So the first question here stands is that, isn't every Bollywood movie a dance movie? The answer to that would be hard to digest but the answer is NO. Yes, dance is an intrinsic part of almost every Bollywood movie but that doesn't make every film a dance film.
Dance movie is something where either the main theme of the movie is dance (thus involves a lot of dancing) or a movie where emotions or storytelling is shown through dance. Choreographers like Shiamak Davar and Terence Lewis sensed the brewing of a new movement to their advantage and all thanks to Remo D'Souza's "ABCD: Any Body Can Dance", the movement began with huge commercial success and popularity amongst the masses.
Bollywood always had an obsession for both song and dance and there are numerous songs we remember for the unforgettable steps. Late actor Shammi Kapoor prancing around to energetic numbers, Mithun Chakraborty's pelvic thrusts in "Disco dancer" and Govinda's dance moves in songs like "Sona kitna sona hai" and "Ankhiyon se goli mare"is memorable for iconic dance numbers.
To keep the legacy going forward, started the trend of having Dance movies. Though now, we immediately think of ABCD when we think of such kind of films but the movement started much earlier in times. Have a look at the evolution of Bollywood dance movies over the years:
This is a period film where the character of Madhubala was a dancer. Thus, there are many dance sequences in the song which portrays complicated emotions shown in a very subtle manner through song and dance.
Though it was a Hindi remake of a Telugu movie, Siri Siri Muvva Muvva. In this film, the main leads, played by Jaya Prada and Rishi Kapoor, are a mute girl and an orphan boy. Thus, dance was their way of communicating with blissful music and beautiful performances.
Disco Dancer (1982)
This was a movie which really revolutionized the way we look at dance in Hindi film industry. The movie also gave birth to the first ever Dance superstar, Mithun Chakraborty. Till date dance numbers like I am a Disco Dancer, Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja and Goron Ki Na kaalo Ki are remembered.
Naache Mayuri (1986)
This is the only biographical film which stars Sudha Chandra as Sudha Chandra. Directed by T. Rama Rao, the movie tells the story about the film star, Sudha Chandra on how she became the mega dancer even after losing her leg in an accident.
Dil Toh Paagal Hai (1997)
Directed by Aditya Chopra and starring the biggest names of the Bollywood industry, Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor, it is a proper Bollywood musical. The movie was a superhit and every song and dance of the album is iconic till date.
Another romantic musical where the story revolves around song and dance. Taal, directed by the master of the genre, Subhash Ghai, was crafted to perfection. Shiamak Davar, Ahmed Khan and Saroj Khan, being the choreographer of the film, we still humm and shake our legs on Taal se Taal mila, Ishq Bina, Ramta Jogi and other incredible dance numbers.
Aaja Nachle (2007)
Marking the comeback of the dancing Queen, Madhuri Dixit, this is a musical drama directed by Anil Mehta. Madhuri's dance numbers brought an amount of freshness which we don't see much often.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
Aditya Chopra is all about directing movies and showing emotions through dance. The movie managed to balance the Indianess and Westerness beautifully. We still dance on Dance Pe Chance.
The movie directed and choreographed by none other than Remo D'Souza. This movie for the first time starred all professional dancers, also featuring Prabhu Deva as the dance teacher. The movie made Dharmesh Yelande, Salman Khan, Lauren Gottlieb, Punit Pathak and many more as the dancing stars.
ABCD 2 (2015)
Followed by the success of ABCD, came the sequence bigger and better. The movie starred Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor in the main leads and professional dancers were also the main cast of the movie.
"'ABCD: Any Body Can Dance' is the start of dance movies. It is a movie which shows hip-hop and street. I don't see exactly a 'Black Swan' (in the future), but (we are) going into that space. We have dance troupes going on seven-month-long tours as a contemporary dance company because we don't have that kind of audience here," said Ashley Lobo.
After D'Souza hit jackpot with the "ABCD" franchise, a bevy of dance films charged up with star power of names like Varun Dhawan, Katrina Kaif, Sooraj Pancholi and Isabelle Kaif have been announced.
In future, hopefully, there will be more movies in Bollywood that will touch the chord with various folk and classical dance forms apart from the Sanjay Leela Bhansali's dance numbers.