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.
An accomplished kathak dancer herself, Madhuri, who is judging Colors’ dance reality TV show Dance Deewane 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 practiced 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 Dance Deewane welcomes dancers from all generation, asked if elderly people can be as flexible as youngsters, Madhuri, 51, 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 of the fantastic dancers across generation. That is the beauty of our show.”
With a generation change, Bollywood rarely gets to see a classical dance number in films anymore.
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.”
But why are youngsters are 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.
“Cuts are faster, picturisation is different. As a dancer, before finishing an expression, the next shot appears… but I think the generation wants things faster,” said Madhuri, who is busy shooting Kalank these days.