Bollywood as a term was the blending of two words, Bombay (a city in India now known as Mumbai) and Hollywood, a city in the United States that requires no explanation. Bollywood refers to an Indian genre of music, dance, movies and acting.
The form of dance is a unique type of dance that is no longer practiced and taught exclusively in India. The dance is practiced at competitive and recreational levels all over the world. This genre of dance is characterized by facial expressions, overstated body language and movements and other cinematic and dramatic elements that make the story easy to follow for viewers.
The genre is more than just dramatic cinematic elements and is deep rooted in history and tradition. India has long practiced this and similar types of dance. Bollywood dance tends to be a more modern and hybrid version of traditional Indian dances such as Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Bhangra.
The basic elements of Bollywood dance include:
- Hand Movements; Bollywood is rich in hand movements that serve as a type of sign language that are an integral part of telling a story and portraying the message that the routine aims to convey. Interestingly, different historic Indian dances have different hand movements that mean different things, for example hand movements (known as hastas) for certain types of dance are done with one hand and others with two.
- Costume; another integral part of Bollywood dance is the costume. You may be familiar with the bright costume colours as well as the large number of accessories that tend to accompany outfits. These bangles and bracelets and other namely metal accessories make noise that enhance the experience.