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Best of Bollywood Dances

Updated on September 14, 2014

The best ever dance songs of Hindi Movies

Bollywood movies are among the most colorful of all movies, and one of the reasons for this are its songs, many of which include dance sequences. These dances, which derive their origin from both classical and folk dance forms of not only India, but also other parts of the world, have now come to acquire a kind of identity of their own, and are fast gaining popularity.

Here are some of the best dance sequences ever created in Bollywood.

Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya...

MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960)

This song sequence, part of the Bollywood epic, Mughal-e-Azam, depicts the daring defiance of Anarkali, a beautiful courtesan in the Moghul Court, who is in love with Prince Saleem and is threatened to stay away from him. In this song sequence, she dares the Moghul Emperor and takes him head on, her defiance being shown by way of expressions and dance actions. The beautiful Madhubala and her dancing prowess, coupled with the voice of Lata Mangeshkar and music of Naushad, creates a mesmerizing combination.

Chalte Chalte ... Yuheen Koyi Mil Gaya Tha...

PAKEEZAH (1972)

One of the most artistic dance performances ever in Bollywood, largely due to the sensual and subtle grace of Meena Kumari, who died a few weeks after this movie was released, forever etching her name in the history of Bollywood. The dance is based on KATHAK, a classical dance form of North India, kept alive by courtesans and patronized by the wealthy landlords. The music is given by Ghulam Mohammad, and the song has the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje....

HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM (1999)

This sequence may be one of the most beautiful song-dance filmed on folk music, with mesmerizing choreography of Vaibhavi Merchant and the music of ismail Darbar. The voices are of Kavita Krishnamurthi and Vinod Rathor. The highlight of the dance is, of course, the beauty of Aishwarya Rai, the 1994 Miss Universe, but the credit of the mesmerizing performance goes to the combination of Gujarati Folk on which this song is based coupled with the great music.

Origin of Indian Dancing

Classical & Folk dances of India

During the initial years, Bollywood dances largely drew on popular theater dancing, as classical dancers were not inclined to work there. As Bollywood matured, more and more leading performers began to join. In time, it became the most popular mode of entertainment and performing arts and some great pieces of dance sequences were also recorded in those times. Gradually, there was greater emphasis on folk dances which allowed large groups in colorful dresses to show their skills under creative choreographic direction. Simultaneously, cabaret dances, which were a kind of challenge to the conservative Indian social fabric, also became a rage. In recent years, the emphasis has been on creativity and innovation. One common feature that has remained unchanged during all these seven decades of music and dance is the emphasis on music.

NATRAJ: The divine inspiration of dancing

Natraj: The divine form of dancing universe
Natraj: The divine form of dancing universe

Indian dancing draws its inspiration from Lord Natraj, a dancing form of the master of the universe. Ancient Indian philosophy also gives due emphasis on dance as a form in which universe evolves, thereby deeply interweaving dance and music with the creations and changes of universe.

Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi....

AWARA (1951)

This dream song-dance sequence almost belonged to an era far ahead of its times. Part of a 1951 blockbuster, it owes its magnificence to its producer Raj Kapoor, often considered the biggest showman of Bollywood. However, it achieves its greatness thanks to the extremely dignified presence of Nargis, the voice of Lata Mangeshkar and the music of Shankar Jaikishan. The sequence depicts the internal struggle of the main protagonist of the movie, who is trying to break the shackles of his illegal profession and wants to confess his true identity to the woman he loves. His struggle with the demons in his mind, and his aspiration for the support of his love is what makes it a piece of sheer art in action.

Chal Chayya Chayya ....

DIL SE (1998)

This song-dance sequence is a stamp of greatness put together by many of Bollywood greats, beginning with A R Rehman, the only Bollywood music composer to have won both Oscar and Grammy awards. His cosmopolitan music has its roots firmly in Indian music tradition, combining folk, classical and popular genres in his own unique way. The grandeur of the sequence also derives from the dance on a moving train among the hills, and the presence of Sharukh Khan and Mallaika Arora, The choreography of Farah Khan weaves it all together in one great piece of art. The voices are of Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi, while the lyrics are written by Gulzar, another legend of Bollywood.

Piya Tu... Ab To Aaja...

CARAVAN (1971)

This Cabaret Club dance form was a craze in the seventies, as the conservative Indian society struggled to break the shackles of age old morals. The dance is performed by Helen, who must have performed more dance sequences in Bollywood than any other actor, and used to be considered synonymous with Bollywood dance at that point of time. This sequence attains its greatness both for her dancing abilities as well as the unparalleled melodious voice of Asha Bhonsle and the music of R D Burman.

O' Basanti Pawan Pagal....

JIS DESH ME GANAGA BEHTI HAI (1960)

This can be argued as the greatest piece of individual dancing ever seen in Bollywood, performed by Padmini, who was trained in Bharatnatyam, a very artistic form of ancient Indian classical dance form. The sequence depicts the plight of a woman who is watching the love of her life leaving for an assignment from which he will never return as it is certain to lead to his death. The dance depicts her helplessness, her anger and her frustration, as she takes inspiration from Goddess Durga to draw strength and covert her emotions into action, and then ... all that suddenly changes into ecstasy, as she finds that her love has returned.

A dream performance for any dancer, it is immortalized by the music of Shankar Jaikishan and the voice of Lata Mangeshkar,

Piya Tose Naina Lage Re...

GUIDE (1965)

The dancing prowess of Waheeda Rehman was never utilized better than this medley of dances in the Dev Anand classic, Guide, made in 1965. The story revolves around a Guide who meets a frustrated girl, married to a man twice her age, who wants to become a professional dancer. The guide, Raju (played by Dev Anand) helps her achieve her dream before misunderstandings begin to develop. The sequence depicts her journey from oblivion to stardom. A unique piece, interwoven by music of legendary S D Burman and voice of Lata Mageshkar.

Choli Ke Peechhe Kya Hai....

KHALNAYAK (1991)

This dance performance of Madhuri Dixit, the most popular actor of the nineties, would always be remembered as much as for its popularity as for the controversies it caused, because of the lyrics of this song, which literally mean, "What is behind the blouse... what is behind the scarf... Behind them is my heart .." However no controversy can overshadow the greatness of a piece of art, as in this case, made immortal by the use of Rajasthani folk dance and music, under the great music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, and sweet voices of Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun.

Neelgaganl Ki Chhaon Mein....

AMRAPALI (1968)

Another great piece of individual dancing, performed by Vyjayantimala, who was one of the greatest dancing divas of Bollywood, in addition to her acting abilities. The movie is based on the story of Amrapali, a royal courtesan of ancient India, who is an object of fascination for the men and is in love with a soldier. The sequence depicts her emotions as she tells how she is getting lost in the love of a man. A mesmerizing performance, with music given by Shankar Jaikishan and the song rendered by Lata Mangeshkar, is based on Raaga Bhupali, a tune of Hindustani classical music.

What do You think ?

Which is the best Bollywood Dance ?

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    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      It looks very helpful. Thank you very much!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      ... of course, blessings for a tribute to bollywood dances lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i love india, its music, culture, dance, beautiful men and women and food.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      These dances are amazing!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      What amazing sets, costumes and choreography. Thanks for introducing me to these.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      A great selection.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice selections! My favorites are from Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wonderful selection. my fav one is chayya chayya.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i have never watched these movies before but sure love the dance in Kal Ho Na Hoo - Pretty Women.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Very nice lens!