Actor Asha Parekh said that the film industry has turned its back on its roots, and on Indian culture, especially when it comes to dance. Recalling a story about her own training, she said at an event in Boston, “We have forgotten our dance traditions.”
The veteran actor, who was recently bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, was in conversation with Connect FM Canada at the Indian Film Festival of Boston. She appeared to be very disapproving of not just modern film songs, but also of the way they are picturised, and of the remixes of some of her own numbers.
She said in Hindi, “We have forgotten our own dance traditions, and we’re trying to copy Western dance. I think you will agree when I say this, but the kind of dance that we’re seeing these days, this is not our style. This is not our culture. And we have such a rich tradition of dance, every state has a dance of its own. And what are we doing? We’re trying to copy Western dance styles. Sometimes it feels like we’re doing aerobics, we’re not dancing. It hurts my heart to see this.” She did, however, single out director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. She said, “Sanjay Leela Bhasali is an exception. He’s bound by it, you see. You can see the respect for Indian culture in his work.”
She also voiced her disapproval of the many remixes of her classic songs. “They’re awful,” she said, adding, “The sweetness of the original songs are drowned out by loud drums and beats in the remixes. The words are lost.”
On Tuesday, the Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, announced that Asha Parekh would be bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year. The ceremony will be held on Friday.