Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Now Berkeley Succumbs

A Bollywood dance team competes in the
Bollywood Berkeley dance competition in
Oakland, California. (AP)

A couple of days ago this blogger sat up and took
notice of the Bollywood dance frenzy in Yorkshire, UK :
Play That Desi Music, White Girl

Around the same time a related AP article * appeared
in Gulfnews, a newspaper in the UAE, about UCLA
and other institutions delving into the Bollywood angle of
India's World Market penetration.

*an excerpt:
The rise of popular culture as an academic discipline,
which brought analysis of hip-hop and "Star Wars" to
university classrooms, has also led to a recent scholarly
examining of Bollywood, says Robert Goldman,
professor at UC Berkeley's Department of South and
Southeast Asia Studies.

"It's like junk food," he said. "It's schmaltzy. You know
it's not the most intellectual stuff in the world, but it's fun,
it's entertaining."

The Bollywood Berkeley Dance Competition is in itself
an anomaly, meshing Bollywood with local dance 'flava'
while all along Bollywood had been borrowing beats and
dance moves from their Western counterparts, creating
a 'Masala', or mix. This is like the early Beatles copying the
American R-n-B groups, who in turn hoped to stay potent
on the music charts by copying the Beatles Pop-Rock harmonies.
Back and forth, feeding off each other all the while adapting to
an ever-increasing
global cultural sensibility.

And so it goes with this blog....slowly but surely, as our
global differences diminish, it succumbs to everything Bollywood.
And not a moment too soon. For now, we must press on to even
more penetrating things. Like the real-life Bollywood Dreams of
recently-wed Elizabeth Hurley. I will refrain from saying the Hurley
bird got the worm, for that would mean
Indian Biz Mogul Arun Nayyar
is a worm. I don't know him like that, and I wish them a long and happy

Gratuitous pic here.
And here.

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