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Bollywood Films ->Top 10 Favourite Bollywood Dance Songs

Top 10 Favourite Bollywood Dance Songs
By Lopa Patel (July 2009)

Chaiyya Chaiyya from the film 'Dil Se'Listing my top ten favourite Bollywood dance songs is a tall order, so what I've done is choose mine on the basis that either they make me want to dance or the dance choreography is stunning. Two honourable mentions first: 'Inhi Logon Ne' from the 1971 classic film 'Pakeezah' didn't quite make it into the top ten. Meena Kumari's dancing is divine and the song is superb - just not really a major dance number, unless you are a trained dancer. Similarly, 'Shava Shava' from 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' [2001] is a fantastic dance number, but perhaps requires too little dance instruction to master - the consequence being that we think we can all dance to it, badly! Anyway, here are my Top 10 favourite Bollywood dance songs, listed in alphabetical order by song title.

1. 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' from Dil Se [1998]
Comments: The dance sequence featuring Shah Rukh Khan is filmed atop a moving train and was choreographed by Farah Khan. The sequence was immortalised in Andrew Lloyd Webber's theatrical musical 'Bombay Dreams'
Music: A. R. Rahman, Lyricist : Gulzar, Tejpal Kaur,
Choreographer: Farah Khan, Pappu Khanna
Playback Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi, A. R. Rahman, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan, Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam, Kavita Krishnamurthy

2. Choli Ke Peeche from 'Khalnayak' [1993]
Comments: Who can forget the sensation created by the award winning number 'Choli ke Peeche'. With melodies to rock the music industry and audiences alike, Khalnayak brought back crowds to Indian cinema halls, worldwide. The song was originally banned in India as the lyrics were thought to be a little racy and Madhuri Dixit's saucy little dance did nothing to dispel this idea. This is really sexy stuff!
Music Director: Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Lyricist : Anand Bakshi
Choreographer: Saroj Khan
Playback Singer: Alka Yagnik, Mohammad Aziz, Ila Arun, Vinod Rathod, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Jagjit Singh

3. Dhoom Machale from 'Dhoom' [2004]
Comments: Dhoom reinvents the classic cops and robbers tale and brings it into the 21st century. Esha Deol's character performs this really catchy song in at a benefit in the movie while Abhishek Bachchan, the cop, looks for thieves
Music Director: Pritam, Lyricist : Sameer
Choreographer: Vaibhavi Merchant, Ashley Lobo, Remo
Playback Singer: Abhijeet, Abhishek Bachchan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vasundara Das, Kunal Ganjawala, Shreya Ghosal, Gayatri Iyer, Kay Kay, Ishaan, Tata Young

4. Dola Re Dola from Devdas [2002]
Comments: Done to death by scores of Bollywood dance teachers the world over, Dola Re Dola does get everyone dancing. The story is based on Sharat Chandra's novel, which had been earlier made into a number of Hindi and regional films. The film is about a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers, although you would not think so from the zest with which everyone takes to the dance floor for this song!
Music: Ismail Darbar, Lyricist : Nusrat Badr, Sameer
Choreographer : Vaibhavi Merchant, Ashley Lobo, Remo
Playback Singer : Shreya Ghosal, Kay Kay, Rashmi Sharma, Jaspinder Narula, Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod, Madhuri Dixit

5. 'Ek Pal Ka Jeena' from Kaho Naa…. Pyaar Hain [2000]
Comments: Features the gorgeous Hrithik Roshan showing us that he can really dance. He also plays a dual character, one of whom is murdered early in the movie, with the second character solving the murder of the first. Never knew murder could be so thrilling dance-wise
Music Director: Rajesh Roshan
Lyricist : Saawan Kumar Tak, Vijay Akela, Ibrahim Ashq
Playback Singer: Lucky Ali, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Ramya, Asha Bhosle, Kumar Sanu, Babul Supriyo

6. 'It's Time to Disco' from Kal Ho Naa Ho [2003]
Comments: Such kitsch is hard to replicate, but 'I am a disco dancer' has now been superseded by this 'It's Time to Disco' number performed by Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. The song features the voices of Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan. Come on now, we can all do these moves (or at least we think we can)!
Music: Shankar, Ehsaan Loy, Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Choreographer: Farah Khan
Playback Singer: Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, Sujata Bhattacharya, Udit Narayan, Vasundhara Das, Kay Kay, Shaan, Loy Mendonsa, Alka Yagnik, Richa Sharma

7. 'Jai Ho' from Slumdog Millionaire [2008]
Comments: Danny Boyle's huge smash hit film of 2008 features A R Rahman's incomparable music. The film is the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who finds himself just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'. Dev Patel stars alongside an all-Indian cast including Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal and Freida Pinto in this uplifting drama set and shot in India. 'Jai Ho' is the scene in the movie where the star-crossed lovers are reunited at the railway station
Music: A. R. Rahman
Choreographer: Longinus Fernandez
Playback Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash and A R Rahman

8. 'Kajra Re' from Bunty Aur Babli [2005]
Comments: The film was light-weight, but this song caught our imagination and is trotted out on every occasion. Sexy dance sequence for Aishwarya Rai.
Music Director : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy , Lyricist : Gulzar
Choreographer : Vaibhavi Merchant, Bosco Ceaser, Shaimak Davar
Playback Singer: Alisha Chinai, Sonu Nigam, Javed Ali, Jaspinder Narula, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan

9. 'Mahi Ve' from Kal Ho Naa Ho [2003}
Comments: Wow! Another song from the same movie. Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan dance to Udit Narayan's slightly nasal singing voice. Of course, the dancing was all choreographed by Farah Khan
Music: Shankar, Ehsaan Loy, Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Choreographer: Farah Khan
Playback Singer: Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, Sujata Bhattacharya, Udit Narayan, Vasundhara Das, Kay Kay, Shaan, Loy Mendonsa, Alka Yagnik, Richa Sharma

10. Mehbooba Aa Mehbooba from Sholay [1975]
Comments: Though there were a number of films on dacoits and 'thakurs' earlier, Sholay was a different genre in films altogether. Its unprecedented success broke all records and in some cinemas, the film ran for as long as one whole year. Sholay was a multistarrer, featuring Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri but it was the new actor Amjad Khan who walked away with the honor of immortalizing 'Gabbar Singh' in our minds. Dancer Helen invoked 'Mehbooba' (a small dessert flower) with this dance sequence, although she is no 'shrinking violet' in this raunchy number!
Music: R D Burman, Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Playback Singer : R. D. Burman, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhupinder Singh

Honourable Mentions

1. Inhi Logon Ne from Pakeezah [1971]
Comments: No Bollywood film list would be worth compiling without mention of Kamal Amrohi's 1971 film Pakeezah. Actress Meena Kumari embodies the elegant courtesan of yesteryear and her dancing is captured beautifully with the song 'Inhi Logon Ne'. So much so, that there is a homage to this song in British Asian flick 'East is East' with Archie Punjabi dancing in a backyard in Bolton with a broom! A sigh usually goes around the room when this song is played.
Music Director : Ghulam Mohammed, Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Kamal Amrohi, Kaif Bhopali
Choreographer : Gouri Shanker
Playback Singer : Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi

2. 'Shava Shava from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham [2001]
Comments: Racy choreography from Farah Khan for Hrithik Roshan promised to recreate the magic of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai in this film, but, the melodious soundtrack from Jatin Lalit combined with Karaj Johar's casting coup secured global success for this film regardless. The song 'Shava Shava' features dancing by the angular Amitabh Bachchan and is a style replicated by men throughout the world!
Music Director: Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastava, Sandesh Shandilya
Lyricist : Sameer, Anil Pandey
Choreographer: Farah Khan
Playback Singer: Amitabh Bachchan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sudesh Bhosle, Kareena Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar, Amit Kumar, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam

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