90s Bollywood Choreography…an evolutionary question mark

Bollywood always inspires me by being absolutely ridiculous. You can experience something truly enriching and still not talk about it twice, but it’s impossible not to share something ludicrous.

Picture this:

A lady clad in a saree, dancing maniacally, swinging her pallu 180o/270o/360o. A gent standing there clad in the following – chest hair, shirt, 3-piece suit, socks, and shoes – dazed. And with the same attire they’ll be in cold Himalayan (or Swiss) mountains (depending on the film’s budget) and/or in Thar (or Sahara) desert.

Please return to reality.

The question that comes to my mind is that why has this choreography made sense to so many for so many years. (Now things have changed and Ranbir Kapoor does unnecessary and unconvincing break-dance solos in battamiz dil ­ and the breakup song, revisiting the same towards the end.)

So what inspired our choreographers to give our lead actress a mock-tail of steroids & adrenaline before a song’s picturisation, while our lead actor got plain old tranquiliser?

I don’t know the answer, but I seriously want to understand their inspiration behind this act, because if they look around, they will find that this makes zero sense.

In more species than not, it’s the male who woos the female by dancing, singing, croaking etc. etc., and not the other way round. In our folklore and mythology, we had syamvar which is where ‘The Bachelor’ was inspired from, Lord Krishna himself played the flute to charm the ladies, and I’m sure we can resurrect some more examples if we dig a little more. And even if we are to shun these patriarchal ideas, this inequality, why not talk about the different qualities of each sex that are a conspicuous indication of them being a good mate. A simple example would be the wide hips of females for carrying the developing baby and the broad shoulders of men to do the other heavy-lifting. Again, evolutionary and physiological evidence is rare to show females wooing for the males’ attention by doing infinite number of pirouettes around the male who’s playing statue with an imaginary childhood friend. And yet our filmmakers seemed to be spilling this very choreography everywhere.

A defense in their case could be that they got inspired from the apsaras of the Oriya temples, but that was really not the kind of loving relationship amongst lovers which is based on equality, they were more like professionals whose job it was to ‘entertain’ the gods (or the devadasi, if you know what I mean). Anyway, that’s as far as my knowledge of Indian mythology goes, hence, I’ve kept this explanation short.

And finally to conclude, now the gents are breaking a leg in Bollywood, which is more in line with evolution, but I’m not sure who they’re being able to woo. Nonetheless, I prefer to listen to this music than to watch it.

Off to my pirouette practice, 5,6,5,6,7,8…


3 thoughts on “90s Bollywood Choreography…an evolutionary question mark

  1. An excellent analysis I must say. For me the reason why di bollywood movies are like that would be a commercial one. I think the movie maker would have thought the target audience for the movie would be mostly 90s males who would enjoy seeing an ideal male getting some attention from a perceivably ideal (🔥) female. Just my personal view

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