Tough guys can dance too!
For long Bollywood had the tradition that tough guys cannot or don’t dance. Vinod Khanna was a hopeless tragedy when it came to dancing for all the...
For long Bollywood had the tradition that tough guys cannot or don’t dance. Vinod Khanna was a hopeless tragedy when it came to dancing for all the phenomenal charm he had. Dharmendra’s one leg jamming and one leg skiing dance is the stuff of legends though immensely popular with the masses and those phenomenal steps added with his hands having a “bye-bye” kind of dancing style.
Jeetendra for all his efforts was still called “Jumping Jack”. The best bet of the bad guys was Amitabh Bachchan, who could just time his steps and give us a façade of dancing. Shammi Kapoor that wild guy of the 60s remained that one glorious odd star out. Tough men of Bollywood belonged to the tag of “Pappu can’t dance saala”. There was another reason too. The tough guys of 70s and 60s cinema were developed on conservative social norms. A tough guy was also usually a serious guy with morals and apparently, men of morals in those days did not dance. Yes!
The tide did change, a bit, with the sudden burst of a dark-skinned hero from Bengal. He had karate moves and could dance. In fact, his biggest box office till date remains a movie based on dancing. The man is Mithun Chakraborty.
Slowly the leading men of Bollywood realised that dancing could help their cause further at the box office. Then came the 90s and the three Khans. Shah Rukh had his own language of dancing. In some ways, his hyper-energetic dance was a rip off between Shammi Kapoor and Jeetendra. The difference being that Shah Rukh knew when to change gears; his dancing had some sense of moves though at times he would go from balanced to total wild, however, his dancing was a welcome change from those who could not dance at all.
Aamir was actually the first superstar from the 90s who was, like in everything else that he does, a perfection in dancing too. His dance in movies like ‘Dil’ and the much later movies like ‘Ishq’ and the recent ‘Dhoom 3’ proved that here was an action hero who could dance too. His dance in ‘Ghajini, the retribution thriller was the most epic example of this one.
Salman Khan actually evolved as a dancer. We could see that he was putting an effort in dancing too in ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ but by the time ‘Wanted’ came in recent years Salman’s own dancing style was more than evident. This was one tough guy who brought his stamp to dancing. One has to add that in his confidence of dancing a major contribution came from the king of “funtainment” David Dhawan.
Amongst the new stars dancing is just another essential skill. So much so that it will now be difficult for a non-dancer to become an action star. How times change!
The first flawless action star dancer or the tough guy who could put the most boneless fish to shame while dancing was Hrithik Roshan. His “Ek Pal Ka Jeena” act from his debut movie is yet to be challenged in terms of flawless connection with the music and dancing. Hrithik’s moves in ‘Dhoom 2’ and then in the recent ‘Bang Bang’ was so awe-inspiring that you can conclude that if there is one star in Bollywood whose dancing has a soul it is Hrithik.
Tiger Shroff is the latest addition to the list of super dancer tough guy action stars. When dancing this man is so into it that someone might totally underestimate his fighting skills in a one to one face off. Tiger’s dancing and action were equally epic in his first movie and he continues to be a great dancer with every new movie of his.
The other extremely serious contender for the tough guy with dancing skills tag is, of course, Akshay Kumar. His dancing initially was more like New Delhi orchestra style. He had raw energy but his moves had stiffness and his moves sometimes did not time well with the music.
Apparently, it was Farah Khan who first discovered that Akshay had far better dancing skills than people thought and you can see that some of Akshay’s better dance moves have come under Farah Khan’s choreography.