(South Asian Dance UK) presents 'Frame by Frame' at the Royal Opera
House on 13 July 2009, a unique symposium dedicated to tracing the
trajectory of Bollywood dance from its cinematic origins to its
visceral presence on stage. The event will feature stunning live
performances, film screenings and rousing debate with a panel of
eminent speakers and artists.
generations, dance routines in Indian cinema have beguiled audiences
with its spectacular choreography and appetite for reinvention.
From the picture houses of Mumbai and Chennai to Broadway and the
West End, dance of Indian cinema and the songs that inspire it,
are consumed and continually reinterpreted by global audiences.
In Frame by Frame - the Dance of Indian cinema, the transition of
this dance style from screen to stage will be explored, along with
the process during which it became re-configured through popular
culture as Bollywood dance.
symposium will unearth dance of Indian cinema's origins and global
influences as well as illuminate the role of key creatives in the
evolution of the form. It will debate the concept of 'Bollywood'
and examine the progression of the industry from its origins in
cinema to its seemingly infectious attention on stage. Panelists
will discuss how a collection of dance styles ranging from bharata
natyam to hip hop have evolved into a single entity through the
alchemy of the cinematic experience. The debate will be punctuated
by performances by many upcoming artists following in the traditions
of Bollywood dance!
early years of Indian Cinema, dance was modeled on classical and
folk styles - witness the 'courtesan' in films such as Sahib, Bibi
Aur Gulam and Pakeezah, while the modern performance style was epitomized
by cabaret queen, Helen. Over the last two decades the 'item number'
has become essential in films and dance styles are more MTV with
urban street and hip hop, jostling alongside the opulence of Busby
both classical and modern dance routines are visible in Indian cinema.
Songs such as 'Dola Re' from Devdas and 'Dhoom Tana' from Om Shanti
Om, have ushered in a new appreciation for classical choreography,
whilst Hritik Roshan's fancy footwork for Dhoom Machale in Dhoom
2, is copied by young aspirants across the globe.
history and longevity of this dance form is unquestioned as it continues
to cross geographic, linguistic and cultural borders, captivating
people as far afield as Africa, Europe and America. Bollywood dance
classes and Bollywood inspired workouts are the rage across the
UK, whilst in India, reality television shows inspired by Bollywood
choreography continue to woo viewers.
the Academy Awards, held in the heart of Hollywood, featured live
Bollywood dance performances as Slumdog Millionnaire cleaned out
the Oscars. The ongoing love affair between the form and the audience
has transformed the dance of Indian cinema into the face of Indian
30 years, Akademi has been shaping the creative landscape, working
to enhance the practice, understanding and appreciation of South
Asian dance across the UK and as Bollywood dance develops, feels
it is time to take a closer look at the mechanics that drive this
booming global industry.