[This post has some video clips (each less than 2 minutes) I uploaded to Youtube. You need to keep “sound on” to appreciate them to the fullest extent]
Agar tujhe halwa khana hain, to tujhe dance karna parega. Dance dance.
I love dance. Indian movie dance specifically, not the ta-thaiiya classical stuff. I am way too much of a Philistine to understand the subtle interplay between Abhinaya, Laya and Ang. Accepted.
But of late I have become jaded by the endless stream of remixes, item numbers and special appearances all of which feature girls who are virtually indistinguishable from each other, possessing unrealistic curves, wearing little more than lingerie dancing under flashing lights or pouring rain.
Jaded yes. By the mind-numbing predictability. And by the sheer disconnect the moves of the dancers have with those of real-life folk —you, me, Sujata auntie and Probir uncle.
Putting it in another way, what I want more of is real life people and their real-life dance steps captured on celluloid so that I can turn to my date and say “Hey I can do that.” So here I present a few short video clips of the way I think dance numbers should be done. Watch and learn.
Exhibit 1. Watch this video clip I have uploaded (49 seconds) of a few hot neighbourhood hunks, the ones who engage in persistent negotiation during Kali Puja subscription drives, boogie-woogie. Note the way they let the music flow through them as they slowly increase the tempo of their gyrations, thrust their bottoms in an age-old mating ritual while keeping the red shirt firmly tucked in. This is what I am talking about—grace and sexiness in our daily lives.
Exhibit 2. It’s tough being a geek. Horrible fashion sense, patch of vegetation coming out of right ear, a set of shades your granddad would consider unfashionable. And then in the party you meet a hottie. She wants you to dance and hopefully make babies with her later. What do you do? Well something like this guy does in this video (42 seconds)—the cool stud in the black-rimmed spectacles who belts out the ultimate geek dance move—-the fly in the sky. Repeat this move on the dance floor at your own risk. You never know with who or what you will wake up the next morning.
Exhibit 3. A disturbing trend in Bollywood has been to increasingly cater to the NRI crowd by making movies about extremely rich people, who live in palatial houses, wear designer clothes and whose only problem in life is love or the lack of it. But what of the proletariat, the ones who work for a living—who talks about their struggle to live? And most importantly who shows their dance moves? In this third video (59 seconds), I seek to correct this imbalance by showing a series of group moves of a bunch of unionised coolies in a West Bengal train station. As Mithun-da, the coolie leader says in Bengali to the corrupt cop–“Just because our heads are ‘thanda’ (cool), don’t show us your danda (tool)”
Exhibit 4. Aunties are people too. Sure they may have some junk in the trunk and jars of jelly in the belly—but that does not mean they cannot be sexy. Or pretend to be. Here in the fourth video (1 minute 57 seconds), we have Himani Shivpuri, in a ravishing low cut black dress seducing a roomful of horny uncles, showing once and for all that it’s the wine that’s important and not the bottle. Despite a crack or two.
Exhibit 5. Another one of my persistent cribs is the way item numbers suddenly leap at you with nary any context or back story. Okay here is the hero who, after seeing his girlfriend in the arms of another man, has taken to drink. Okay I got that. But then suddenly out of the blue, in the next scene Mumait Khan starts dancing in a blue bustier, glistening with oily glitter. Why? Where did that come from?
So here is a video (1 minute 13 seconds) that shows how it is done. In this sequence, we are shown an everyday scene—a “crazy” man in chains walking in a crowded market place, dancing for sweets. A movie director wishes him good morning and he replies with “What’s so good about the morning?” And then the dialogue goes on to lay the context for the item number to follow—impressing on the viewer what an awesome feat the next dance will be. Watch it to understand. And tell me, wouldn’t such a back story be nice every time Rakhi Sawant came out to dance clad only in rupee coins?
Exhibit 6: Here is the dance (1 minute 39 seconds) that Exhibit 5 lays the context for. Now this is the way real men dance—especially when in, what Somerset Maugham would call, “human bondage“. Note the overweight backup dancers, the unfashionable clothes and the entire atmosphere of the song—this could very well be a snapshot of our daily lives. And yet, despite the seeming mundaneness, the poetry of Mithunda’s movements, the caged heat he radiates in each swing of his head is, for the want of a more original word, simply classic. Classic dance of love.
[Warning: All the above dance moves are performed by trained professionals under careful supervision. Do not try these in front of living people. We will not be held liable for bodily injury, eternal embarrassment and any consequent mental trauma.]