In Bollywood’s eternally festive frame of mind, celebrations are extravagant.
And whether it’s Holi, Lohri, Diwali or Eid, any excuse to go dancing is more than welcome.
While India gears up to worship the Hindu goddess Durga as well as hit the dance floor with their best dandiya and garba moves on Navratri, Ritu Nandal looks at the colourful portrayal of this festival on the Bollywood screen.
Made in China
It’s not really a dandiya celebration but the chartbuster Odhni is synonymous with Navratri and fits right into Made in China’s Gujarati-heavy background.
A good deal of Aayush Sharma’s silver screen debut, produced by brother-in-law Salman Khan, occurs during Navratri season.
He plays a garba dancer and teacher giving the makers a legitimate excuse to inundate the scenes with one lively festive track after another like Dholida and Chogada.
Whether you watched it or not, whether you remember or liked Mitron, there’s simply no ignoring the catchy dandiya beats of its most popular song Kamariya, sung by Ahmedabad-born Darshan Raval.
Set in Gujarat, Rahul Dholakia’s polarising drama is the journey of a bootlegger played by Shah Rukh Khan. But its masala treatment ensures there’s scope to squeeze in some song, dance and romance in the Navratri friendly Udi udi jaaye.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela is a star-crossed romance, starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, based in Gujarat.
In the song Nagada sang dhol, Deepika leaves a rich impression performing a vibrant garba in her flaming red ghagra.
Kai Po Che
Abhishek Kapoor’s adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, The Three Mistakes of My Life is about the equation between three friends against the backdrop of significant events in Gujarat.
One of its most enchantingly shot sequences features a dandiya dance between Rajkummar Rao and Amrita Puri against Suneeta Rao’s popular pop single, Pari hoon main.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Bhansali explored the culture and colours of Gujarat to memorable effect in the romantic triangle, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
There’s much jazz and tradition in Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai’s feverish jig to the furiously festal beats of Dholi taro.
AR Rahman embellished Ashutosh Gowariker’s Oscar-nominated Lagaan with some of his most rousing creations.
But there’s something distinctly sublime about the playful ambiance he lends to Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh’s dandiya raas in Radha kaise na jale.
Bride and Prejudice
Dubbed in Hindi as Balle Balle from Amritsar to LA, Gurinder Chadha’s reworking of Jane Austen’s beloved book packs in every culture cliché on a platter.
That explains Ash prancing to dandiya beats of Dola dola with her Kiwi co-star Martin Henderson.
Aap Mujhe Ache Lagne Lage
Vikram Bhatt’s Aap Mujhe Ache Lagne Lage is about a boy and girl, who fall in love during the course of Navratri celebrations.
Given the premise, Hrithik Roshan and Amisha Patel get loads of dandiya time in this otherwise bland love story.
Dil Hi Dil Mein
Director Kadhir’s Kadhalar Dinam met with such a good response in Tamil that he decided to release its dubbed version as Dil Hi Dil Mein.
While the romance didn’t repeat history, Sonali Bendre and Kunal’s merry dandiya to A R Rahman’s tune in Chand Aaya Hai is synonymous with Navratri.
Dubbed as one of the most successful jodis of the 1980s, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit light up the screen with their perfectly matched steps in Pratikaar’s Chitthi mujhe likhna.
The song also features former Pakistani cricketer-turned-actor Mohsin Khan and model-turned-actress Sonu Walia.
Chand Ka Tukda
Clad in a gold from head to toe, Sridevi unleashes glitzy glamour beating dandiya sticks harmoniously to the traditional song, Aaj Radha ko sham yaad aa gaya.
Love Love Love
Following the resounding success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla signed up for multiple films together.
One of them is Love Love Love, where standard romantic tripe was redeemed to some extent by its young actors’ ebullient disco dandiya.
Ketan Mehta’s critically acclaimed Mirch Masala documents the exploitation of women in a male-dominated village of Gujarat.
Its intense screenplay takes a breather to showcase a garba performed by the rural women in ethnic clothing, played by Smita Patil, Deepti Naval, Supriya and Ratna Pathak.
Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s well co-ordinated dandiya raas ensures that the devotional track O Sheronwali leaves a mark in Suhaag.
Thirty-five years and still going strong.
And here’s the earliest depiction of garba on screen.
Based on Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi’s Gujarati novel, Saraswatichandra features a powerhouse Nutan performing the traditional form in the superhit song, Main toh bhool chali babul ka des.