With all the B-grade films that were being churned out at the time, it is no surprise that Madhuri, or Madz as she is affectionately called, was named the Dhak Dhak girl. For me she was the MOST natural, the most beautiful, the best dancer, the superstar who could go head to head with the guys. She may not have been conventionally the best looking, but something about her eyes and her smile mesmerized you. I want to focus this post on her dancing skills, and maybe talk about acting later.
One has to start with the Khalnayak song that raised a firestorm of protest and yet many years later inspired AR Rahman to compose a homage for Slumdog Millionaire!
The overt seduction and jhatkas of the waist combine with drop dead gorgeous looks to make an explosive mix.
Next up is Madhuri in a more classical mode in Koyla. The tune is a traditional one, a bhajan, and the outdoor atmosphere and Madhuri’s tremendous skill at classical Indian dance makes this one a classic:
This piece evokes some of fierceness and ferocity of a Tandaav dance in the beginning, but then simmers down into a beautiful rendition of fluid poetry. The key to figuring out who is a good dancer and who is not, is to see if the cinematographer has been instructed to hide the feet or to show the entire body moving in the dance moves. Madhuri’s feet were always showcased as she was never out of step of awkward.
Next up is the dance from Devdas choreographed by Birju Maharaj himself. He is known to have said that there is ONLY one authentic dancer in Hindi cinema – Madhuri. Many like Maar Daal more – but for me Kahe Chedd Mohe is a classic routine way above that one.
Bhansali was smart enough to know that focus on the feet, eyebrows, face, hands, body were all important when Madhuri danced.
Many thought Madz could not do peppy club type numbers and for those naysayers I present this one from Pukaar, where Madhuri has no trouble keeping up with the numero uno mover Prabhu Deva himself! This one is favorite of mine:
And for those who think the diva is done I will end with this one! Nothing short of mesmerizing:
There was and only ever will be ONE Madhuri, she was created then the mold was broken.