The Bollywood dancing style is pleasing to the sight. Any spectator, dancing enthusiast or not, can follow the tale thanks to dramatic facial expressions and cinematic flair. But underneath the glitz and glam, there are a slew of ancient symbolism and customs that can be traced back to India’s many classical dance styles. Traditional Indian dance traditions like Bharatnatyam and Kathak, as well as folk dances like Bhangra, have their own distinct styles, but they frequently share signals and meanings that are blended to produce current Bollywood dances.
These are hand gestures that serve as a kind of sign language to aid in the telling of a tale or the demonstration of topics such as weather, animals, or places.
These hand gestures are known as hastas in Bharatnatyam. One hand is used for asamyukta hastas, while the other is used for samyukta hastas.
Mudras are a group of hand motions that are utilised in a variety of classical Indian dance styles. There are around 108 mudras in all, and good dancers should be familiar with all of them.
“You have to master the foundations if you want to be a Bollywood dancer,” says Kalaria.
Neck and head movements
The pigeon head, which involves a side-to-side neck movement and the forward slide, is mostly an aesthetic component of the dance, but that also adds flexibility.
“The neck movement is a significant component of the dance,” explains Mehta, a Bollywood Dance London performer and coach.
Abhinaya (expressiveness) and nritta (rhythm) are the two essential components of classical Indian dance (pure dance).
Nritta is the dance in its purest form, displaying rhythms and bodily gestures in response to musical lines.
Abhinaya is based on expressions and emotions, with the goal of bringing the tale behind the dance to life. The importance of facial expression and eye movements cannot be overstated. In Indian dance, the focus is on narrative interpretation, and gestures play a role in it.
A flat, the flexed foot is a hint to a very classic feature of dance, rooted in folk form and Bharatnatyam when a dancer employs it.
The Ghunghroo, or ankle bells, promotes excellent footwork and the dancer’s synchronisation with the music.
At least 100 bells must be wrapped all around ankles and knotted for Kathak dancers. Bells are attached to straps and wrapped around the ankles in other dance traditions, such as Bharatnatyam.