Indian Classical

Mee Raqsam: 5 Iconic Films And Songs That Brought Classical Dance Forms In The Spotlight

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Classical dances have always captured audiences on the big screen. Every time a Bollywood A-list actress performs a classical dance in a film it gains a lot of attention because of the effort that goes into training and getting the details right. Mee Raqsam is a film that is dedicated to the struggles of a young Muslim girl’s fight to pursue her passion for Bharatnatyam. She faces backlash from conservatives from both the Hindu and Muslim community while her father helps her deal with the pressure she faces from society.

Watch the trailer for Mee Raqsam here.

Here are some of the Iconic film’s songs that brought classical dance forms in the spotlight

1. Kalank

Source: ZEE5

Kalank didn’t make quite the impact that people expected it to have on the box office. But one of the things that the film was lauded for was it’s dance performances. The ever-graceful Madhuri Dixit proved why she’s one of Bollywood’s finest dancers with her performance in Tabaah Ho Gaye and in Ghar More Pardesiya with Alia Bhatt.

2. Devdas

Devdas on ZEE5
Source: ZEE5

The 2002 adaptation of Devdas became popular because of the mesmerising duet ‘Maar Daala’ with Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit. The 1955 Devdas, starring Dilip Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Vyjayanthimala is also a film which highlights the Indian classical dance form ‘Thumri’. Vyjayanthimala’s reputation as a highly-skilled dancer was established with this film.

3. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje on ZEE5
Source: ZEE5

Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje is a superhit dance film from 1955 that won the National Award for best film. This Vi Shantaram film could seem like the inspiration for every other famous dance film. The story is about a classical dance maestro who trains one of his highly talented pupils (Sandhya) to win the once-in-ten-years Nateshwar Utsav dance competition and be crowned the Bharat Natraj.

4. Navrang

Navrang on ZEE5
Source: ZEE5

Navrang is another film featuring Sandhya and directed by V Shantaram that became iconic because of the dance sequences. This V Shantaram film is a work of art that stood the test of time. The famous song ‘ Are Ja Re Hat Natkhat’ from the film was a unique way to present Kathak and is a challenge for performers to this day.

5. Bajirao Mastani

Bajirao Mastani song Pinga
Source: ZEE5

It would be unfair to speak about classical dance and not include Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films in this list. With hit films like Devdas, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat his period dramas are responsible for a sort of revival of classical dance in Hindi films.

If you enjoy Indian classical art forms watch the highly acclaimed Marathi films Katyar Kaljat Ghusali and Natrang streaming on ZEE5.

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