Madhuri Dixit, known not only for her acting skills, but also for her evergreen dance numbers like “Dhak dhak karne laga”, “Choli ke peeche kya hai”, “Kay sera sera” and “Kaahe chhed mohe”, says classical dance strengthens a person’s foundation in the art form.
Discipline, rhythm, expression
An accomplished kathak dancer herself, Madhuri, who is judging a dance reality TV show said, “Throughout the show, I stress on the importance of learning classical dancing, because it gives you a sense of discipline, sense of rhythm and sense of expression. So, your foundation as a dancer gets set strong. Then, you can do any form of dance. For eight years as a kid, I only learnt kathak and practised it for several hours. After that, when I started trying out different styles of dancing, my body movements flowed in a certain manner, making the dance look graceful, effortless and everything that people talk about. What I am trying to say is that if you want to look effortless while dancing, you have to learn that grace through the discipline of practice.”
As the reality show welcomes dancers from all generations, asked if elderly people can be as flexible as youngsters, Madhuri said, “Flexibility and dancing is not just all about flips and standing on your hands. Dance is also about grace, expression… In our show, we have got some fantastic dancers across generation. That is the beauty of our show.”
A shift in forms
With a generation change, Bollywood rarely gets to see a classical dance number in films any more. Asked if there is a dearth of trained dancers among heroines these days, Madhuri said, “Bollywood films are about dance, music and narration. Yes, we still get to see dance in our films like ‘Baaghi’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, but this dance is different, because the generation is different. They are so well-exposed to western dancing, so the young audience who are watching films relate to such dancing. I think it is a natural change.”
Because it’s easy
But why are youngsters taking more interest in learning western dancing? “I think one of the reasons why western dance is getting much popular than our traditional Indian dance among masses is that you have to learn a kathak, a Bharatanatyam under the guidance of a guru, whereas in western dance, you can copy from the video. There is a difference. Having said that, I think Bollywood dance is a melting pot of every dance form,” said the multiple award-winning actress, adding that there is also a difference in the way dance is shot today.