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By VertikaDSK May 06, 2013 5352 Words
Exclusive: 10 Decades of Bollywood Cinema and Dance with Shiamak Davar Can you believe that Indian cinema has been around for 100 years? In a Jugni Style exclusive, Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar shares 10 key changes that have changed dance on film. No more dancing around trees!

One of the leading choreographers in Bollywood, Shiamak Davar’s work on film includes directing iconic dance numbers for Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor in Dil To Pagal Hai, and Aishwarya Rai in Taal, in addition to stage shows and musicals around the world. Based in Mumbai and Vancouver, Shiamak’s work has been recognized for its fresh originality, blending Indo-contemporary and modern movements that include ballet, yoga, folk and western dance.

Read on for Shiamak’s insider take on Bollywood dance, music and film. 1. Step Together: Bollywood dance is a fusion of various dance forms, with ethnic and western influences. At the time of its inception, classical Indian dance forms ruled the roost and Bollywood moulded itself with classical movements and found a way to connect with the people. As time passed, interest changed with the evolution of music and dance globally. So from the qawwalis and the mujra to rock’n roll and Disco, from folk and regional music to Hip Hop and House influences, Bollywood music and dance has adapted itself to global sounds.

Above Photos: Scenes from Shiamak’s first Bollywood film, Dil To Pagal Hai 2. From trees to technique: For the longest time, dance in Indian cinema was synonymous with lead actors running around trees to express their love. When Shah Rukh Khan, whose wife Gauri used to dance with me, asked me to choreograph Yash Chopra’s Dil To Pagal Hai, I was very apprehensive as my work was very western for Bollywood back then. Little did I know that I’d go on to win a National Award and more importantly, [the film] changed the face of Bollywood with more structure and introduced systematic choreography, fit dancers and a sense of direction to songs. Dance as we see it today, has come a long way. 3. Dress to Dance: From Anarkali suits to floral printed shirts, the white salwar kameez to chiffon sarees, and bell bottom pants to miniskirts – actors and actresses have set trends that the nation has followed and how! The look of a song becomes a style statement. [Editor's Note: How many of us copied Madhuri Dixit's outfits from Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Kareena in Jab We Met, or Aishwarya in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanaam?]

Above photo: A scene from the film, Kisna, choreographed by Shiamak 4. ‘Item’ girls to ‘item’ boys: Though the reference to stylized dance performances as ‘item’ is not my favourite, over the decades they’ve proved to be the ticket to attracting audiences to films. The quintessential dance queen, Helen, has remained unbeatable, but the newer lot has done justice to the tag as well with their Munnis, Sheilas and Jalebi Bais [character names from different film songs]. Men have caught up with their Dard-e-Disco and Dabaang moves, and Bollywood sees a shift from macho man-based cinema to the metro sexual hero. 5. Music as the Muse: Indian culture is predominantly defined by its music: classical, folk, regional and western. Dance evolved hand-in-hand with developments in music. The entire production of music has seen a 360 degree transformation with the use of quality enhancing technology, which has had a positive impact on dance.

Above Photo: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai (centre) and Amitabh Bachchan perform a dance choreographed by Shiamak for a special stage show 6. DancEmotions: A wedding celebration, the love between two people, a tragedy, a family feud; there is a dance for everything. The climax of a scene, a turn of events, the emotional quotient; all are defined by a well chalked out dance sequence in Bollywood. Over the last ten decades, Indian Cinema has made its identity through song and dance, and has kept that intact, which is testimony to the cultural importance and inherent attraction towards music and dance in India. 7. Signature Moves: Shammi Kapoor’s shimmy, Mithun’s disco moves, Big B’s style, Govinda’s expressions and Hrithik’s perfect grooves – over the last hundred years there have been some unique dance moves that have become a staple for Bollywood dance. 8. From Daflis to LEDs: The use of properties has also come of age. The plain daflis now have a touch of technology with a string of LED lights. Sets and props have not only become more modern but also bigger, better and grander in terms of quantity and quality.

Above Photo: Shiamak Davar shows Aishwarya Rai a few dance moves on the sets of Taal (1999) 9. Dancing Divas: The first name that comes to everyone’s mind is Madhuri Dixit. With grace, style and the strength of a dancer, she had the entire nation dancing to her tunes. Bollywood has seen a series of actresses who, along with their acting, have proved to be equally natural on the dance floor. Madhubala, Vijayatimala, Rekha, Sridevi and Aishwarya Rai are just a few names on this exhaustive list! 10. Lights, Camera, Action, Cut! If you watch older dance videos, there was a continuity in dance movement, but today, more than choreography, it has become about editing. After each count, there is a cut. Though from a screen perspective the eventual outcome is beautiful, from a creative outlook, this is not a true demonstration of talent as it was! Thank you Shiamak Davar for sharing your personal perspectives on Bollywood and how it’s changed over the past 100 years. We’re in the mood to watch a movie now! Photography Courtesy: Shiamak Davar

Dancing around the trees
In decades gone, Bollywood stars danced around trees at moments when love was declared. The simple answer as to why this formula endured was that they were not good dancers. “Dance materialises sexuality in these films,” says Nasreen Rehman. “Once the vamp was usually the accomplished dancer in films. Now all heroes and heroines dance,” she adds. In recent decades, Bollywood actors have proved they really can move. “Up until the 1980s dancers would suddenly appear out of nowhere underneath a mountainous backdrop,” says film director Karan Johar. “Nowadays they can still appear out of nowhere, but the choreography is much more sophisticated.” Bollywood dance extravaganzas have proven an inspiration to many Western film directors such as Baz Luhrmann. The Globalization of Bollywood Dance

By Erica Marcoux, Smith College
Over the past few decades, Bollywood films have become their own distinct entity, given rise to a new variation of a genre of dance, and have developed into a globally recognized and appreciated phenomenon. Globalization is defined by as “the act of extending to other or all parts of the world”. In the case of dance, globalization takes place when dance companies go on tour, students go abroad or travel, and particularly since the dawn of the internet. Dancers may adopt movements from foreign genres, may train completely in various styles, and some will even work to adopt the cultural behaviors associated with a dance style. Others might put their own twist on a dance style to “make it their own” or to adapt the style to fit in with the context of dance in that culture. When dance forms become globalized, the question of whether or not the style can maintain its authenticity is raised. This, in turn, raises the question of what it means to be culturally authentic in the first place, as well as whether or not a style of dance can truly be possessed by a person or people. All of these questions become even more complex when looking at Bollywood dance, a form that in its “original” state was already a hybrid of elements of both Eastern and Western dance, but was located in India and primarily based on the classic Indian Kathak dance. Does this make it an Indian style of dance? By examining a brief history of the development of Bollywood films and dance, one can trace the evolution of Bollywood from a specific and hybridized movie dance form into a global phenomenon. HISTORY

Bollywood films have been in production since the beginning of the 20th century. Similar to American films, Indian movies were originally silent, black and white films, and developed into “talkies” and musicals during the 1930s and 1940s. The first Hindi film with sound was Alam Ara, directed by Ardeshir Irani, and was released in 1931. The first talkie produced in India was Ayodhyecha Raja, directed by V. Shantaram and released in 1932 (Subhash, 1970). The early 1930’s marked a time of great upheaval around the world, with the advent of the Great Depression, the start of World War II, and the Indian Partition. A potential explanation for the popularity of musicals at the time lies in these current events; the escapist and unrealistic nature of musicals is attractive when day-to-day life is overwhelming and distressing. The first Indian color film was produced in 1937, marking the start of the “Golden Age” of Indian cinema. The Golden Age lasted into the 1960s, and marks a period in which several of India’s classic and most popular films were created, as well as the time of India’s Independence. During this time, there was a growth in the commercial aspect of films, and a definition between commercial films and new wave films was unofficially established. The term “Bollywood” did not appear until the 1970s, when India surpassed the United States as the largest producer of films in the world. The name came from a combination of “Bombay” (which is now Mumbai, a cosmopolitan center of India, comparable to New York City in the United States) and “Hollywood” (Chidanand). “Bollywood” does not refer to films produced all throughout India, but to a specific region. Other areas of India and South Asia now have similar names, including Tollywood, Kollywood, Lollywood, and Dahliwood. Following the Hollywood model, Bollywood films incorporated several aspects of musicals. During a movie, the characters would spontaneously burst into song, and at least one large “fantasy,” show-stopping number would be included. These sections of the films incorporate many theatrical elements, including costumes, lighting, special scenery or props, singing, and of course, dancing, as can be seen in the following clip from Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, produced in movie form in 1955. In earlier Bollywood films, the style of dancing used was based on classical Indian dance or folk dances from throughout India. These dances included primarily the Kathak and Bharatanatyam, seen in the following images:

Since the inception of MTV the 1980s, Bollywood dancing has been heavily influenced by Western dance styles, and incorporates elements from American MTV and Broadway. In many cases, the musical numbers are released as separate music videos, and the soundtracks are released prior to the film, in order to further advertise the upcoming premieres. In modern Bollywood films, the musical numbers are oftentimes based on the hip-hop style of dance as well as the variations on hip-hop dance found in the music videos that are played on MTV in both the United States and in India. These images, from Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love music video, and from “Chhabeela, Saawariya” in 2007 show similarities between MTV and Bollywood music videos.

The inclusion of unrealistic music and dance sequences and the importance given to these music videos in Bollywood movies are a continuation of the escapist quality of films desired in the 1930s and 1940s, and put on display the extent to which these trends have circulated. The musical numbers in Bollywood films most often include either the hero or heroine of the story, in addition to a large group of unnamed characters who have been hired as dance extras. The dance sections are often part of dream sequences or large production numbers that are disconnected from the plot line of the movie or have little to do with advancing the story. The songs being sung are most often Hindu, but may be heavily influenced by Western culture, or in some cases may be completely Westernized. Dressed in colorful and flashy costumes, the dancers perform on elaborate sets either on location in scenic regions or in artistically designed indoor settings, as can be seen in this image from Miranda Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, released in 2001. These elements add up to present a scene that is decorated with intricate details, brightly lit and embellished, and that feels separate from the “real world.” There are usually multiple musical numbers throughout a Bollywood film, but most Bollywood films are characterized by one major show-stopping performance. This number, referred to as the “item song,” is probably the longest and most fantastical of them all; characters will be seen in various costumes within the same song, and often bounce around from ornate location to ornate location and back again. Parallel to the rapid expansion in communication technology and global interactions over the last few decades, the film industry grew, and movies from other countries became increasingly available and accessible to the masses, particularly in terms of speed. Since roughly the 2000s, Bollywood has been the producer of the highest number of films per year, with an astounding average of over 1000 films per year. This is more than double the average number of films produced each year by Hollywood (Matusitz and Payano, 66). Today, one can purchase a Bollywood dance workout DVD, watch Bollywood routines on competition series “So You Think You Can Dance,” which is broadcast in twenty-four different countries, attend numerous international film festivals that feature Bollywood films, sign up to take Bollywood dance classes at local studios, and more. One such studio, run by the Young Indian Culture Group in Albertson, New York, states: Elaborate Bollywood dance numbers are an important highlight of Bollywood films. This engaging Indian dance style blends various dance forms including Indian classical dance, Indian folk, jazz influences, and Western popular. ( This brings to the forefront the fact that instructors of Bollywood dance in the United States are conscious of the fact that Bollywood dance in itself consists of numerous elements and has many influences, and find this important to share with their potential students, thus amplifying the hybridity of Bollywood in a commercial way. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

One way to look at Bollywood dance from a global perspective is to recognize it as a hybrid, globalized form even in its original, “authentic” state. The movements incorporated into early Bollywood films were based primarily on classical Indian dance and folk dances from the time, including both the Kathak and Bharatanatyam styles. This aspect of the dancing comes from South Asian tradition and is based on Indian culture. The Western elements of Bollywood dance come into play in early Bollywood films mostly in terms of context. The set-up of having disconnected dance sequences that feature elaborate costumes, sets, choreography, and music dispersed throughout a movie is directly connected to the musicals being produced both by Hollywood and on Broadway during the early to mid-twentieth century. Currently, Bollywood dance is still influenced by Western culture, perhaps even more so than when it began. However, rather than taking their cues from Hollywood and Broadway, directors, producers, and choreographers are incorporating elements from music videos that one might view on MTV in both the United States and in India. These modern elements include the frequent costume and location changes during musical numbers, as well as the use of larger, more extroverted movements to capture an audience’s attention. “…the formation of Bollywood is a process at once entirely Indian and cross-cultural.” (Kao and Do Rozario, 313). The musical number “Mhare Hiwda Mein Naache Mor” from Sooraj R. Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) uses both costume changes and drastic changes in location. Aside from the tremendous growth in technology and communication, the rapid spread and popularity of Bollywood films and dance can be attributed to migration. Close to 60,000 people leave India each year with the destination of the United States alone ( The resulting Indian diaspora is large and quite prominent, and with the spreading of people from different cultures comes the dissemination of culture. As more and more individuals leave India, (many for business related reasons), the Indian population in countries outside of India increases and leads to the development of Indian communities in these countries. These communities are dislocated from nation and establishing communal solidarity through shared cultural practices and media. The coincidence of ‘imagined space’ and ‘imagined community’ intimates a connection between Bollywood and its diasporic audiences defined by the act of imagination. (Kao and Do Rozario, 314). The escapist nature of musical Bollywood films described previously causes these “imagined spaces” to be created, and allows for audience members to avoid reality and seek comfort in an imagined and fantasized world. In the case of the Indian diaspora, these films provide a means for remembering their home culture and reminding themselves of their Indian identities. This appeal is, of course, not limited to Indian audiences; the pull for American audiences stems from a similar place. However, in this case, the desired escape is not to a place of imagined community, but to a place that is exotic and far away. Western culture holds a fascination with exoticism and, through media like films, makes elements of Eastern culture appear more foreign and different than they are in truth, and often does so by developing or reproducing stereotypes. In the case of Bollywood, audiences often see bejeweled women with dark eyes and long, dark hair singing in a different language and dancing in ways that are not common in the United States, in locations that are unfamiliar, providing the exotic and escapist quality of early and modern Bollywood films. The following clip puts this image of women prominently on display. Bollywood films have also become prominent in diverse Israel, and are featured at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. In Israel, there are two cable networks, “Hot Bombay” and “Yes India”, that are devoted solely to the playing of Indian films. Not only are Bollywood films and dance enjoyed by those in Israel, but they are part of a current process of collaboration between the Film Foundation of India and Israel’s Project Interchange and the American Jewish Committee to produce hybrid films. Another contributor to the global spread of Bollywood film and dance is the growth of India as a world power. With a population of more than one billion, India ranks second in number of inhabitants in the world, and is continuing to grow significantly with each year. ( Similarly, India is in the top five countries economically worldwide, and is a current model for successful education and business ( Having these kinds of power means being an important influence on national and international culture. With the successes of India comes healthier finances, and with healthier finances comes the capacity for Bollywood to produce more and better films, for actors in the films to become celebrities, and for audience members to attend more movie showings. The prevalence of India in today’s world makes it a driving cultural force that is recognized at festivals and awards ceremonies internationally. INFLUENCES

The existence and globalization of Bollywood dance can be viewed as both a positive and negative phenomenon. On the positive side, bringing dance to film is an effective method of both spreading the art of dance to the masses and inspiring people to participate in or become interested in the dance world. Propagating Bollywood dance creates a sense of multiculturalism in the countries it is brought to, and brings an awareness of a portion of Indian culture and dance to these countries. When other dance traditions in these countries, incorporate elements of Bollywood dance into their own repertoire, it creates a fusion of styles, and expands the movement vocabulary accessible to both dancers and choreographers. Trained students or instructors can make adaptations to the dance style or use the movements from Bollywood as inspiration for a different piece of choreography. This exposure to “other” forms of dance not only provides opportunities for individuals to learn more about dance, but may inspire people to learn about tradition, and develop a better understanding and respect for other cultures. On the other hand, there are several negative aspects in the globalization of Bollywood dance. While it can be seen as increasing multiculturalism, it is vital to note that Bollywood dance is not and cannot be considered representative of Indian dance or India. Making these assumptions or being oblivious to these facts leads to the production of or continuation of stereotypes that are unhealthy in creating a respectful, multicultural setting. This subliminal stereotyping is not exclusive to foreign films. For example, the way that the jitterbug might presented in a Hollywood movie doesn’t really represent the dance that originated out of black harlem culture. The context and intentions of the jitterbug as well as the depictions of the developers and dancers of the jitterbug are most likely inaccurate, and are most certainly incapable of representing an entire group of people. Another issue with Bollywood dance is the fact that its origins lie in a hybridization that makes some form of an exaggerated mockery of classical and traditional Indian dance forms.

Writer Drid Williams discusses his strong disgust toward the dance style in an article that connects Bollywood dance to post-modern dance: Bollywood’s originators and managers are aware of the rules of Indian aesthetics, Indian dancing and the many traditions that over the centuries produced India’s dance forms…Bollywood’s pundits undoubtedly know—or at least know about—such things, but they have chosen rampant commercialism and consumerism with its inherent tastelessness instead. (Williams, 21). Williams’ point of view brings up the question of authenticity in dance traditions. The Kathak’s roots are in storytelling, and the movements were often performed as part of some rituals. Bharatantayam is even further linked to spirituality; in its early forms, dating back to 1000 BC, the dance was performed as an act of the utmost devotion to the Hindu gods. The Western adaptations made to and the sexualization of the classical Kathak and Bharatanatyam dance forms may be considered offensive, and in being altered, may lose their original intentions and meanings. CONCLUSION

Bollywood films and dance are, and continue to become, globally recognized as major elements of the Indian culture. These Indian films are prime examples of globalization, as they involve a hybridization between the West and India, migration, and the global propogation of Bollywood with the growth of India as a world power. Through the means of technology and communication, migration, and India’s increasing power and influence in the world, the dance style has been quickly dispersed throughout the world. As Bollywood films and dance become more popular, the dance form itself has taken on many forms and adaptations. Now, the dance style can be used as an element for musical films, taught in classes, performed in competitions, or used as a form of exercise. As the already hybridized dance form continues to be altered and expanded upon, it becomes questionable as to whether or not globalization is a positive or negative phenomenon. Bollywood on a global level can lead to financial gains as well as recognition for India, but it also perpetuates stereotypes. Also, an increase in the recognition of dance can be viewed positively, while the alteration of a cultural treasure can be viewed as both offensive and unnecessary. Whether or not this question of positivity or negativity is ever answered, one fact remains clear: globalization is a force that takes place for numerous reasons and on many levels, and one that does not look like it will cease any time in the near future.

It’s one of the most quintessential elements of a Bollywood flick – the classic Bollywood dance number. Music is the soul of all Hindi films and when put to those classic Bollywood dance steps, you’ve got one of the most distinctive and unique elements that virtually characterises Indian cinema.

Say ‘Bollywood dance’ and the first thing that springs to mind is a hugely hilarious, series of energetic of robotic yet seductive motions picturised around, believe it or not, a tree!

In fact, there was a time when ‘the tree’ seemed to take centrestage, back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, leaving producers wondering whether to create special in the credits for its special contribution’ to the entertainment quotient of a Hindi film.

OK, we’re just kidding. Did we forget to mention that the lion’s share are dance sequences about love? Sigh… The Bollywood romantic dance number has thus been the cornerstone of the Hindi film since the first talkies were made. Back in the day, as the hero and heroine swore undying love in song, they wandered and hid behind trees and shrubs while stealing longing glances at each other.

Every time the camera panned to shots of foliage and birds, it suggested ‘activities’ that the censors might disapprove! Adding to the element of hilarity was the magical way in which the hero and heroine changed costumes from one sequence to another, leaving the audience is bewilderment.

Today, shrubs and trees have been replaced by exotic locations and the camera rarely pans to irrelevant elements in the surroundings. At least not till the full-on liplock made its appearance in the Bollywood dance number a few years ago.

Yes, Bollywood dance moves have a character all their own. Whether performed against the backdrop of the countryside, in a discotheque, at home, on the streets or at a wedding celebration, they are awfully stylised and elaborate. These dance moves are a blend of various styles, ranging from belly-dancing, Kathak, Indian folk, Western popular, even Western erotic dancing.

Over the decades, Bollywood dance moves, which often have a bevy of background dancers to enhance the element of drama, have gained international appeal. Tied closely to politics, the Bollywood dance number was initially popular beyond India’s shores in countries such as the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.

Later, as the Indian diaspora spread far and wide and economics and politics widened the scope of entertainment, Bollywood song and dance began to seduce audiences in the US and the UK and, later, pockets in other countries as well. Such is its appeal today that that there are numerous dance schools abroad that teach Bollywood dance moves to enthusiastic youngsters.

But just why is dance is such an integral element of Hindi films? The fact is that Indian, nay, South Asian, culture embraces theatre, music and dance as a single cohesive element rather than as mutually exclusive entities.

Some believe this unique fusion dates back 2000 years, to when the Natya Shastra was written, an ancient text on the performing arts. This is in stark contrast to the Western ‘musical’, which is but one genre of films.

Historically, just like Hindi film, or any type of cinema evolved and changed over the decades, so has Bollywood dance. Before the 1960s, song and dance in Hindi films drew heavily on classical and folk dance. Since neither of these two genres was a homogenous entity, there were countless variations, setting the tone for the energy and colour of those signature Bollywood dance moves.

This meant that films in Southern India were strongly influenced by Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi while Hindi films or Bollywood dance numbers were strongly laced with Kathak or mujra dances associated with courtesans. Look closely and you’ll still notice elements of this pre-‘60s Bollywood dance style in current moves which have adapted them to suit the times.

But just in case you’re wondering whether it’s all about those crazy gyrations, flailing limbs, head and neck mania – all of them all at once – stop right there! Those are just the moves. It’s costumes that maketh the other half the quintessential Bollywood dance number.

The classic Bollywood song and dance is by definition theatrical and dramatic. So elaborate costumes are a natural corollary. They determine the look and feel of the dance, and depending on the context, they compliment and embellish the moves.

Costumes in songs in a period film would therefore have flowing fabric sparkling with sequins and jewellery; Bollywood dance numbers with a wedding backdrop – a favourite – would likewise sport elaborate attire; a dream sequence would have a surreal feel to the costumes; the regular romantic number would need little more than everyday attire; while a disco number would have plenty of leather and vinyl.

Again, contrast movie costumes of today with those dating back a few decades and all you saw then was the traditional Indian sari in most sequences. Also, costumes that adorn Bollywood dance numbers reflect current fashion trends, making it easy to identify the era even if the audio is turned down.

In a nutshell, while the Bollywood numbers once focused on lyrical style, they are now elaborately choreographed interludes and mega-performances. In fact, Bollywood is unique in the special place choreographers occupy in the Hindi film industry.

The reason why Bolylwood places so much emphasis on shaking a leg is that drama and entertainment are the sole purpose of Hindi films. And to gauge just how important dance moves are in Bollywood, consider this: there was a time when an aspiring female star had little hope of making it to the big screen if she couldn’t dance.

And get this. Some Bollywood films today have broken out of the classic mould and have made a mark with nary a song or dance sequence in them. But sometimes, for these movies, the producer may shoot a Bollywood dance sequence even if only to introduce the cast at the beginning of the film. Others have their promos woven around a dance number just to add entertainment value.

You see, the Indian audience has been bred on classic Bollywood dance moves. How can a producer take away the staple of the audience and still make a hit? -------------------------------------------------

Bollywood is the informal term used for the Hindi-based film industry based in India. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and is one of the largest centers of film production in the world. Bollywood films almost always have a series of songs and dances that sets it apart from industries like Hollywood. Bollywood dancing is a critical part of Indian film and culture and has changed in a number of ways throughout the years. Bollywood dancing is primarily based off of Indian dance styles such as classical, historic regional styles, or folk dances. However, in recent years there has been a twist added from Westernized dance styles. Before the 1960s, the primary source of dance was drawn from classical and folks styles. In South India, a lot of the influence came from Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam and in North India the main draw came from Kathak. While these styles are still drawn upon in Bollywood dancing today, often times they are mixed together with other styles and cannot be linked back to its origins. Another aspect of Bollywood dancing that has changed throughout the years is the costume that is worn by the actors and actresses. In the early years of Bollywood, women were generally dressed in traditional Indian clothing such as a sari or salwar kameez (a pant-suit). However, as Bollywood has become more modernized, so has the clothing that is worn in the dance numbers. In early years, the main female character would often show a scandalous side by wearing a white sari under a waterfall, making it somewhat see-through, but still covering most of the body. However, the costumes have increasingly become more scandalous leading to the lead women wearing shorts showing off the actresses’ legs and tops revealing midriff and cleavage. Also, in Bollywood films, it was common for there to be many numbers that take place between the hero and heroine. Early on, the hero and heroine would... [continues]

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