Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s beauty was celebrated worldwide when she took the title of Miss World in 1994. Since that point, it seems, her entry into Bollywood was somewhat inevitable. Although throughout her career, the model-turned-actress has received much criticism to match the love and praise, her graceful dancing has always won the audience’s hearts. As a trained classical dancer, Aishwarya has wowed her fans and critics alike with her lavish costumes which play an equal (if not more important) part in her dances. Today, we showcase the dance performances of the actress which will always be ones to remember…
‘Thoda Sa Pagla’ – Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya
Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya marked Aishwarya’s debut in Indian cinema. In ‘Thoda Sa Pagla’, the audiences were able to see the debutante’s dancing talent for the first time. Dressed in a stunning grey lehnga, which beautifully complimented her gorgeous eyes, the song was set in an impending wedding scenario. Aishwarya’s expressions were exquisite and only added to the grace and magnificence of her dancing skills.
‘Nimbooda’ – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Adorning sky blue, Aishwarya’s dance to ‘Nimbooda’ in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam gave her yet another chance to expose her talent as a dancer. The tune and lyrics, inspired by an old folk song, added to the rooted and very traditional feel of the film. Aishwarya’s costumes throughout the movie showcased traditional-wear in a contemporary way and proved a huge success in representing the values and customs of her character’s Gujarati family. The song also features Ajay Devgn, who becomes totally besotted by Aishwarya watching her dance. Taking advantage of the emotions and light-heartedness in the entirety of the song, Aishwarya depicts the typical daughter and the apologetic mehbooba with equal ease.
The movie co-stars Aishwarya’s ex-beau Salman Khan and the song ‘Dhol Baaje’ is picturised on the jodi. Aishwarya and Salman are both great dancers and play garba in the song.
‘Kahin Aag Lage’ – Taal
Not long after the release of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, came the ever-popular Taal. The music of the film was an instant hit with A R Rahman’s magic and beats to get everyone on the dance floors. ‘Kahin Aag Lage’ starts with Aishwarya’s emotion coming through her eyes while everything around her is bringing the story forward. With the accompanying orchestra and Anil Kapoor’s bird chants, the song features Aishwarya in some truly extravagant costumes. If you’re lucky, you might spot a very young Shahid Kapoor in one scene!
Aishwarya truly excels when the song is shown to be performed in a live concert. Dressed in a whiteish silver body suit, Aishwarya truly stands out in her posture and her grace. She shows much emotion with every move in keeping with the sentiments in the lyrics, even though the song is pretty upbeat.
‘Dole Re’ – Devdas
When one first thinks of this song, it’s impossible to forget the very fabulous Madhuri Dixit-Nene who dances alongside Mrs Rai Bachchan. The two divas perform to ‘Dola Re’ in what is an absolute treat for the audiences. Both the epitome of the traditional Indian woman, their performances could’ve, very easily, overshadowed each other. However, to everyone’s surprise, the duo compliment each other on-screen.
Aishwarya towers over Madhuri in the song but their expressions, their elegance and their co-ordinated outfits take the song to a completely new level.
Devdas also features the very sombre ‘Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka’ in which Aishwarya is seen to be the love-sick girlfriend awaiting the arrival of her beau played by Shah Rukh Khan. This song has a larger-than-life feel to it, moreso because of the traditional attire adorned by the beauty and also the flame that supposedly never fizzles out!
‘Ishq Kamina’ – Shakti: The Power
Aishwarya hasn’t done many special appearances in her career, however, this particular appearance in Shakti left the audiences shocked to say the least. The song ‘Ishq Kamina’ which stars Shah Rukh Khan, is a fast number. It brought about a completely new and fresh look for Aishwarya which further won the hearts of the masses. The song is a traditionally shot song with the former Miss World in traditional clothing with a twist. The song is very upbeat and this contributed to the song being not only a huge hit in audio but also in visuals.
Aishwarya’s flirty dance moves and somewhat unusual pairing with King Khan brought about a whole new aura about her, even though just as a special appearance.
‘Balle Balle’ – Bride & Prejudice
In Gurinder Chadha’s crossover film Bride and Prejudice, inspired by the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, Aishwarya was asked to put on some weight. Why? Well, in order to portray a true Punjabi girl, Chadha felt Aishwarya was a little on the slim side. Aside from this, her pairing was with the handsome Martin Henderson. The film was to appeal to the western audiences as well as the eastern, and as a result, it was more than necessary for Aishwarya to fulfill this in her character.
The song ‘Balle Balle’ could arguably be seen as similar to the big dance numbers usually featured in Karan Johar films. The set, adorned with various coloured material, the involvement of almost the whole cast of the film and not to forget the typical Bhangra beat of the song all added to the popularity and razzmatazz of the picturisation.
Aishwarya, once again in traditional attire, was required to stand out. In the film, she plays one of 4 sisters and as the protagonist, Aishwarya was the focus of the song. In fact, it was a pose and costume of this very song that Aishwarya’s statue in Madame Tussauds.
‘Kajraa Re’ – Bunty & Babli
This song needs no introduction. Not only does it have a very special appearance, once again, by Aishwarya – who was forever increasing in popularity – but it also features Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan. Worth a watch? Oh most definitely!
The buzz around this song was somewhat more than the film itself. At this point, the rumour mills were on overtime with news about a relationship between Rai and Junior Bachchan. However, the picturisation of the song tells a very different story. It sees Aishwarya trying to woo Senior Bachchan and leaving Junior coming across as the loser.
The trio were also seen performing this song at an awards ceremony not so long after the film’s release. It’s fair to say that individually all three have immense screen presence and to see all three together in one frame was truly special and gave this song a league of its own!
‘Salaam’ – Umrao Jaan
Although a copy of the original of the same name starring the very elegant Rekha, this film created its own news because it co-starred Abhishek with Aishwarya. Once again, at the time of the release, the two were rumoured to be dating and therefore, the audiences were totally betaab to see them together once again after their previous films together didn’t fair too well.
‘Salaam’ sees Aishwarya doing a typical tawaif dance to lure the male visitors. In comes Abhishek and the beauty’s dance seems to come alive. There really is no comparison in dance with the original with Rekha because the two have their own style and Aishwarya’s eyes say it all in ‘Salaam’. Her costume, once again, brings further sophistication to the song and the colour shows the contrast between the old and the new version of the film.
‘Crazy Kiya Re’ – Dhoom 2
Dhoom 2 was the one and only film that Aishwarya’s sexiness was… well… a focal point. An actress who strives in looking traditional and well-rooted, Ash’s role as Sunehri gave the audiences a glimpse of her that has never been seen before… and won’t be seen again in a hurry.
In ‘Crazy Kiye Re’, Aishwarya takes on a hugely western look. She exposes in a way which she hasn’t really ever done before. Her dance moves in the song add to her sexiness and her newly slim-figure is there for the world to see. Paired with the Greek God Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya truly sizzles on screen with the contagious dance moves and tanned look.
‘Barso Re’ – Guru
Well, this was the film that came just before Miss Rai became Mrs Bachchan-to-be! The film was special to say the least and Aishwarya’s ‘Barso Re’ at the start of the film truly takes the breath away.
Dressed once again in Indian attire, the song is set near waterfalls and boats in the rainy season. In the outdoors, Ash wears her hair in a simple bun and moves to every lyric with much innocence and ease. Her simplicity in dress and in her dancing makes this song one of the most mesmerising. Her character’s boldness yet grounded factors are revealed in the song.
And there we have it. Aishwarya, the goddess of all things Bollywood. Her dancing is something which always has and always will stand out. And long live Aishwarya’s dances… if there are any producers / directors / choreographers reading, please take this as a true BollySpice request… bring on more Aishwarya dances! We cannot get enough!