For over nine years, I’ve noticed a considerable increase in enquiries for Bollywood dancers at various multicultural festivals across Melbourne. Why is it that our clients want to add Bollywood dancing to their program?
There are many Indian performance options that we at Ignite Bollywood and others offer. These include live sitar musicians, classical Indian dancers and Bollywood dancers but of all these, the most popular request we receive is for Bollywood dancers.
So why are so many people choosing Bollywood dancers instead of, let’s say a classical Indian dance style like Bharatnatyam?
Classical Indian dance styles are absolutely mesmerising, like watching ballet. They take years of training, mastery and refinement but they’re not necessarily ideal for the masses. Many people, who may enjoy watching classical Indian dance might also feel at arms-length from it. Something that’s not quite within their reach.
Bollywood dance in contrast is inclusive. It’s the dance performed by all shapes, sizes, genders, fitness levels and abilities. In India Bollywood dance moves are the ‘go-to’ at weddings and street festivals. It’s communal, fun and festive and that’s precisely why Bollywood is the dance of choice to represent the Indian culture at community festivals around Australia.
I believe that each dance style has a special place in our community and depending on the context and purpose of your event, you can make the appropriate choice.
If community engagement and celebrating diversity is your main purpose, then it’s hard to overlook Bollywood dance. It’s colourful, high energy and inclusive, which is why we add an interactive portion straight after our performances so that we can involve the audience in shaking their shoulders and hips like our dancers.
A message from a happy client from Immigration Museum in Melbourne:
“Thank you SO much for performing and running workshops for us this past Sunday at Immigration Museum for Let’s Dance! Your interactive workshops were beautifully managed and every performance was something to behold. Thanks to you, every single person in attendance was grinning ear-to-ear all day long. This in itself is testament to the success of the day. For me personally, it was a refreshing reminder of the power of dance to uplift and connect us all.”
(Jess Lakatosh, Museums Victoria)