What is Bollywood?

Indian Dance Classes

What is Bollywood? And what is Bollywood dance?

I know quite the crazy question to bring up considering that we are a Bollywood dance studio. 

We know that Bollywood is the Hindi-Language film industry of India. We know about Bollywood films and the musical and dance masterpieces that stem from them. What else do we know about it?

Here are some DYK’s (Did You Know) about the history and evolution of Bollywood:

DYK #1 Bollywood has roots dating back to the 1890’s. The first full Bollywood film was “Raja Harischandra,” a 1913 silent film. It was a commercial hit and chronicled the start of a burgeoning film-industry.

DYK #2 The first movie with sound was “Alam Ara” in 1931. This soon led to the inclusion of choreographed dance in film; something that is now characteristic of the industry.

DYK #3 Bollywood is known for its unexpected song and dance sequences. This trend originates from the 1930’s and 1940’s, where film-goers loved the escapist and story-telling nature of these random, theatrical, and entertaining breakouts of song and dance.

DYK #4 Bollywood produces the most films per year. Yep, even more than Hollywood. 

DYK #5 Bollywood dance is a melting-pot of several different dance styles. It is a hybridization of several styles, and incorporates elements of Chari (a Rajasthani folk-dance), Bhangra, Garba, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Mujra (a form of dance that originated from the Mughal era), belly-dance, hip-hop, contemporary dance, free-style, and many other forms of dance. 

Want to know more? Stay tuned for Part 2 of our “What is Bollywood” series.