Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Street songs from films

Through Minai's Cinema Nritya Gharana, I have come across wonderful blgs like Dances on the Footpath which made it easier to spend the last few weeks pleasantly through two bouts of flu. I do not have any knowledge of classical music or dance though I heard my mother singing some carnatic music and various film songs from different languages. From early days I could not stand lots of carnatic music or bharatanatyam; lot of it seemed gymnastics to me and not too natural unless one had some training in its various intricacies. But north Indian classical music seemed more melodious but overall film songs and some of the dances where themes and movements seemed natural and graceful appealed to me. Even now, it is the same except I am enjoying some shorter bits of classical stuff. It seems to me that films, for whatever reason (possibly for the money at the bottom of the pyramid) adopted more to what appealed to common people. As Stephen Putnam Hughes says in Music in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Drama, Gramophone, and the Beginnings of Tamil Cinema:
"To contemporaries, the rise of Tamil cinema and the ubiquity of films songs both offered a democratic promise to make music accessible for everyone and threatened to upset the social and cultural hierarchies of professional drama and classical Karnatic music. These sources also mark the shift from the music boom of the 1920s and early 1930s as it transformed into a cinema-based mass culture of music by the 1940s. This collaboration around film songs produced a new form and institutionalization of popular music at the center of an emergent cultural industry of Tamil cinema, which, in many ways, is still with us and still dominates to this day."
It is possible that the shifts in dance appreciation took a different trajectory but it is still the street dances from many films which appeal to me more. There are lots from Hindi films like Ramayya Vastawaiyya ; here are a couple from Telugu films:
Vagaloy Vagalu
Ithihasam Vinnaara
eruvaka sagaroo rannoo chinnananna
kulamulo emudira
(Kannada version Kuladalli Melyavudo )

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