Upper Torso : The Dhak- Dhak-Queen



Sticking to the Bollywood theme of yesterday and moving upwards in the body of a dancer, for 45 Days of Dance Stories, I give you the upper torso, and the woman who has made her on and off screen dancing career with the -chest-thrust – the Dhak-Dhak-Queen : Madhuri Dixit.


Similar to the pelvic-thrust discussed yesterday this upper-torso movement finds resonance in traditional dance traditions such as kathak, and is a favourite amongst Indian folk dancers or Nats – of Rajsthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh of India. Often used in these dance traditions as a physical gesture to elucidate loss, pain or longing for a lover, and/or sexual union. This is an extension of Abhinaya and is a useful weapon in the arsenal of these dance forms to showcase and express emotion in an immediately digestible form for the audience. It is not elusive, ephemeral or subtle. This dance movement, adheres to the belief that the body of the dancer is a tool and utilises it as a medium for communication effectively and precisely. There is no decoding or translation needed. No academic knowledge or pontification to uncover the meaning of the chest-thrust, the dhak-dhak.


In colloquially Hindi, “Dhak-Dhak” refers to the heartbeat, and is according to me, a more than apt title for this body movement. Why? As it brings to life that urge to mate, that acknowledgement of that first glimpse of a lover, and the excitement and build-up for release. Graphic, and seen by some as vulgar this dance move is not for the reserved, or faint-hearted. It is Obvious, clear and like a hammer may assault the audience and inspire lust, revulsion or then revelry, but never, indifference.


Presented today for your viewing pleasure, here is the song that got Madhuri Dixit her title of Dhak-Dhak-Queen, from the movie Beta, starring opposite Anil Kapoor as her love interest, Cheese-tastic, sexually obvious and in-your-face, this has all the components of the chest-thrust and 90s Bollywood at its best (or worst, depending on your personal taste.)



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