Bollywood grooves to salsa, latino beats

By Manpreet Kaur, IANS
Saturday, December 11, 2010

NEW DELHI - “I wanna tell you ’bout a dance that’s goin’ around, everybody’s doin’ it from the grownups down”. The famous Rolling Stones number holds good right now for Bollywood, which is completely smitten by salsa, latino and tango.

Though “Aisha” was not a hit, it was a treat to watch Abhay Deol getting intimate with Sonam Kapoor and Lisa Hayden on a salsa number in the romantic comedy.

Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan scorched the screen with their fast-paced sensuous salsa moves in “Kites”. In “Guzaarish” Hrithik once again mesmerised with his adrenaline rushing performance, while Aishwarya Rai impressed with her flamenco moves.

“International dance formats have always been eye-catching and people make it a point to stop and watch them. With repeated display of these dance forms on the small screen through dance reality shows, the interest of the masses has grown in them,” choreographer Sandip Soparrkar told IANS.

An expert in ballroom dance, Soparrkar was the man behind Hrithik-Kangana’s dream-like dance moves in “Kites”.

“People are surprised when they see an Indian ballroom dancing. But Bollywood is going big abroad. People need to know that our country is not just about buffaloes and snake charmers,” said the dancer who won the European Ballroom Champion for nine years with his partner Ewa Maria.

It’s true that the new lot of choreographers are not shying away from trying new dance forms in Hindi movies, but it was Shiamak Davar who introduced jazz-infused contemporary dance with Shah Rukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit-Kareena Kapoor starrer “Dil Toh Pagal Hai”, about a dance-drama troupe.

Soon it replaced the jhatkas, matkas and pelvic thrusts. Beautifully choreographed jazz was hugely appreciated in “Dhoom” (2004), followed by locking-and-popping in “Lakshya” (2004), contemporary in “Naach” (2004), salsa in “Honeymoon Travels” (2007), and Bollywood-style Broadway in “Aaja Nachle” (2007).

“While hip-hop has been making inroads into Hindi cinema for some time, other dance styles went unnoticed. Break dance got recognition because of pop legend Michael Jackson,” choreographer duo Bosco-Cesar told IANS.

With the forthcoming films “Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji”, “Saat Khoon Maaf”, and “Patiala House”, the trend will continue.

“I’m working on two projects at present. For one, I have choreographed a sensuous tango piece for Priyanka Chopra in Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’. And the other is salsa for Ajay Devgn in Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji’,” said Soparrkar.

Bosco also feels television has played an important role in popularising these dance forms among the masses which not only enjoy watching them but also try to learn them at various dance schools that have mushroomed in the last few years.

“Reality dance shows and choreographers like Terrence, Remo, Shiamak have educated the masses about various dance formats through television. With the constant display on screen, the young and vibrant crowd has developed a lot of interest in them,” said Bosco.

Has it overshadowed the typical Bollywood dancing?

Sandeepa Dhar, a trained dancer and debutante actress of “Isi Life Mein”, said Bollywood dancing will never die, but the new dance forms have a long way to go.

“The typical Bollywood dance is a mix of jhatkas and matkas that will never die. But it’s amazing to see that the industry is giving space to these energetic international dance forms. People have had enough of the same old style; it is a treat for the eyes,” Sandeepa told IANS.

“The international dance formats are at an educational level in our country and the typical masala dancing has been there for many years. They might co-exist but none of them can take over each other’s place.”

(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at

will not be displayed