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Spice of Dance

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There will be bollywood dancing Saturday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m., Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling. It will be a presentation of Indian dancing and culture with the Cham Cham Payal Bajey dance troupe. Visit www.lcpl.lib.va.us. Member of the dance group, Vanita Tandon, responded to questions.

What is "bollywood"?

Bollywood is the name given to the Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. When combined with other Indian film industries — Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada — it is considered to be the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced and maybe also the number of tickets sold.

The term bollywood was created by conflating Bombay, the city now called Mumbai, and Hollywood, the famous center of the United States film industry.

Bollywood films are usually musicals. Few movies are made without at least one song-and-dance number. Indian audiences expect full value for their money; they want songs and dances, love interest, comedy and daredevil thrills, all mixed up in a three-hour-long extravaganza with intermission. Such movies are called masala movies, after the spice mixture masala. Like masala, these movies have everything.

The plots are often melodramatic. They frequently employ formulaic ingredients such as star-crossed lovers, corrupt politicians, twins separated at birth, conniving villains, angry parents, courtesans with hearts of gold, dramatic reversals of fortune and convenient coincidences.

How did the dance group get its start?

Cham Cham Payal Bajey is a professional organization devoted to promote Indian culture. It was set up by Vanita Kumar in 2002 in Northern Virginia to promote Indian culture in Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area. The increasing demand for her talent and skills encouraged her to convert her passion into a career and hence she launched "Cham Cham Payal Bajey," a dance school, performance and an entertainment company. Whether you are planning to learn latest bollywood and bhangra moves or get fit with bollyaerobics in one of us many dance classes. Her dance troupe has rocked the stage shows in international and national events choreographed by her dedicated teachers.

How did you become interested in this kind of dance?

Well, I have been involved in bollywood dancing since childhood. Being brought up in this culture I got the most exposure to the bollywood movies and culture.

What is the biggest challenge when performing?

The biggest challenge for me is to teach the smallest kids who have never danced and put their steps together for performance. But, I have been successful in training them and having them perform on the shows. By doing the programs at the library, I am introducing Indian bollywood culture and dance here. I have got a very good response by the general public.

Is there any special clothing you need to wear during the dance?

No. Just comfortable clothing.

What are some good bollywood movies that have good dancing in them people should see?

Some of the best movies are: "Heyy Babyy," "Bheja Fry," "Dhoom 2," "Chaq de India."

Is this dance style becoming more popular in the area?

Yes. Loudoun County is welcoming Indian bollywood world of dancing now. Especially, after the famous star Aishwariya Rai visited the USA and her signing for movies here.