I don't know about you, but I have a hard time imagining myself breaking out into a song and dance every time a guy looks at me funny. But that's what happens in East Indian popular cinema, better known as Bollywood, where the production numbers are one way for the studios to get around strict censorship rules that disallow any on-screen hanky-panky. Oh, the stars still get to make eyes, while clacking their finger cymbals in lamé-shot saris, but it's all very chaste. It also has the greatest east-west beat you've ever heard.
That campy Bollywood dance music has evolved into a fabulous fusion of world influences, and, by Vishnu, people simply adore it. Denverites are finally getting their taste now that former Manhattanite Renu Kansal has begun offering Bollywood West classes to anyone brave enough to get down. "There's such a diverse interest here. People are interested in yoga and belly dance and tribal African dance," she says. And Denver, she thinks, is ripe for Bollywood, although so far most of her takers are women. "I would love to see more men in the class," Kansal pleads. "The men are treated like gods, too: The women love them. They're like rock stars." Take note, local heavy-lidded studs.
The hour-long classes are at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays or at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Hannah Kahn Dance Studio, 75 South Cherokee Street. Fees are $50 for four classes or $115 for ten. For more information, call 303-389-9832 or log on to www.bollywoodwest.com.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 2006