With Bollywood Flair
Take the bright colors and extravagant dance numbers of Bollywood, add the funky beats of disco, and what do you get? Bollywood Disco: an elevation of both art forms!
Disco originated in the West, but Bollywood movies created a uniquely Indian form of disco. Bollywood films and disco are both sometimes seen as being overly flashy, yet it is in Bollywood where disco took on more emotional depth.
You may have heard the Bollywood disco song “Jimmy Aaja” before. It was featured in Adam Sandler’s 2008 film You Don’t Mess With the Zohan and covered by MIA in 2007.
The original is so enduring perhaps because it identifies itself with the disco genre just to then break the mold. The instrumental opening of the song clearly identifies it as disco through the simple up-beat rhythm and synthetic sound quality, but the lyrics and emotions with which Rita sings them set the song apart.
Far from a simple dance anthem, this song is a heartfelt entreaty to Jimmy. He must overcome his difficulties through disco dancing.
Iconic Figures in Bollywood Disco
Bappi Lahiri was the musician responsible for Disco Dancer‘s soundtrack. His work is also included on ten of the twelve best Bollywood Disco soundtracks curated by DJ Brother Cleve. Other greats of the era include Usha Uthup, Mithun, RD Burman, Biddu, and Nazia Hassan. Biddu had previously been a successful disco pioneer in the Western world. He and Nazia Hassan are credited with bringing disco to South Asia.
More recently the 2012 Bollywood movie Student of the Year brought back the quintessential Bollywood disco song Disco Deewane:
Below you can see Nazia Hassan’s original Disco Deewane, which was one of the first ever Bollywood disco songs.
You Can Disco Too!
If “Disco Deewane” and “Jimmy Aaja” make you want to get your funk on, I have good news for you. You won’t need a time machine to rock the Bollywood Disco because we’re bringing the party to you!
Jai Ho! Dance party has brought an annual dose of Bollywood disco to Portland and Seattle for five years now. This year the party comes to San Francisco as well. There will be a Costume Contest to determine the Disco King & Disco Queen at each event. So don your sequins, bell bottoms and disco finest for an unforgettable night under the disco ball!
Don’t forget to come dressed to groove!
Exclusive to Portland Party:
An encore performance of Prashant’s choreography to the song Jimmy Aaja by Jai Ho! Dance Troupe.
Blog Post Written by Contributing Writer Grace Kirk