Imagine a movie without sound. The era of silent movies has long gone by. Nowadays one cannot think about a film without sound. Hence music, too, as an extension, becomes an integral part of this sound and therefore the film.
Music can enhance or ruin a film. At times, it can be the only redeeming factor in a film. The music can, sometimes, add to the overall effect of the scene. The Shower Murder Scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho wouldn’t be so horrifying if it weren’t for Bernard Herrmann’s screeching violins. More recently, Inception always reminds you of the Edith Piaf song ‘Non Je Ne Regrette Rien‘ or the Horn (also called the Inceptionator) which has now become synonymous with film trailers worldwide. Harry Potter wouldn’t have been the wizard-boy next door if it hadn’t been for his trademark theme. Pulp Fiction always brings back memories of its opening credits played to Dick Dale’s Misirlou.
Music is the spine to a successful, enjoyable and, sometimes, iconic film. At the same time, one should also give a thought to the element of dance in movies.
From John Travolta’s classic disco moves in Grease and Saturday Night Fever to the Twist with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (Tarantino is a genius when it comes to these things!); Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing to Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams in the middle of the street a la Bollywood style in (500) Days Of Summer as an expression of unbridled joy and unparalleled happiness (also earning the song the “I Just Got Laid” tag while inspiring men to propose to their love in the same manner).
Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet doing the polka dance in Titanic was one of the happiest moments in the film. Aronofsky having Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis prance to the gracious ballet in Black Swan depicts how dance became not just the subject but also a character in the film.
For ages, musicals have enchanted audiences worldwide. From the classics: The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady to modern hits like Chicago, Dreamgirls and even the penguin-tapping Happy Feet, people sing and dance to these tunes till date.
Most of the Indian film industry thrives on this formula of music + dance + film. Be it Salman Khan romancing Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun or Hrithik Roshan clubbing away in his debut Kaho Naa Pyar Hain; it can be Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Priety Zinta in the disco or at a Punjabi wedding in Kal Ho Naa Ho or even Amitabh Bacchan celebrating Holi to Rang Barse in Silsila; these song-dance routines are iconic. Music and dance have been a huge part of Indian culture and it has been justifiably adapted into the Indian film scene.
This blog will talk about exactly these things. The uninhibited flow called Dance, the sweet aural essence called Music and the marriage of visuals and sound into a culmination called Film by three people who are passionate about each. Welcome to Rhythmoveejhatkas.
Written by Runcil Rebello.
Competition is getting crazier by the day! And no, I am not talking about school, college and exams! That’s passé. There you can study on the last day and pass. The real competition is what we see on the television. The reality shows. There are marks, drama, tears and hell lot of talent!
Television recently has 3 reality dance shows running simultaneously. The judges of the same are renowned dancers and choreographers. Dance which was earlier considered only as a hobby is now a full-fledged profession. A few of the judges in this dance show are veteran dancers who treat dance as a form of expressing their emotions and treat it as something that is graceful to watch and imbibed with the culture of the region. They are known for that. They are the pure dancers who dance for the love of dance and are eternally known for that. They put in all their efforts and work hard just because they are doing it for themselves.
One such example is Madhuri Dixit who she is a judge on one of the reality dance shows. Even after being married, having children and shifting her base from India she is still known for her dance. And not only for her dance but also for how she treats her dance – her expressions, moods and all the nakhras that come in with her dance. The recent dancers have dead-pan expressions; probably they are not the Romantics. But a major part of dance is the expressions.
Those participating in the recent dance shows do put in all the hard work and effort. But they will not be remembered for all their lives or later, except may be the winners. People are dedicating their time and energy to put up a show that would mean everything to them, but is only a source of entertainment for the audience. Dance instead of being a stress-buster becomes a reason of stress for the participants.
These dancers are talented undoubtedly, but they lack one thing which makes a dancer an accomplished dancer. It is the culture. Dance can be learnt, but culture has to be imbibed. It’s a good thing that these reality shows are giving platform to talented dancers, but they are not doing enough to hone their talents, who end up not being given their due.
Written by Jahnavi Sanghvi.
As the popular phrase goes, “Dance Like No One’s Watching” is a term I believe in. The dance shows like “Do You Think You Can Dance” has taken your average Joe who dances, jerks and romps in front of the bathroom mirror to the Center Stage. Dancing is a talent and a skill if someone asks me. It can be inborn or a lot of practice can turn it into a skill. When Leo Sayer sang, “You make me feel like dancing, I am gonna dance the night away”, he wasn’t merely referring to just the physicality of the talent, it is also the feeling that goes with it. Dirty Dancing and Grease have been the two iconic films on dancing, with John Travolta Hand Jiving or Patrick Swayze, taking Saturday Night Dancing to a whole new level.
The references always go back to the movies. Lately, there are several dance shows abroad which has the audience foot tapping and women wanting to becoming ballerinas watching the participants as they smooth their way onto the dance floor. Recently, Black Swan had Natalie Portman killing herself on stage in a furor to become “perfect”.
Close to home, there is always Bollywood music and dance – movies, magic and jhatkas. Ask me and I shall tell you, Bollywood dancing is overrated. Classical form of dancing is loosely incorporated into the dance formations. There is a whole of costume drama going on, with the background dancers synchronizing their steps in accord with the ’Heroine’. But surprisingly, Bollywood dancing has become a separate category in the west, with foreign dancers ‘overdressing’ themselves in gaudy costumes, nonetheless looking perky and pretty.
All dance forms, Indian or Western keep borrowing from one another. We make them happy and the favour is reciprocated. Moulin Rouge had Nicole Kidman grooving to Chamma Chamma, dashing in her funky costume and garish makeup. How I wish to see a couple of Kathakali dance forms incorporated into Bollywood which will only provide an international platform for our rich cultural diversity.
We keep waiting for the dance and can’t stop once we started! Till the next post, keep one foot up and let your hair down. Clichéd, yeah? What the heck? No, you don’t need your Pumas, even two left feet would do.
Written by Shubhra Rishi.
Last weekend a few of my friends and I went to a club, after a hard day’s work. We started talking about our routine and how these night outs are a break away from it. Our talks then veered towards the political problems in Egypt and many other problems in the world. We love advocacy! We discussed many solutions that would help in ‘world peace’.
After a few glasses/pegs/pints down, we were not as concerned world citizens as we were an hour back. We were concentrating on making our friends with ‘two left feet’ dance. The songs which seemed raunchy or too retro to dance on were the ones we couldn’t stop singing, rather, shouting to. The ones who are good dancers were tapping their feet under the tables while a few were also swaying to the thumping music. After a while, everyone was on the dance floor - bobbing heads, swaying bodies and singing mouths and a feeling of exhilaration. The non-dancers were the ones jumping around the most! They can do that only when they are happily high because otherwise they are just too shy or know their shortcomings when it comes to dancing. But then, they did not care about who was watching them or how they looked while they were busy having fun.
Dance is not only for those who are trained in it or those who can. It is for anyone and everyone who wants to dance. It is a way of expressing oneself, a way of venting out one’s feelings. One need not be a good dancer but should just have the passion and willingness to dance. I witnessed this on the night I went out with my friends. I saw them dancing the night away. I saw that they did not want to leave the dance floor and wanted to continue dancing till the club shut down. They were dancing like Munnis and Sheilas with the boys dancing around them. These people, who were the elites a couple of hours ago shed their inhibitions and were dancing like there’s no tomorrow.
Just like dancing, many of us have many such inhibitions and fear to come out of it. But one has to. Hence I suggest everyone should go out and get rid of their fears. Let the world know you’re coming. To those who are reading this and fear dancing, put on your dancing shoes and your best clothes and go out and rule the world!
My non-dancing friends made me realise about my hang-ups and now I am going to start croaking… Oops… Singing soon. Karaoke bars, here I come!
Written by Jahnavi Sanghvi.
(Ed’s Note: The title obviously a lame attempt, by me, at putting to context Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway doesn’t take away from the point highlighted in this piece that we dance better when we’re high.)
The dress is adorned, looking like a devdasi. The alta is applied and gajras are ornamented on long plaited hair along with temple jewellery that looks divine. The other jewellery comprises of 3 necklaces, 3 nose rings, rings on all fingers of both hands, a belt on the waist and ghungroos on the ankles. The dancer then applies make-up where her eyes have to be highlighted. A Bharat Natyam dancer takes about 2 hours to get ready before every performance. She has to be patient so that she can give a good performance. I am a Bharat Natyam dancer.
Why do I dance? I dance because it helps me express what I feel. With dance, I can be angry, sad, happy and surprised and carry myself gracefully. Dance brings out the part of me that words do not. I can emote using the muscles of my faces, without moving my mouth and converse with my audience. And I know they understand everything I am saying. I am myself when I dance. I am free when I dance. I love the stage, I love the lights and I do my best to get the appreciating applause from the audience. I relate stories which I may not otherwise. I dance like there’s no tomorrow. I dance not for anybody else but for me. I am not scared to dance. I grab every opportunity to dance- whether it’s at a temple, at weddings, at clubs or when I just want to let my hair down and have some fun on my own. I am never tired of dancing and never will be.
Dance is my food of thought. It is the language I am most comfortable conversing in and I get happy when people understand this language. I am also most comfortable in the costume. When I don the costume, that is the real me. Dance gives me the freedom to move around and get people’s undivided attention.
I look up to other dancers and those who have carved a niche for themselves in the field of dance. I share the common passion with them. And seeing them I know that I may not be the best dancer, but dancing brings out the best in me.
Written by Jahnavi Sanghvi.