Friday, March 4, 2011

Bollywood



"Hey, so where do you think most of the world's movies are made?"

Hollywood!

Nope.

Los Angeles!

Nope.

Malibu!

Nope.

China!

Nope.

England!

Nope.

California!

And we've just completed a trip around the world.

"The country that makes more movies than any other is India. And many of those movies begin and end with big dance numbers. That dancing is called Bollywood dancing. They took the 'B' from the old city name of 'Bombay' and attached it to 'Hollywood.' "

A year ago I happened to catch a third-grade class learning some Bollywood moves by a classroom guest from Pakistan. It inspired an idea that perhaps we could start and end our production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with a tip of the hat to India.

But I knew nothing of Bollywood choreography, so I tracked down a terrific teacher in Los Angeles and through the autumn and winter months started a rigorous workout of dance classes. I sweated as if we were twirling in old Calcutta in July.

Forget the StairMaster and hop off that elliptical. You want to drop a few? Sign up for a Bollywood dance class, pronto.

"Okay, here we go. I'm going to teach you a few steps today. Each week you'll learn a few more and soon you'll have the whole dance."

I taught them some head moves and a few arm moves, then played them a song called "Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint" from the soundtrack to the movie "Inside Man."

Ooooo. Ahhhh. Neat. Cooool. Freaky!

Bollywood: It's all that and more when you see third-, fourth- and fifth-graders take it on.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
I want to be in shakeshere club because I like the dance that is freaky & weird but cool. I want to be in Shakesphere club because I want to learn about william shakesphere and his plays and how he died. I love Shakesphere!
Wendy, 4th grade

dancer art by Red Bubble user goanna

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