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The Origin of Bollywood Dancing

Bollywood fusion is a style of dance that mixes basic Bollywoodstyle of dancing and music and fuses it together with other styles of dancing such as Hip-hop andjazz. Bollywood dance originated in India, around Bombay, in the 20th century and is dancingthat we now see in Indian films.

Bollywood dance is a wide variety of styles all blended together. It is considered modern,Indian commercial dance but is a mixture of many styles including Western dance and “Kathak”.This means a dance that tells a story, which is exactly what Bollywood does – every movementhas a significant meaning and is always related directly back to the lyrics in the song.As it only started in the 20th century, it is still a young dance style but has alreadydeveloped massively. Bollywood stemmed from traditional or folk dance such asBharat Natyam. Similarly, to Ballet, Bharat Natyam has many hand gestures with significantmeanings and it is performed with a clear technique. Just like ballet, it has also had many otherdance styles develop directly from it, leading us straight back to Bollywood. Like most things,Bollywood began to grow making it almost unrecognizable at times, to how it was originally dueto all these other styles being mixed into it. (Courtney. 1998)

By the 50s-60s, Bollywood continued to grow and the amount of dancers used startedto expand. Colored films began to be created which was a blessing to the Bollywood dancecommunity as bright colors are key in costumes and set. This really brought it to life. It was inthe 1970s that Bollywood dance took a major change. Cabaret and disco dance had becomemuch more popular and were used as an influence in Bollywood dance. Incorporating thesestyles with original technique gave dancers much more room to experiment and many dancersstarted to create their own techniques. (Rhythm India 2014)Well-known dancers such as Helen Khan were famous for making theirown collaboration between traditional Bollywood and Cabaret. Thatromance in Bollywood films started to become more “gritty,” so the dances had to match. Helenused cabaret to make her characters more sultry and sexy. (Ali, 2012)

By the 1980s Bollywood started to incorporate Western dance styles such as Hip – Hopdance, using bigger troupes, more intricate costumes and dancing in many different locations.Movements are still sexy and sultry but are also combined with strong, bold movements seenmore commonly in Hip – Hop. In Bollywood, dancing today, you can still see a clear differencebetween the male and female sections however, it is not so diverse because women doincorporate bold movements also.Bollywood has evolved throughout the years. Even though it is still primarily Indian,there is now a huge contrast in how it began with influences from all around the world playing akey part in its development and where it is today. It has become a key part of the dance worldand is slowly becoming a well-recognized form of dancing.Although my academic and career goals do not reflect my passion for my expertisebecause although dance and the arts are being pursued more, there is still no stability in this field.Although, it is a dream not a reality.

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