“Dance is a lot of things to me. It’s very spiritual to begin with. For me it’s like an expression of everything that I am.” ~ Madhuri Dixit
Dance is an integral part of Bollywood movies. I am a former ballet dancer, and the dance sequences are one of the reasons I love to watch Hindi films so much. Each dance sequence is unique, with some encompassing Indian classical dance, some jazz, some modern or hip-hop, and many of them have choreography with a fusion of all of these styles. The back up dancers are truly some of the best dancers in the world.
The actors and actresses of Bollywood movies are not only required to act, but to dance many different styles amazingly well too. I decided to see who the fans thought could naach the best in Bollywood, so I talked to many avid Bollywood fans for feedback. The list is overwhelming, but the following five seem to be a constant in everyone’s list of Bollywood’s Best Dancers.
Sridevi is acknowledged by all as a dancer of exceptional talent. An excellent actress as well, during the 1970s and 80s she starred in Bollywood, Tamil, & Telugu films. She acted and danced in over 250 movies before retiring in the 1990s. Between 1980 and 1982, Sridevi appeared in 53 films. A classically trained dancer, she danced with joy, emotion and beauty. Some of her more famous sequences are from Lamhe, Mr. India, and Chandni. The dream dance in Chandni is one of the best dance scenes on celluloid to date. Let’s hope rumours about her comeback are true!
Along with Sridevi there where two other names that were included on everyone’s list as the best female dancers, and their performance together in ‘Dola Re Dola’ from Devdas proves they should be at the top.
Aishwarya Rai, one of Bollywood’s well-known stars, is a classically trained dancer who always looks absolutely beautiful on screen. From item numbers to the intricate dancing, Aishwarya excels in not only classic dance but in other styles of choreography as well. ‘Kajra Re’ from Bunty aur Babli is considered one of the best dance sequences and she amazed all with her ability in Umrao Jaan. In many of her other movies she stands out in the more modern choreography as well and this was seen especially in her dance numbers with Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2. Of course, there is also the already mentioned ‘Dola Re Dola’ and the sizzling ‘Ishq Kamina’.
Madhuri Dixit by far was the toppick for best female dancer. Earlier this year, she ranked as number 2 on Rediff.com’s list. Rediff.com wrote, “Surely one of the finest performers of all time.” She is trained as a Kathak dancer, in the Indian classical tradition. Some of her favorite dance numbers include ‘Ek do teen’ from Teezab, ‘Dhak dhak karne laga’ from Beta, ‘Choli ke peechay kya hain’ from Khalnayak and ‘Ankhiya milaye kabhi ankhiya churaye’ from Raja. Before taking some time off, Madhuri was number one in Bollywood, proving her acting capabilities over and over again in all her films. She has brought joy to millions of hearts through all her distinguished performances. Looks, Dance and The Skill; she has it all and her fans are looking forward to her return to the screen in Aaja Naachley.
Starting with his debut in 1985, he has acted in over 120 Hindi films and is known for comedy roles (his comic timing is among the best in Bollywood), but also give him any character and emotion to play and he will show you what acting truly is. He is one of the best dancers in Bollywood because, while watching him, you can see the love in his movements and feel he is dancing from his soul. Even in simple dance sequences his dancing shines. In the recent Salaam-E-Ishq there is a small scene where you see him dancing for just a few seconds and you love watching him dance. Even in his wacky costumes, Chi Chi possesses an undeniable charm that steals your heart with his every step.
Ask almost any one, “Who is the best dancer in Bollywood?” and the instantaneous answer is Hrithik Roshan. He never seizes to amaze with steps that leave us dumbfounded and wishing we could do the same! He is also one of the best actors of Bollywood and in each movie he does, his ability to act and dance has made him a superstar as well as the heartthrob of millions. At age six, Hrithik appeared in his first movie role as an extra in a dance sequence in the movie Aasha. His first starring role was in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai where his dancing talent was immediately apparent. One of his greatest numbers is ‘Main Aisa Kyon Hoon’ in Lakshya. It is one of the most spectacularly choreographed songs by Prabhu Deva (who should get an honorable mention for being a fantastic dancer) and Hrithik amazes you with how his body can move. He also amazed in Koi Mil Gaya both in the songs and in his portrayal of the lead character. In Krrish he showed his athletic ability as well as his superb dancing in ‘Dil Na Diya’. In Dhoom 2 he showed his breathtaking talent in all the songs but especially in ‘Dhoom Machale’, which showed his proficiency in all aspects of dance. One could say he was the perfect dancer: excellent technique, joy in his dancing, and of course looking good while doing it does not hurt!
They say that no Bollywood movie is complete without a few song and dance sequences. Over the years, there have been astonishing and brilliant dance sequences in the movies and these are some of the dancers who have made these numbers so brilliant and almost synonymous with Bollywood!