Bolly…wait, what?

June 10, 2009

For the second time, “So You Think You Can Dance” has included a Bollywood routine choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan in the show. But what exactly is Bollywood?

In season 5 of “America’s Next Top Model” Simon Doonan said Bollywood was a place in India where movies where made. Oops! Bollywood is actually a popular name that’s been given to the Indian film industry. It’s based in the city of Mumbai, which was formerly known as Bombay, hence the Bollywood nickname.

There’s a lot more to Bollywood than great music and dancing. You’ll get to see fabulous costumes, very good looking people and great movie plots: boy meets girl, girl is dating jerk, jerk changes his life around, girl marries ex-jerk, girl and ex-jerk have a baby, boy is still pining after girl, boy gets drunk and crashes his car into—you guessed it, girl, baby, and ex-jerk’s car. You’re probably thinking “wait, she just told me the whole movie!” but that’s about 40 percent of Dil Ka Rishta, since Bollywood movies are usually more than three hours long. They sometimes have an intermission, so pause your DVD player, take a bathroom break, get some more snacks and hop back on the couch ‘cause I promise you, by now you’ll be hooked!

So where to start? I like to recommend Bolly-newbies to watch Aishwarya Rai. This former Miss World is a great dancer, beautiful to look at and her movies are always fun. Her leading man is often my Bollywood crush, Shahrukh Khan, whom you may not like at first sight, but trust me, after watching him for more than 20 minutes you’ll be thinking “me tumsee pyaar karti hoo!” (I’m in love with you!).

Here are some videos of cool dance routines—picking just a few was hard!

Dayya Dayya Re
from Dil Ka Rishta. Aish looks great, as usual, and I love the last costume (dance team people, take note!).

Chaiyya Chaiyya
from Dil Se. Great song, cool setting! Shahrukh Khan stars in this great drama.

Dola Re Dola
from Devdas. I can’t get enough of Aishwarya, dancing here with Madhuri Dixit. Aish and Shahrukh star in this epic love story (warning: you will cry).

There are thousands of Bollywood movies available for rent and subtitled, for those of us who need a little help with our Hindi.

For translated lyrics, synopsis, pictures, gossip, etc. I like bollyWHAT?.

You can always check out the So You Think You Can Dance site, and keep your fingers crossed for more Bollywood routines!