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Amitabh Bachchan turns 80: A look back at the superstar’s dance numbers

A superstar phenomenon, a style unmatched, unparalleled screen intensity; a few phrases that immediately come to mind when the name Amitabh Bachchan is mentioned. The thespian celebrates his 80th birthday today. His journey to stardom and beyond is one of the most inspiring stories of the Hindi film industry.

He has reinvented himself over the years, according to the demands of the audience and the changing times, proving that an actor does not need have a ‘range’. An actor can work on himself, showcase different aspects of his personality through his intelligence, talent and of course hard work.

One way to trace his journey is through his most famous dances. Starting off as a non dancer, his moves, developed over the years have a style quotient, that cannot be replicated.

Even today, some of his famous dance songs have the ability to get people onto the dancefloor.

Dekha Na Hai Re – Bombay To GoaOne of his earlier dance songs, this was a make or break movie for him. He had to rework the stereotype built up for him, that of an actor only suited for serious, brooding roles. Nothing wrong with the image, he aced those roles too, except he had to expand his repertoire. Thus, this movie, and this song was one of the most important sequences for him in his career.

Khaike Pan Banaraswala – DonThis song has an iconic status in terms of the song as well as the dance. Choreographed by P L Raj, who created the typical ‘Amitabh Bachchan dance style’, the dance is energetic and spirited. Amitabh Bachchan shared an interesting anecdote earlier this year on his social media handle, he said that some of his moves in the dance were inspired by his son Abhishek who was a toddler, as he had this particular way of moving sideways!

Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai – Kaalia This is an iconic song that is popular even today. Choreographed by P L Raj, it is a catchy peppy, dance number with great rhythm. The song is a face off between the protagonist and the antagonist as they battle it out on the dance floor to steal a piece of jewellery. This song showcases Amitabh Bachchan’s signature style- light leg movements, slight shoulder lifts. One can see this style reflected on the dance floor till date by hopefuls!

Starting off as a non dancer, his moves, developed over the years have a style quotient, that cannot be replicated.

Pag Ghunghroo Bandh Meera – Namak HalalThis song is actually a Hindustani classical piece, moulded into a ‘fusion’ dance number as required by the director Prakash Mehra. The choreography stands apart as it plays on the character’s comic personality and brings out the local flavour of the song.

Kajra Re – Bunty Aur BabliChoregraphed by Vaibhavi Merchant, this song was and still remains an iconic dance number. It features Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai (in a special appearance). The song itself is quirky and the actors certainly looked like they had a great time dancing to it. The dance had the local flavour of Uttar Pradesh where the film was based.

Party To Banti Hai – Bhootnath ReturnsThis dance reflects the skill of the actor to change his style according to the changing needs of the audience. Bosco Martis – National Award winning choreographer created the song according to the mood of the sequence which was peppy, youthful. Amitabh’s dance moves with a little boy are a sheer joy to watch and belie his age. That’s his power; to shift shape into the demands of the role and character.

This is not an exhaustive list. ‘Mere Angne Mein’, ‘Rang Barse’, ‘Jhumma Chumma Dede’, ‘Say Shava Shava’, ‘Na Na Na Re’, ‘Sona Sona’ and ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ are just a few more from his repertoire. His dance songs, till date are remembered and his dance style remains inimitable. wishes Amitabh Bachchan a Happy 80th Birthday.

By Tejusvini Varadachari


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