Humorous Classical Indian Dances from Films!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Tamil Padam (Tamil, 2010) - A spoof film that parodies conventions and tropes of Tamil cinema, Tamizh Padam contains a very funny scene in which the main character performs "Bharatanatyam" to impress his love interest. Of special interest are the "cricket move," "banana peel move," and the end making fun of the images dancers make in powder with their feet.
Chandan Ka Palna (Hindi, 1967) - Nir Ta Ta Dhang - Two goofy middle-aged men try their hand at Kathak in this humorous number. Apparently the dancers are Mehmood and comedian Dhumal, and the song is sung by Mohammad Rafi and Manna Dey - what fun they must have had recording it! According to this review of the film at the Old Films and Me blog, Mehmood plays a Bengali character who loves Indian classical music and does some Bengali moves during the dance. My favorite part is the end where Mehmood emerges victorious as the winner! Poor Dhumal...
Mannadhi Mannan (Tamil, 1960) - Can you imagine! MGR pitted against the inimitable Padmini in a dance competition? MGR certainly gives his all (starting around 1:25) in trying to perform some semblance of Kathak, and the way he is edited makes it even more giggle-worthy. Padmini dances brilliantly as always! A humorous and enjoyable number. It even contains the "images made with the feet" technique mocked by the Tamil Padam song above.
Miruthanga Chakravarthy (Tamil, 1983) - OK, this one is cheating since there isn't any dance in it, but it still relates: an aged Shivaji Ganesan and his competitor enact a wide variety of pained expressions replete with pouted lips as they beat their mridangam drums senseless for nearly eight minutes in what is quite possibly the mother of all drum competitions. Sivaji's facial expressions are priceless. Unfortunately he has some sort of health problem at the end...
Krishna Nee Kunidaaga (Kannada, 1989) - Aaduvenu Nimagagi - Vinod Raj (once known as the "Dance King" of Kannada cinema) performs an incredibly enthusiastic classical-inspired-disco-hybrid dance in this song. The choreography is so entertaining that it finds a place on this list!
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Aditya 369 (Telugu, 1991) - Suramodhamu - The science fiction Telugu movie Aditya 369 contains an ancient fantasy court sequence with a classical dance competition. On a serious note, I absolutely love the way the woman in the red and white costume dances (and she's contrasted nicely by the other dancer in pink who is much too bouncy and untalented... and she shows her cleavage, which of course signals her as bad!). The funny part starts around 4:10 in which Balakrishna inspires the group to rock and roll.
Varalaru (Tamil, 2006)- Innisai - No, this song isn't on here only because Tamil superstar Ajith attempts filmi Bharatanatyam. It's certainly one reason (although he does a decent job of it, muscles and all), but the second half of this song contains a very silly court scene in which performers try to impress the princess. Quite entertaining, especially the kuthu dude.
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Aan Pavam (Tamil, 1985) - Kathal Kasakuthuya - A whole song where a group of men dance classical-inspired moves to the lyrics "Kadhal Kasakuthuya" (love is bitter)! Classic.
Jeans (Tamil, 1998) - Kannodu Kaanpathellaam - The special effects in this song are a complete WTF culminating with the Bharatanatyam-dancing skeleton at the end- an occurrence so bizarre that it certainly belongs on the list. The clip I chose is from the Hindi dubbed version, "Kehta Hai Yeh Mera Dil" from Shemaroo's channel. Look out for Lakshmi of Julie fame!
Bharatanatyam by Anjana Banerjee - Another cheat, this is a video I happened onto on YouTube of the dancer Anjana Banerjee performing "Bharatanatyam" on Doordarshan TV. Quite possibly the laziest Bharatanatyam dancer ever?
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