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Promoting Western dance forms over Indian- reality shows?

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Joined: 16 June 2009

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Posted: 12 September 2013 at 1:03am | IP Logged
Most of the Indian dance reality shows tend to focus more on western artforms and completely ignore or do not promote Indian dance forms at all.

I am not too sure of international dance forms, but them promoting western danceforms is ok as these dances are part of their cultural heritage.

But why the Indian shows don't do that? Indian has its own unique forms...and so many of them..the serials here seem to stick to some semi-classical form and be done with it.

The Indian dances score less.
The Indian dances apparently get lesser votes.
The Indian dancers hardly appreciated - their innovation in the gamut of that dance form's rule book is not given due respect...

the question is WHY?

Few thoughts on my mind:

1. We as a public have some strange fascination for western dances...and is it us who are not providing the desi artforms a platofrm to flourish?

2. Everything is commercialized...not many are truly knowledgeable of the dances...therefore are we vulnerable and susceptible to judges comments...are most of us aware of dances only through these shows...and thus our knowledge limited to the ones shown and talked about by judges...

interesting to note is that these judges are not trained in Indian forms ( most of the time), and of course invariably all of this is linked to making dancing popular in the Indian market ( huge market, huge potential revenue)...and ofcourse as a judge you get that visibility and credibility to be recognized as one of the best dance centers in the country

Do judges on purpose promote what they know and trickle a top down effect of moulding perceptions?

3. Is it because learning basic of these dances takes lesser time than the calssical artforms that take years to practice- that it is losing its charm...

Not to forget, dancing is also a means of earning can run classes in your appartment... with calssical longer route..LOL

4. Dearth of trained individuals..but shouldn't that make it more special?...or y is there a dearth? there are quite a few schools...that too fees is not much..

What is it????

Edited by enigmatic_zephy - 12 September 2013 at 8:32am

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Joined: 10 August 2009

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Posted: 12 September 2013 at 1:52am | IP Logged
^^Apparently owing to lack of "sensuality" in Indian dance forms. Add to that the fact that a lot of Indian dances are seen as repetitive in steps and dance forms like "Kathhak" are viewed as non-masculine.LOL Also, not to forget "Colonial Hangover". 

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Joined: 24 June 2011

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Posted: 12 September 2013 at 8:17am | IP Logged
Indians have fascination with anything foreign.

Indian dance forms are not given much preference even in films.

Western dance forms are "sexier" and involve skimpy clothing that viewers find titilating.

Folk, tribal and classical dances are beautiful but not at all given attention. DD still shows these programs. But satellite TV has ignored them.

I know many desi middle class viewers don't get Rumba, Salsa and other dance forms and keep wondering if the acts in reality shows are circus or dance. But because of presence of popular film and TV stars and lack of other alternatives, they keep watching these shows and give them ratings.

Given the kind of movements and expressions we have been given in films since the 80s, dance is no more an art but more of masti (and that masti involves titilation as well).

Nothing Indian is preferred nowadays. Foreign locations, foreign brands, actresses with foreign accent/foreign origin are the order of the day in the name of new, "globalised" India.

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Joined: 07 March 2013

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Posted: 12 September 2013 at 8:35pm | IP Logged
I agree...I was watching Jhalak Dikhlaja and I realized that they were COPYING Dancing with the stars. We are we not proud of our culture? There are western countries actually doing Indian dancing! Why are we trying to be more western or what some call "modern"? Why are we being a wanna be? Be proud of who you are!

Here's a video of an American dance show, a group is dancing on "Dholna":

It's others praise our culture but we are ashamed of it...

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Posted: 13 September 2013 at 4:50am | IP Logged
Very very good discussion topic:)


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Posted: 13 September 2013 at 8:54am | IP Logged

In my perspective, it has never really been about western or eastern. It is simply a matter of ignorance and pop culture. Have them perform classic Viennese Waltz or Russian Ballet, the audiences will snooze and drone just as easily. Even in the case of pop music, there is the claim that "western" music is overrated and obsessed over. In reality, it is just pop music. No one is raving about more traditional forms of western music like symphony orchestra, opera or gospel as the hip and happening thing.  There is a tendency to gravitate towards forms that are being popularized in modern culture as being hip, cool and innovative.


These dance shows on television are a commercial enterprise. Everything is bread and circuses to get audiences glued and enthralled. No one gives a damn about the actual culture, art and history of the dance forms. Even the lesser known western folk forms like Polka or River dance or Line dancing are forgotten. We have people tripping over hip hop and jazz - acting cool with bling because that's what pop artists do, but no one knows the cultural relevance of these art forms or the history behind them. Rumba, Paso Doble, Samba , Salsa are promoted as sexual, exciting, enthralling etc, but it ignore how these dance forms are viewed in Latin culture.


Sad but true, Indian dance forms are not promoted at all in these shows. But I don't think western dance forms are promoted either. Yes, they are packaged and commercialized. But I feel that the actual "art of dance" is being demeaned and demoted. Even some Indian folk forms like Bhangra or Dandia that do get popular lose their "meaning" and just become "commercial endeavors".

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Joined: 07 October 2012

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Posted: 13 September 2013 at 10:39am | IP Logged

i think the difference between the two forms is like the difference between sleaze and art. You got more people performing and watching sleaze than going to museums.LOL It's the lowest common denominator principle- you can always trust masses to like the lowest.LOL

personally, i find Indian dance forms artistically brilliant... but boring after a while. It's like seeing a genius mathematician perform calculations on stage. LOL Not that i like the other stuff either. I'd rather be making people  dance to my tune Tongue ... than watch people gyrate with weird expressions. Better ways to lose calories i thinkLOL

Edited by BirdieNumNum - 13 September 2013 at 12:35pm




Joined: 28 March 2007

Posts: 13285

Posted: 14 September 2013 at 1:26pm | IP Logged
Colonial Hangover is the only world.
zephy learning the so called western dances also takes a lot of time, ballet takes a lifetime of training, same for ballroom, what we see in thew programs r odd mishmash of low Q dances, half of them do not follow basic tenets of the dance form. Ballroom dances with lifts lifts and only lifts are shown in shows like jdj, which is a strictly no no.

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