China dances to Bollywood tunes

Initially it was Yoga, followed by Indian classical dances and cuisine that fired Chinese fascination for Indian culture but off late Bollywood beats are taking centrestage.

Though classical Indian dances are popular there, film music too is making its presence felt and riding on the popularity of such songs, an Israeli expat has opened a new dance centre devoted to train local people on Bollywood numbers.

"As far as I can tell this is the first regular, ongoing Bollywood dance class for beginners in Beijing.    Its popularity simply spread through word-of-mouth once people realised what an incredibly fun and interesting activity it is," said Namatinia, who became fascinated with Bollywood while her stay in Delhi.

She is now teaching 17 students, mostly expats, to jive on tunes from Hindi films like 'Jodha Akhbar' and 'Barsaat' at  her home in Shunyi, Global Times reported.

Namatinia says her dance group has already started getting offers from different hotels to perform. The dancer says she discovered the magic of Bollywood only four years ago, while she was stationed in Delhi with her husband.

"It just became my calling. I'm an okay dancer but a great teacher. We've had five performances so far and we'll keep doing it as long as there's demand," she said.
Namatinia moonlights as the manager of a Bollywood performing arts group in Delhi and makes frequent trips back and forth. "I'm there at least once or twice a month. They're true professional dancers - all Indian, both men and women," she said.

"You've got elements of hip-hop, salsa, belly dancing - a real vibrant combination of tradition and modernity. It's incredible fitness, great fun and a wonderful social outlet as well," said Israeli Vered Manos, one of Namatinia's students.

Those contributions include securing performance venues and gathering the materials for often-elaborate costumes.

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