Is there a significance to those mass synchronized dances that accompany Indian songs/movies?

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    Feb 09, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    We have all seen the videos with the funny subtitles



    And the two stars are out front with a cast of thousands behind them doing a synchronized dance.

    This same thing is shown at the end of Slumdog Millionaire as the credits come up. And I am just wondering if there is some reason why these mass synchronized dances seem to be a staple of Indian movies.
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    Feb 09, 2009 5:33 PM GMT
    It's just something they do at the end of just about every bollywood film; kind of like how hollywood plays bloopers during the credits.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Feb 09, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    Are you kidding?

    If ONLY life was like that. I want a massive 200-person synchronized dance/song routine detailing the catharsis with which I approach my decision as to what I'm eating today.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Feb 09, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    It's escapism, just like the classic Hollywood music musicals.
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    Feb 09, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    BioMatty saidAre you kidding?

    If ONLY life was like that. I want a massive 200-person synchronized dance/song routine detailing the catharsis with which I approach my decision as to what I'm eating today.

    I volunteer to dance behind you.....anytime! ....oh my gosh....what an imagination I have! .... icon_rolleyes.gif


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    Feb 09, 2009 7:01 PM GMT
    The dance/mime/theatric devices of Indian films has been a part of Hindu drama culture for centuries, and deemed an essential part of the story. It's only natural that this convention would be included in the relatively new medium of film.

    Westerners find the tangent confusing and indulgent, and tend to prefer their dramas terse.
  • OptimusMatt

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    Feb 09, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    I dunno, I kind of love bollywood movies. When I was working for the cable company doing tech support one of the guys I worked with got me into them. Because we were cable tv tech support we each had our own tv with a digital reciever and access to every channel offered (lol, even the porn channels). Every sunday he'd watch bollywood movies in Hindi. I had no idea what was going on but christ it looked like fun.

    icon_biggrin.gif

    So uh Cas, when are we gonna work on our synchronization? icon_razz.gif
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    Feb 09, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
    indian dance drama like bharatanatayam are forms that are thousands of years old. each gesture has a set, prescribed significance, rather like sign language or the hula of hawaii. what you are seeing at the end of these movies is a popular, bollywood interpretation of these various forms, and they do not necessarily tell the same religious stories, but the gestures are still rooted in the language of the dance. you can be certain that these dances convey more meaning to the people of india than they do to people anywhere else.
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    Feb 09, 2009 9:21 PM GMT
    At the end of Slumdog Millionaire, I found it a total non sequitur. It really deflated the power of the storyline to me.

    "Hey, this film adaptation of 'Death of a Salesman' is great. All it needs is a water balloon fight at the end."
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    Feb 09, 2009 9:58 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidAt the end of Slumdog Millionaire, I found it a total non sequitur. It really deflated the power of the storyline to me.

    "Hey, this film adaptation of 'Death of a Salesman' is great. All it needs is a water balloon fight at the end."



    you have no idea how long i've waited for this opportunity.


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    Feb 09, 2009 10:29 PM GMT
    The dance sequences in Hindi (and other Indian language) films are definitely examples of escapism, but I think the reason for their popularity is quite complicated...

    Once upon a time Indian cinema actually produced serious, substantial (and very good I might add) movies such as Charulata and Devi (directed by Satyajit Ray) but it seems to me that around the same time as Satyajit Ray's most famous movies (1960's) musical films began to surpass conventional dramas in popularity. The movie that stands out in my mind as pretty much the mother of all modern Bollywood films is Mughal-e-Azam by K Asif. While not the first musical Indian film, I think it solidified the place of musical films in Indian culture.

    But why the popularity?

    DancerJack is absolutely correct about dance playing an integral part in Indian religious and historical narratives. No matter where you are in India there is some local form of dance that has been used for thousands of years to tell stories from the Ramayan, the Bhagavad Gita and other texts as well as historical tales of battles etc. In the Mughal (Muslim rulers) courts of North India, Kathak also developed as a dance of courtesans but it too was used to tell stories - just usually tales of love or something like that. SO, dance is definitely important to India historically. But I think there's more... Here is my theory:

    Right around the 1960's technicolor was just hitting Indian cinema. As a result dance sequences could look truly magical, especially to the average Indian who would be lucky to ever see such grandiose performances live (Watch Mughal-e-Azam if you want to see the first BIG technicolor dance sequences. Even by today's standards they're pretty impressive). Simultaneously, India and Pakistan were in the throes of a violent partition that was sending ripples throughout the subcontinent. As a result many Indians wanted some sort of escapist relief and they turned to movies. Movie makers took advantage of this by crafting stories around values that Indians hold very dearly (such as self-sacrifice for one's family) and a newer fantasy: the reunion of India and Pakistan. Additionally, many movies focus on love stories - something that would rarely, if ever, actually happen in a culture where arranged marriage is the norm. This is why so many Hindi movies center around familial or romantic conflicts in which the characters are divided but ultimately come back together again in the end. Plus, who doesn't like a good melodramatic plot every now and then?

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    Feb 11, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    oh I thought maybe the dancing was a substitution for sexual interaction.....unbelievable as it may seem with 1 billion people, the Indians look down on PDA....remember Richard Gere kissing that actress.
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    Feb 11, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    woooa..way too much pshycho analyzing...i bet the director didnt think this long.

    the more dancers they have, the less stupid each individual dancer feels. icon_biggrin.gif

    here is a fun but relatively unsafe dance thing:
    (if one dancer falls of, its ok..we have 28 more)

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    Feb 11, 2009 2:55 AM GMT
    Every notable event of MY life ends in a choreographed dance sequence (like it should). Doesn't yours? :-)
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    Feb 12, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    Caslon9000 saidoh I thought maybe the dancing was a substitution for sexual interaction.....unbelievable as it may seem with 1 billion people, the Indians look down on PDA....remember Richard Gere kissing that actress.


    Wait, you mean when you have sex people don't come rushing out from behind the curtains singing and dancing!?!?! Damn... I've been mislead for so long...


    But, actually, that is a good theory. I've never thought of it that way...
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    Feb 12, 2009 2:27 PM GMT
    skifan08 saidThe dance sequences in Hindi (and other Indian language) films are definitely examples of escapism, but I think the reason for their popularity is quite complicated...

    Once upon a time Indian cinema actually produced serious, substantial (and very good I might add) movies such as Charulata and Devi (directed by Satyajit Ray) but it seems to me that around the same time as Satyajit Ray's most famous movies (1960's) musical films began to surpass conventional dramas in popularity. The movie that stands out in my mind as pretty much the mother of all modern Bollywood films is Mughal-e-Azam by K Asif. While not the first musical Indian film, I think it solidified the place of musical films in Indian culture.

    But why the popularity?

    DancerJack is absolutely correct about dance playing an integral part in Indian religious and historical narratives. No matter where you are in India there is some local form of dance that has been used for thousands of years to tell stories from the Ramayan, the Bhagavad Gita and other texts as well as historical tales of battles etc. In the Mughal (Muslim rulers) courts of North India, Kathak also developed as a dance of courtesans but it too was used to tell stories - just usually tales of love or something like that. SO, dance is definitely important to India historically. But I think there's more... Here is my theory:

    Right around the 1960's technicolor was just hitting Indian cinema. As a result dance sequences could look truly magical, especially to the average Indian who would be lucky to ever see such grandiose performances live (Watch Mughal-e-Azam if you want to see the first BIG technicolor dance sequences. Even by today's standards they're pretty impressive). Simultaneously, India and Pakistan were in the throes of a violent partition that was sending ripples throughout the subcontinent. As a result many Indians wanted some sort of escapist relief and they turned to movies. Movie makers took advantage of this by crafting stories around values that Indians hold very dearly (such as self-sacrifice for one's family) and a newer fantasy: the reunion of India and Pakistan. Additionally, many movies focus on love stories - something that would rarely, if ever, actually happen in a culture where arranged marriage is the norm. This is why so many Hindi movies center around familial or romantic conflicts in which the characters are divided but ultimately come back together again in the end. Plus, who doesn't like a good melodramatic plot every now and then?





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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    And they're purrty (alot of the times)
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
    Hahaha. I really want to see Dostana!!! Have you seen it, nysexy? It looks really funny. I think I'm a little more fond of Maa Da Ladla than Desi Girl though... It's so catchy!

    For those not in the know, Dostana is about two guys who pretend to be gay, in order to get the girl. (It doesn't fit into my theory very well, but maybe it will make the topic of homosexuality a little less taboo in India?)
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:26 AM GMT
    LOL Dostana. That movie was good, although the kissing scene was probably done with a mouth-cover or by doubles. Haha
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    Feb 13, 2009 1:48 AM GMT
    skifan08 saidHahaha. I really want to see Dostana!!! Have you seen it, nysexy? It looks really funny. I think I'm a little more fond of Maa Da Ladla than Desi Girl though... It's so catchy!

    For those not in the know, Dostana is about two guys who pretend to be gay, in order to get the girl. (It doesn't fit into my theory very well, but maybe it will make the topic of homosexuality a little less taboo in India?)


    The movie was HILARIOUS....i left the theater wiht a stomach ache. There were parts where i alughed so hard and for so long that i couldn't breath. Add to the John Abraham looking his tastiest and Priyanka looking gorgeous. Definitely getting it on DVD. Also...some of the lines in the movies were classic. icon_biggrin.gif

    Maa Da Laadla was kinda wierd in the movie...the remix at the end is ALOT better. My Favorite was Shut Up and Bounce in the opening credits.
  • mikeeugene

    Posts: 84

    Feb 13, 2009 2:00 AM GMT
    The best is the "Condom Song"

    Check out this on Youtube, especially later in the song, where you see a graphic of men going at it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTLj_3R0-2g
    Condom Song - Telugu

    [img
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    Feb 13, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    Bollywood...........Indian Punjabi dance and Bangra. Tons and tons of fun. I took some classes in Bangra modern dance and I enjoy doing some of the moves on the dancefloor nowdays........so much freakin fun.
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    Feb 13, 2009 4:24 AM GMT
    funny pictures
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    Feb 13, 2009 11:04 PM GMT
    Oh Caslon...what am i gonna do with you????icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 14, 2009 12:57 AM GMT
    nysexy saidOh Caslon...what am i gonna do with you????icon_biggrin.gif

    funny pictures ....for you to think of sumthingz....sumthingz relly naughty. ... icon_wink.gif