Dance has always been an essential part of Bollywood films and is considered as one of the unique factors behind Hindi cinema. Such has the craze of Bollywood dance numbers since its inception that the style soon became a genre in itself. Throughout its journey, Bollywood introduced numerous iconic dance sequences picturised on popular stars from various eras. But behind these iconic, crowd-pulling and startling pieces are those masterminds who make the stars dance to their beats and design the entire framework of a successful dance segment.
Through the evolution and incorporation of multiple dance forms explored in Indian cinema, the choreographers have created a special place for themselves in the heart of the audiences. Over the years, Bollywood has been blessed with many such talented individuals who lend their moves to cinema resulting in blockbuster dance songs and performances. On the occasion of International Dance Day, BizAsiaLive.com celebrates five of the most loved Bollywood Choreographers of all time, among others.
Known as the ‘God of Dancing’ and rightly so, Prabhudheva is one of the most sought-after choreographers in Bollywood. The actor-choreographer-director is among the very firsts to popularize the MJ Style dance in India. His replication of the iconic Michael Jackson moves, especially the ‘moonwalk’ and ‘pelvic thrust’, garnered much attention from the Indian audience and turned him into a megastar in the world of dancing. Alongside western styles, he is also trained in various Indian classical dance forms. Prabhudheva began his career with a series of commercially successful Tamil films and later ventured into Bollywood. He served as both the actor and choreographer of many such films and received much critical and commercial success over the years. He went on to receive two National Awards for Best Choreography and Padma Shri, for his contributions to art.
One of the most renowned names in the sphere of Bollywood dancing, Farah Khan, has been widely celebrated as a leading choreographer in the country over time. She started off her journey by lending her moves for the 90s hit sports drama ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ (1992) and has since then choreographed more than 100 songs for nearly 80 films in her career spanning over 27 years. Known for her famous Bollywood hook steps and dance style, she has delivered numerous smashing hit numbers for various blockbuster films. She has also choreographed for international films like, ‘Monsoon Wedding’ (2001), ‘Perhaps Love’ (2005), ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ (2017) among others. She has six Filmfare Awards, a National Award, a Tony Award Nomination and a Golden Horse Award Nomination to her credits for Best Choreography.
Perhaps one of the most loved choreographers in the country today, Remo D’souza, is known for his hip hop style of dancing and for introducing various international dance forms in India. Simultaneously, he is also a huge supporter of the Indian dance culture and believes in celebrating the same. Beginning his career with Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Bollywood Dreams’ (1995), he has choreographed songs for more than 100 films so far, delivering multiple super hit dance sequences. His presence on popular reality shows turned him into a household name and he soon became a favourite among all. He was the first director-choreographer to come up with India’s first 3D Dance film, ‘ABCD: Any Body Can Dance’ (2013) and its sequel ‘ABCD 2’ (2015), both of which was well-received by fans. He earned the National Award for Best Choreography in 2016 for the song, Deewani Mastani, from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015).
The most prominent name in the domain of Bollywood choreographers, Saroj Khan, is known as the “Mother of Dance/Choreography in India”. She is the recipient of the maximum number of National Award for Best Choreography with three wins. She is also the first Indian to receive the Best Choreography Filmfare Award for the massive hit number ‘Ek Do Teen’ from ‘Tezaab’ (1988). From ‘Geeta Mera Naam’ (1974) to ‘Kalank’ (2019), her career as an independent choreographer spans nearly 40 years and she has an approximate of more than 2000 choreographed songs to her credit. She also received the American Choreography Award in 2002 for ‘Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India’ (2001). Fondly addressed as ‘Masterji’, by big stars in the country, at 70, she is nothing less than a legend for many.
Yet another well-known name amongst Indian choreographers is Ganesh Acharya. One of the pioneers in delivering sensational Bollywood numbers, he has choreographed some iconic dance songs for more than 200 Indian films. He began performing with his first dance troupe at the age of 12 and made his first Bollywood stint at the age of 21 with ‘Anaam’ (1992). He received the National Award for Best Choreography for the song ‘Hawan Kund’ from ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (2013). His signature Bollywood style has gained much appreciation and love from fans all around the country.
BizAsiaLive.com wishes everyone a very happy International Dance Day and hopes dancers and choreographers all around the world continue to weave their magic on the floor!
– Varsha Roy