Global Bollywood

Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance

Sangita Gopal
Sujata Moorti
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttts8hz
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  • Book Info
    Global Bollywood
    Book Description:

    This interdisciplinary collection describes the many roots and routes of the Bollywood song-and-dance spectacle. Examining the reception of Bollywood music in places as diverse as Indonesia and Israel, the essays highlight the cultural influence of Hindi film music from its origins to today. Contributors: Walter Armbrust, Anustup Basu, Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, Edward K. Chan, Bettina David, Rajinder Dudrah, Shanti Kumar, Monika Mehta, Anna Morcom, Ronie Parciack, Biswarup Sen, Sangita Shrestova, Richard Zumkhawala-Cook._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5644-8
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance
    (pp. 1-60)
    Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti

    To talk of Bollywood is inevitably to talk of the song and dance sequence. For auteur Ram Gopal Varma whose work has not found global audiences, song-dance is the reason Hindi cinema fails to reach international standards, but for Aamir Khan whose 2002 filmLagaan(Tax) was seen worldwide, the song-dance sequence is the dealmaker.¹ If feminist independent director Aparna Sen identifies herself as someone who does not do song and dance, noted U.S.-based diasporic filmmaker Mira Nair’s crossover hitMonsoon Wedding(2001) is an homage to the all-singing, all-dancing Bollywood flick. Frequently remarked upon by insiders and always remarkable...

  4. Part I. Home Terrains
    • 1. Tapping the Mass Market: The Commercial Life of Hindi Film Songs
      (pp. 63-84)
      Anna Morcom

      Since the coming of sound in 1931, virtually all commercial Hindi films have contained songs. It is estimated that fifteen million people visit the cinema everyday in India and the inclusion of songs in films is seen as being essential to tap the full potential of this immense market.¹ If films are a big business and songs are indeed essential to the commercial potential of films, then we may presume that film songs themselves have considerable commercial power. What is the nature of the film songs’ commercial power, and how is it related to or independent from Hindi films? Do...

    • 2. The Sounds of Modernity: The Evolution of Bollywood Film Song
      (pp. 85-104)
      Biswarup Sen

      Popular music in the Indian subcontinent is unique because it consists almost completely offilmigit, that is, songs originally featured in the movies. This equivalence serves as a basis for this present essay; in what follows, I propose to trace the history of popular music as it evolved within the context of Bollywood film and to examine the role that this music has played in delineating the contours of colonial and postcolonial modernity. Such an inquiry confirmsfilmigit’scentrality as a constitutive site of the popular and brings to light its capacity for constantly reinventing itself in response to the...

    • 3. From Bombay to Bollywood: Tracking Cinematic and Musical Tours
      (pp. 105-131)
      Nilanjana Bhattacharjya and Monika Mehta

      Writers from Marx to Haraway and Appadurai have shown how emergent technologies introduce possibilities to create new forms of social relations. In the case of Bollywood sound tracks, in particular, emergent technologies of music have acquired the power to call into question that national form of belonging, without which the Indian state cannot do. Why do these sound tracks have this power? Because in a very concrete and specific sense they operate as “capillaries,” through which ideas of national belonging are circulated, consumed, and reproduced, sometimes in radically different forms. Sound tracks circulate through and delineate a domain that by...

    • 4. Bollywood and Beyond: The Transnational Economy of Film Production in Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
      (pp. 132-152)
      Shanti Kumar

      A city within a city, Ramoji Film City (RFC) claims to be the largest, most comprehensive, and most professionally planned film production center in the world. Located in South India (geographically quite far from the Bombay film industry), RFC is considered by many industry experts to have surpassed the size and facilities offered at Universal Studios and other major film studios in Hollywood. With more than seven thousand five hundred employees working in twenty-nine departments, RFC has the capacity to accommodate the production of twenty international films at any one time and cater to at least forty Indian films simultaneously....

    • 5. The Music of Intolerable Love: Political Conjugality in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se
      (pp. 153-176)
      Anustup Basu

      Mani Ratnam has said in an interview that his 1998 Hindi filmDil Se(From the heart) failed at the box office because the song and dance sequences obstructed the pace of the narrative.¹ Indeed, except for the “Ay ajnabi tu bhi kahin” (“Oh stranger, you too from somewhere”) number, which keeps floating into the diegesis as a longing message on All India Radio sent out by the hero to his mysterious and evanescent ladylove, all the other musical segments in the film take place in virtual registers of time and space beyond the direct control of a realist narrational...

  5. Part II. Eccentric Orbits
    • 6. Intimate Neighbors: Bollywood, Dangdut Music, and Globalizing Modernities in Indonesia
      (pp. 179-199)
      Bettina David

      There has been little research on the nature of the relationship between commercial Hindi film music and imagery, and the Indonesian popular music genredangdut, a hybrid pop music extremely popular among the lower classes that incorporates musical elements from Western pop, Hindi film music, and indigenous Malay tunes. Although the strong influence of Hindi film music in the emergence ofdangdutas a distinct genre in postindependence Indonesia has been noted by most academic and mass media accounts ofdangdut, it is usually mentioned only in passing. For example, in their recent article about contemporary developments in Indonesian popular...

    • 7. The Ubiquitous Nonpresence of India: Peripheral Visions from Egyptian Popular Culture
      (pp. 200-220)
      Walter Armbrust

      Egyptian popular culture is conventionally thought of in one of two ways: first, as a national tradition developing out of the internal dynamic of Egyptian society and tied economically to the entire Arabic-speaking world; second, as a national tradition corrupted by the West, to the detriment of the healthy development of a sovereign identity. Both ways of thinking are products of the nationalist “partitioning” invoked in the epigraph from Amitav Ghosh’sIn an Antique Land. Often negative views of mass-mediated Egyptian popular culture—the opinion that it is nothing but a bad copy of a Western model—take for granted...

    • 8. Appropriating the Uncodable: Hindi Song and Dance Sequences in Israeli State Promotional Commercials
      (pp. 221-240)
      Ronie Parciack

      Two well-known figures that Israeli audiences would immediately recognize as representing political and cultural polarities appear on screen. Yet during a series of thirty-second commercials, they embody harmony. They dance and frolic with each other in an empty studio, blue skies, and a rainbow serving as the backdrop. The mere appearance of these figures—Yossi Sarid and Rubi Rivlin, Shulamit Aloni and Eli Hanna, and Emanuel Halperin and Eli Hanna, who represent opposing ends of the political spectrum—raises issues regarding the fate of the state of Israel and its boundaries, as well as cultural questions regarding the country’s orientation:...

  6. Part III. Planetary Consciousness
    • 9. Dancing to an Indian Beat: “Dola” Goes My Diasporic Heart
      (pp. 243-263)
      Sangita Shresthova

      Organized by the Indus Council, the annual Berkeley Hindi Film Dance Competition provides a powerful testimony to the growing popularity of Bollywood, dance and its emergence as a recognized category emulated on stages and classes across the world. While film-inspired dance classes like, those run by Shiamak Davar’s Institute for Performing Arts (SDIPA), are an increasingly frequent occurrence in the urban centers in India, the proliferation of Bollywood dance is most prominent outside India, where its study and performance is fast becoming an expression of Indian identity and an emergent marginal chic. Bollywood dance classes have sprung up in cities...

    • 10. Food and Cassettes: Encounters with Indian Filmsong
      (pp. 264-287)
      Edward K. Chan

      By 2004, mainstream American popular culture had finally recognized Bollywood. Indeed, there has been a full-fledged “Bolly-chic” afoot, echoing an earlier “Indo-chic” in the world of publishing.¹ Bollywood’s elaborate musical sequences have even been spoofed onThe Simpsons, the all-seeing eye of American popular culture. We might read the spoof as either satire or homage, yet the spoof is less about Bollywood cinema itself and more about Bollywood’s move from subculture to mainstream, in much the same way that Jackie Chan, Tsui Hark, and John Woo became “hip” before attaining mass-market appeal. Is this simply a Cinderella story, in which...

    • 11. Queer as Desis: Secret Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Bollywood Films in Diasporic Urban Ethnoscapes
      (pp. 288-307)
      Rajinder Dudrah

      2002 was the year of Bollywood in Britain—the celebrated product displays at Selfridges, the opening of Andrew Lloyd Weber’sBombay Dreams, and Bollywood-inspired fashion and accessories at Top Man, Top Shop, and H&M were all governed by an aesthetics of excess that has, by now, become synonymous with the global image of Bollywood. This stylistic excess, read as kitsch and camp, was highlighted in the commodification of Bollywood by the mainstream culture, fashion, and entertainment industries in the United Kingdom. Ironically, this very style has, until recently, disqualified Bollywood from serious consideration in Western film scholarship. Bollywood cinema was...

    • 12. Bollywood Gets Funky: American Hip-Hop, Basement bhangra, and the Racial Politics of Music
      (pp. 308-330)
      Richard Zumkhawala-Cook

      If you happened to tune in the local pop radio stations in the summer of 2003, you might have gotten the impression hip-hop’s executive class had just returned from spring break in South Asia and was proudly sharing its audio postcards with the world. “Mundian to bach ke” (“Beware of the Boys”), Jay-Z’s collaboration with British bhangra DJ Panjabi MC, was hailed as an anthem of the summer byBillboard Magazinewhen the single and itstumbianddholbassline flew to the top of American and European charts. Dr. Dre’s production of the Truth Hurts’s track “Addictive,” featuring Lata...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 331-332)
    Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti
  8. Contributors
    (pp. 333-334)
  9. Index
    (pp. 335-340)