dances Scenes
A Bollywood film just ain’t right until someone’s dancing. These are the greatest shape-throwing moments in Hindi movie history
You might think you know exactly how to bust those Bollywood dance moves – but, trust us, it’s best left to the professionals. Here we’ve picked some of the most memorable and jaw-dropping dance scenes from Bollywood movies old and new. So take a look, start copying these routines in the mirror, and soon you too might be able to dance like Shah Rukh Khan on top of a moving train (although we’d prefer it if you didn’t try that). Cue music!
By Anil Sinanan and Ashanti Omkar
RECOMMENDED: The 100 best Bollywood movies
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The best Bollywood dance scenes
1. ‘Dola Re Dola’
Film: ‘Devdas’ (2002)
Bollywood kitsch doesn’t get any better than this energetic dance performed on screen in ‘Devdas’ by the two reigning divas of the time, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai.
Dance director Farah Khan dressed the two women in white chiffon saris, and each circles the other, intent on outperforming her counterpart. The result is a camp and colourful visual treat unsurpassed to this day.
2. ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’
Film: ‘Sholay’ (1975)
Before leading ladies in Bollywood were able to play bold and confident characters, almost every film included a ‘vamp’. She was usually the gangster’s moll and wore ‘western’ clothes, smoked, drank alcohol and danced in a skimpy outfit to a cabaret number.
Helen, Bollywood’s most famous vamp, may have well been past her prime when she gyrated in a belly-dancer’s outfit to this RD Burman track (inspired by a song from Greek singer Demis Roussos) – but still she managed to prove that she was Bollywood’s best.
3. ‘Kala Chashma’
Film: ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ (2016)
Inspired by the 2006 Adam Sandler vehicle ‘Click’, ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ was unloved by the critics and the box office, but this song took over Bollywood. Katrina Kaif, often lauded by her co-stars for putting her all into her dancing, serves some fierce choreography to this breezy bhangra-infused R&B bop. It’s no surprise that Bosco-Caesar, the illustrious Indian choreographer duo comprised of Bosco Martis and Caesar Gonsalves, picked up the award for Best Choreography at the Zee Cine Awards in 2017.
4. ‘Radha Kaise Na Jale’
Film: ‘Lagaan’ (2001)
Renowned choreographer Saroj Khan took this rustic, evocative melody by double Oscar and double Grammy winner AR Rahman, and created a visual masterpiece to match. Bollywood heavyweight Aamir Khan and co-star Gracy Singh, who is trained in both Odissi and Bharatanatyam classical Indian dance styles, twirl, jump and shimmy to perfection, while Asha Bhosle and Udit Narayan provide the song’s vocals.
5. ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’
Film: ‘Dabangg’ (2010)
In 2010 the competition between ‘item songs’ in Bollywood movies reached its peak as filmmakers tried to push the taste barriers as far as they could.
Malaika Arora’s ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’ proudly proclaimed that she was ‘infamous’ and did not go out with guys ‘with no money’, while Katrina Kaif’s ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ in ‘Tees Maar Khan’ just wanted to ‘express love’ to herself as she was ‘too sexy’ for anyone else. ‘Munni’ won as ‘Dabangg’ became a blockbuster and ‘Tees Maar Khan’ crashed at the box office.
Film: ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015)
The ruling queens of Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone, both of whom are now also making waves in Hollywood, delighted audiences with this emotive sequence that sees the pair dance off in similar sarees. Choreographer Remo D'Souza was nominated at the Filmfare Awards and won the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Choreography for the performance. Providing the vocals are Shreya Ghoshal and Vaishali Mhade, while the film’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, composed the track.
7. ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai’
Film: ‘Khalnayak’ (1993)
‘What’s beneath your blouse?’ is the opening line of this notorious smash hit. The camera then cuts to lead lady Madhuri Dixit who heaves her ample chest whilst giggling shyly and replying that it’s her ‘dil’ (heart).
The song was widely condemned for its naughty lyrics but Saroj Khan’s innovate choreography and Dixit’s nimble moves resulted in a dance considered sensuous without being vulgar. The popularity of this dance sequence was largely responsible for an unremarkable crime movie becoming a blockbuster.
Read more about Madhuri Dixit in our list of the ten best Bollywood actresses of all time.
8.‘Kate Nahin Kat Te’
Film: ‘Mr India’ (1987)
Sri Devi was Bollywood’s leading actress in the 1980s, and in ‘Mr India’ she enthralled audiences by swaying her buxom figure in a free-flowing blue sari whilst ‘singing’ to her invisible superhero lover.
This is probably the most dignified example of the now-dated ‘saucy wet sari song’ template, which often sees a film’s heroine clad in a flimsy white cotton sari and getting drenched in the rain, so that the director can show off her body without resorting to actual nudity.
9. ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’
Film: ‘Dil Se..’ (1998)
Any dance scene that features one of Bollywood’s most famous leading men, Shah Rukh Khan, and one of the most revered dancers, actress-turned-host of ‘India’s Next Top Model’ Malaika Arora, deserves attention. Add the fact that the whole sequence takes place on top of a moving steam train (!) and you’ve got yourself something only the brilliance and wonder of Indian cinema could produce. The song, written by the legendary AR Rahman, is so catchy that it’s found its way into a number of English-language films and TV shows, like ‘Inside Man’ and ‘CSI: Miami’.
10. ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’
Film: ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ (1960)
This black-and-white film set in the sixteenth-century imperial court suddenly bursts into vivid colour for a classic Lata Mangeshkar song, danced brilliantly by Madhubala, the film’s leading lady. Filmed in a hall of mirrors, the dance explores the forbidden love a dancing-girl slave feels for a prince – despite the king’s displeasure.
The song title translates as ‘Why fear when in love?’ and it remains a defiant anthem for anyone who dares to love above his or her class or caste. It’s also one of those rare times in Hindi cinema when a dance helps to move the story forward.
More from the world of Bollywood
The 100 best Bollywood movies
What does Bollywood mean to you? India, music, romance, song, drama, dance, comedy, action? All of the above? Here, we celebrate the popular, mainstream face of Hindi movies – the big films that have been entertaining audiences in India and across the globe for more than six decades.
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Disney Releases Free Bollywood Dance Tutorial
in Disney, Entertainment, Television
Posted on by Alessa Dufresne
Credit: Disney Junior
Do you have a little one at home that loves to groove? Or are you are a full grown adult like me who has fantasies of joining the Broadway cast of Aladdin? Well, you can now learn to Bollywood Dance with the magic of Disney!
Disney Junior has released a YouTube video that teaches us how to dance like a Bollywood superstar in under 2 minutes. Check it out below.Related: “We’re All In This Together”: Disney Sends Heartfelt Message to Kids
On March 22, 2020, Disney Junior in both the U.S. and India launched the new animated series Mira, Royal Detective. The success of the show sparked an idea for Disney to create a new short-form series called Dance with Mira and Friends.
In the series, you join Mira and her adventurous pals as they teach you how to be a Bollywood dancer. And trust me, even if you have two left feet, you will be able to follow along.Credit: Disney Junior
Pick up classic Bollywood moves in seconds!
The new series is choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance‘s spectacular Nakul Dev Mahajan. During the world premiere at The Walt Disney Studios, Nakul’s choreographer Khushy Niazi brought a Indian Bollywood dance class to a group of kids! Thankfully, Disney Junior uploaded the tutorial online so we could all learn how to “Lotus Rainbow” and “Foot stomp” like an Indian dance pro.
The tutorial is only four simple moves, and it’s a great way to get you or your kids up for some quick exercise between Disney Junior episodes while learning a little more about Indian culture. Plus, you can learn the official dance of India from a professional dance teacher for free!Credit: Disney Junior
Do you want more Bollywood Disney dance tutorials?
If you want to learn more on how to be a Bollywood film superstar, or if you are missing those Disney Junior Dance Parties over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, check out the new series Dance with Mira and Friends. The show premiered Monday Aug. 24 at 8:55 a.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.
You can also watch Mira Royal Detective on Disney Junior, Disney Junior YouTube and DisneyNOW. It’s the perfect way to bring the magic of Disney into your home.
Will you be learning this fun dance with your family? Let us know in the comments below.
Canadian in Orlando. Disney lover who binges The Office and puts on live performances of Beauty and the Beast in the shower daily! Big Disney history buff who loves theme park fashion and theories.
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Bollywood as a style of dance
Bollywood dance is perhaps the only style that is not fully understood, not comprehended and very peculiar.
Bollywood style is most directly related to the dances of Indian cinema, because it originated from there, it was on the screen of romantic melodramas that the viewer saw these dances. And only after the embodiment in the cinema, the Bollywood style began to be staged by choreographers especially for the stage, this was facilitated by numerous Awords - Indian film awards, when the stars performed film dances. Bollywood is always the dance of the Show, because its task on stage is to delight the viewer, surprise, delight, amaze, revive emotions, which the film conveys, to present a piece of history of the plot that has descended from the screen.
The Bollywood style is in constant development, like any other dance, it becomes more complex, corrected in its purity and correctness of execution. Hence its division into three main areas: Classic, Western, Indian.
One of my friends, in response to my statement that I work with Indian cinema dances, retorted that “it’s boring and not interesting,” to which I replied that if she saw a Bollywood dance and thought that it was boring, then this was NOT Bollywood. Dancing in the spirit of Indian cinema a priori cannot be boring, even for our European audience. Another thing is that, since style is just beginning to flow into our dance world, then non-professional performance, non-professional staging, and even other styles of Indian dance that are less understandable to us, such as classical Indian dances, or temple dances, can be presented under Bollywood sauce. As for the non-professionalism in this style, it is hardly surprising that, as in any other dance, there are half-educated students who have seen enough youtube lovers who begin to think of themselves as great dancers and choreographers, starting to give a pathetic parody or one-sidedness of the dance . Non-professionals are lucky, because you can always hope that the style is not yet widespread, that few people have seen real quality, so no one will really understand anything, you just have to create a vivid image of an Indian beauty. There are also some dancers who are just casual about this style and love themselves in dancing more than dancing in themselves. Over the years of my work in India, I have come across many times when a foreign woman, having copied movements from the cinema and adding her dashing freestyle, tries to dance the Bollywood style without any understanding and awareness of what she shows with her hands and what she twists with her legs. As a result, the Indians smile condescendingly and say: “Nice”, but in their thoughts they put an end to the fact that foreigners are given to dance Bollywood, well, except to amuse the crowd with a parody. I note that even after putting on a lot of jewelry, trying on a suit studded with embroidery and making a couple of steps with “screwing in light bulbs”, the dance may seem boring to the viewer. And the worst thing is when the viewer concludes that it is not the dancer or the choreographer who is bad, but the style itself.
There is another misperception of the Bollywood style, which is confusing it with classical Indian temple dances. The temple dances of India are fundamentally different from the dances of Indian cinema. Because In our country, classical Indian dances are quite widely represented, then many of those who perceive the dance of India only from the cinema are extremely surprised when they encounter classical ones. Classical dances are different from movie dances, like our classical ballet is different from all modern dance styles like jazz, funk or hip-hop. It is worth paying tribute to those pioneers who went to India to study precisely the classical styles (these can be bharatanatyam, odissi, kathak, kuchipudi, etc. specifically for the development of a particular style of dance, a scholarship was requested to study in India), then graduates of state dance colleges , followers of their classical Gurus, spread the variety of temple styles here in Russia, but again, dances of Indian cinema are not taught in state colleges of the art of music and dance. This is taught professionally by choreographers and those dancers who directly work in the show business of cinema. Of course, there are famous classical dancers and teachers who also contributed, such as Birju Maharaj (a style of Indian classical Kathak dance), but again - this is just a small fraction of Bollywood, and only in the amount that was necessary for the spirit and dancer style. It is a very mistaken opinion that without temple dances it is impossible to dance the Bollywood style, I assure you, this is more than possible.
Even such a style as classic mujra (well presented in the film Dear Umrao) can be danced without knowledge of the classical Kathak style, because the heroine Rekha perfectly presented the classic mujra direction without the virtuosity of the classical Kathak. Classic Bollywood may include the Kathakh style, but the essence of the dance is not directed at divine stories, but at the stories of the movie characters themselves, their emotions, experiences. It is not often that a classical dance choreographer in a movie uses exclusively the technique and emotions of temple dance, he skillfully presents it under the sauce of secularism, excluding difficult-to-perceive elements. Classic (Classic) Bollywood dance uses traditional costumes, borrowed from classical styles, but brighter, even bolder, with lots of all sorts of embellishments and glitter. Even in Classic Bollywood, the technique of classical Indian dance is not obligatory and prevailing, but it can be very adapted to the viewer.
The modern Bollywood style called Western Bollywood is greatly facilitated by the familiar street dance styles, because a lot is borrowed from there and mixed in such a way that it is really impossible to understand what is more here, for example, funk or hip-hop. Well, the obligatory Indian presentation, emotions, the relationship of movement with the meaning of the song. Bellydance, Latino, flamenco, even Afro dance can also join here. Modern Bollywood dance can have the most sophisticated, glamorous and even revealing outfits, but not vulgar, a mixture of everything that seems incompatible, but at the same time original. In this direction of Bollywood, there is practically no classical dance technique, only elements and poses can be (again, not necessarily) taken. Western Bollywood is modern Bollywood, there are many styles of street dance here, maybe strip plastic, and vogue, and jazz.
Particular and important attention in the style of Bollywood should be given to folk, those diverse movements of Indian folklore, which brought a special flavor to this style. A folklore touch is present in this dance everywhere, starting with emotions and delivery, ending with the squatness of all movements. Bollywood dance can never be called an airy style, such as modern, Bollywood, the style that does not differ in flights, weightless and protracted jumps, but with all this it is graceful and easy, perceived accessible, all steps seem interesting, even if you do not understand the text dance songs.
The direction of Bollywood dance, called Indian Bollywood, is based mainly on the movements of Indian folklore interspersed with classical poses, mudras (certain folding of the palms and fingers), the same can be said about the costume that the dancer puts on, this is a traditional outfit characteristic of folklore or even with some design idea from classic traditional costumes. This is the direction of traditional Bollywood, everything here, from the image to the dance itself, is very attached to the traditions of India, to its customs, holidays, and values. Indian Bolywood differs from folklore dances in that the emphasis is on the emotions of the performer, on the events in which the dancer is involved, on his passion, perhaps on beauty and seductiveness.
Based on the latter, when the emphasis in the dance is on temptation, a frank hint, then here in the traditional direction there is the concept of mujra, no longer in the classical performance, as noted above, but in folklore. A prime example is the Chole Ke Piche dance from the movie Villain. The concept of Mujra is generally seduction, seduction, evoking feelings and love emotions, so this concept can also apply to the Western direction of Bollywood dance, an example of Aao Raja from the movie Gabbar is Back.
The dance style of South Indian cinema is also developing rapidly and interestingly, and this is a more energetic direction, even hyperactive with an unusual set of physically complex movements. Therefore, in order to add zest, quite often the Bollywood dance choreography is diluted with steps from South Indian cinema. Here in Russia, the style of South Indian cinema is practically not found, there can only be songs, but not the performance itself. One bright teacher and choreographer, Vishnu Narayan (originally from Trivandrum - South India), used to put on many interesting compositions at master classes and successfully combined secular Bollywood with ardent dances of South India. But for more than three years he no longer teaches and pursues his career outside of Russia.
But before delving into the diversity of South Indian dance film style, there is still a lot to be done in the Bollywood style itself. After all, in Russia we have more than the estate of Classic and Indian Bollywood. And Western Bollywood is very weak or not even represented at all. An exception here may be the bright performer and choreographer Reedy Sheikh, who presents Western Bollywood in a professional and interesting way. Many directors in Russia, unfortunately, believe that modern Bollywood is no longer Indian dances, but a superimposed choreography of a mix of street styles on Indian film music. But if, my dears, you put it this way, then it will be so, as the Indians say: "Cute" ... But it's meaningless, and nothing in Bollywood dance can be meaningless.
Colleagues, choreographers and dancers need to develop, not be afraid, try and do it. And the most important thing is to dwell on the quality, and not on the quantity of God knows what danced.
Author - Alina Yasmin
Video - Ridi Sheikh (dance competition / Odessa)
What is "Bollywood"? - School of Indian dance "Sargam"
In general, here, in Russia, the people often do first, and then think, and even more often everything comes from elementary ignorance. So it turns out with nominations at Indian dance competitions. But if they ask me such questions, then people consider me a competent specialist. So, let's try to figure it out ...
If we think logically, then let's look at Wikipedia and see the definition of this word. I quote: “Bollywood (Hindi बॉलीवुड, Urdu بالیوڈ, English Bollywood) is a synonym for the film industry of the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), named after Hollywood (Hollywood) in California (USA). Bollywood is films that are predominantly made in Hindi or in Hindustani, which is mutually intelligible to Hindi and Urdu speakers.
Based on this definition, it is clear that Bollywood refers to what we see in Indian cinema in two dimensions.
But the same actors regularly take part in dance shows and various film awards ceremonies, where they dance dance hits of their colleagues or their own on stage.
If you think like that, then there is another direction in Indian dances - variety.
From the same wikipedia: “Estrada (from French estrade, “scaffolding”) was originally a kind of stage for performances. Now this term also means a kind of stage art of small forms of predominantly popular entertainment direction, including such areas as singing, dancing, circus on stage, illusionism, conversational genre, clowning. Artists performing in the pop genre are called pop artists, pop artists.
So Indian film actors are also entertainers.
And, as you can see from the definitions, there is a significant difference between these concepts (Bollywood and variety art). And now explanations with examples...
Bollywood shoots dances on film so that the dance, the performer, the plot looked spectacular, exotic on the screen. As my colleague once expressed her opinion: “The main thing in cinema is purchasing power, or in other words “commercial success”. Our viewer, of course, likes shallow cinema and dancing, but real art is something that needs to be understood and fanatic. And she is 100% right!
None of the dances ripped off from the clip looks as attractive on stage as it does in the movies. Therefore, such dances, in my opinion, are boring if they are staged without taking into account all the laws of the stage and the features of music and text.
They often tell me: “Just think, you “ripped off” (you can’t call it otherwise) a completely dance from the cinema and you can already dance ... Success is guaranteed!” And nothing of the kind!
I see many versions of one of the most famous Bollywood dances on the stage... This is one of the clearest examples of the mediocrity of dancers and their lack of education in Indian dance. Compare. Watch the first video first - this is the original.
Madhuri Dixit in Devdas
and here is one of the “intertreations” (I’m not afraid of this word) of this composition on stage…
this version is certainly closer to the original, but… a knowledgeable person would consider such a performance as aerobics…
And there are a lot of such examples, one can go on ad infinitum...
I say this not because I humiliate all these dancers, but because I want our audience to see truth in beauty and beauty in truth. In order to competently “remove” the dance from the video, you need knowledge of the dance itself (a certain style of classical, in this case, dance), knowledge of the traditions of performance, what costume suits this composition, what decorations are needed for a particular number ... And, undoubtedly, knowledge lyrics. And most importantly - the laws of the stage!
Only under these conditions can a film clip be turned into a good pop number that will fit into an expensive show program and will be a bright and worthy, memorable number for any concert. To do this, you need to learn from competent teachers, because it is unrealistic to learn this on your own. There are very thin lines in Indian dance that cannot be crossed, otherwise you will look ridiculous to both the audience and the stage performer.
In fact, there are not many groups in Russia that can properly teach Bollywood dance on the stage so that it looks no worse than the original.
To make such a dance look spectacular, it is not necessary to use the same color of the costume, the same movements as in the cinema… Sometimes these movements are connected with the canvas of the film, but we do not show the film on the stage, right? We perform a single composition.
Variety may not be related to cinema at all. A pop dance can be put to the song of any vocalist, but even in this case you need to know the text and style of performance, choose a costume and seriously think over the production of the number.
So pop music is also a difficult direction in Indian dance, which requires no less attention than classical and folk choreography.
I repeat that the Indians are very faithful to their traditions. And, by the way, dance traditions in particular. An Indian will never teach a student from the heart, if the student does not want to and does not follow him like a tail, begging and pulling knowledge bit by bit from the teacher ... “If the student does not want to learn, then why teach him? Why waste your strength, energy, knowledge, time ... ”- this is what my teacher says. The dance traditions of India are protected from strangers even more severely than from Indian "amateurs". Cinema is considered not as serious a genre as theater, so you will never see real Indian dance in the cinema.