7 comments on “About Those Mujras

  1. Hey, interesting post. I’ve just taken your lead and checked out some of Megha’s dancing. Have you seen Reema’s mujras? I spent too much time watching them on youtube last week. Maybe you’ve see them too. Here are a few links of Reema Khan, enjoy!

  2. Hi:

    Thanks for this place. i was looking more information about Mujra dance and i could find your place. Im dancer from Spain, i go to India a lot of times to learn indian dance and i could find Mujra dance and i love it. Now im started to dancing this kind of dance in Spain and people love it.

    I’m making much effort to revive this dance because it has a bad reputation but it is very difficoult, so It has been a real pleasure to find this site with most respects for this dance and it is not seen like porn or something like protitucion.

    Again, thanks a lot

  3. I’d love to know when you think the transition of the mujra went from a classic art form to a dirty dance? There’s not much on the history of the dance other than what I’ve seen on the internet. I agree that Megha is definitely one of the purer forms, I try not to wince when I just see bootie and boobie poppin in some of these other “mujra” videos.

  4. Zeenah, glad you stopped over. :) I see that you have an interesting blog, and I’ll probably add it to the blogroll soon.

    You asked a question that will take some time for me to answer, if I ever do. :) But I didn’t want to leave your comment sitting there for too long, so I thought I’d answer it partially for now.

    And, wow, you’ve commented on a really old post here, back from this blog’s infancy. Look, I think this is the first time I “met” Sita-ji! And I go on about the modern Punjabi sound, first having interest in it and then losing interest and saying that my interests have gone south… When more recently, I’ve gotten to like the Punjabi sound more than anything, just not the modern kind. :) I’ve learned a lot since I wrote this post and even the later comments… But still haven’t quite completely figured out the history of the mujra. :)

    I will say one thing I’ve learned that I didn’t know back then… I read this somewhere, that in Pakistan it’s expected that the mujra will have some classic (if not quite classical) element if it’s called such… And that the people who just put on a bad striptease and call it mujra are usually Briitish!

    I found a few things about this online, but… Looks as though I’ll have to find them again…

  5. Thank you very much, this is a very interesting post. I learn Indian dances and costumes. It is difficult to find information about this style, especially in Russian. Moreover, the Indians do not know the history and origins of dance. Or just do not want to share. A new generation of Indians – who is mostly my friends,They know only about the sexual aspect of the story and how it relates Bollywood.

  6. Spying through the stats page, I am delighted to see that people are still turning to this post for reference more than nine years after I first wrote it. One reason I am delighted is that new information has come in.

    I would like to call attention to an excellent history of the Pakistani mujra written by YouTube user Khaartoum (specifically in the Khaartoum East channel). It appears on YouTube below this video featuring Nida Chowdhry:

    Here is a good excerpt from what Khaartoum wrote. (And I will leave in all the strange capitalization, etc., since he must have had a purpose for doing that – plus it would be a lot of work to take it out. :) )

    —————————————————-

    PUNJABI KATHAK falls to BELLY DANCE from PUSHTO CINEMA
    Strange ARTISTIC FASHIONS cross-pollinated inside PAKISTAN. The PROBLEM with maintaining KATHAK is that it needs TRAINING, PRACTICE and MUSICIANS. Another added OBSTACLE is that AUDIENCES need some FAMILIARITY of the CONVENTIONS of KATHAK to ENJOY the dance fully. Over in PESHAWAR the PUSHTO FILM INDUSTRY [influenced by MIDDLE EASTERN & TURKISH CULTURE] often employed PUNJABI ACTRESSES and DUBBED their VOICES. These girls came from HIRA MANDI and were shown the RELATIVLY EASY and SEDUCTIVE BELLY DANCE STYLE of PATHAN DANCES. Somewhere, the influence of WESTERN PAKISTAN dislodged KATHAK for the EASY and more ‘EROTIC’ PUSHTO BELLY DANCE that could be done to a TAPE. So it took little training, it was more sexy and musicians didn’t have to be paid and rehearsed with.

    MUJRA, THEATRE, CINEMA and VCD
    The BELLY DANCING MUJRA took over PUNJABI CINEMA from the 1990s onwards. The DECLINE of PUNJABI CINEMA has been partly to do with Pakistan’s phemonenon: ‘THEATRE KILLED THE CINEMA’. Under more relaxed laws of MUSHARRAF, MUJRA could be performed LIVE in THEATRES. MALE AUDIENCES wanted to ‘smell the meat’ [comment made to me in LAHORE!] of the LIVE dancers rather than ‘dead’ CELLULOID IMAGES in the CINEMA. Even at €8 a ticket, audiences will go to the THEATRE for LIVE DANCING. Sadly, the CINEMAS in the PUNJAB began to FALTER in the early 2000s. CRITICS say that the once INTELLECTUAL PAKISTANI THEATRE that produced TV THEATRE like ‘CHANDI SONA’ has been DEBASED by MUJRA and VULGAR RAUCOUS PUNJABI STAGE COMEDIES…but SUPPORTERS say that DESI [local] CULTURE is being PROMOTED along with SECULAR FREEDOM to DANCE and LAUGH in PUBLIC, and of course, they are a SELL OUT, so the public LIKE them. The newer BELLY DANCE MUJRA has become a VCD PHENOMENON in PAKISTAN. MUJRA is shot in STUDIOS or OPEN AREAS for PUNJABI and PUSHTO AUDIENCES and the MUJRA DISC INDUSTRY is very LUCRATIVE and POPULAR in the CITIES and RURAL AREAS where VCD PLAYERS are CHEAP.

    WHO ARE THE MUJRA-WALIS?
    The DANCERS are often POOR UNEDUCATED GIRLS who come from areas of LAHORE like HIRA MANDI. They grow up in families of KHANJAR [prostitutes] in these districts who are wonderfully described in the book, ‘THE DANCING GIRLS of LAHORE’ penned from BRITISH RESEARCHER, LOUISE BROWN’S four year stay with such a ‘KHANJAR’ family in HIRA MANDI. The clearest point made in the book is the HIGH PRICE a girl can EARN for DANCE, ENTERTAINING and MISTRESSING in her YOUTH that must be SAVED for her OLD AGE.
    NIDA CHOWDHRY appears to be such a girl. On the POSITIVE SIDE she seems ENERGETIC and BRAVE. There is a MIX of an almost MASCULINE CONFIDENCE, seemingly UNTHREATENING ‘low education/low awareness’, and an ODD ‘BABY-ISHNESS’ about NIDA which KEEPS HER SAFE. On the NEGATIVE SIDE she has a SEVERE SPEECH IMPEDIMENT which may INDICATE ‘SEVERE CHILDHOOD TRAUMA’ which is WORRYING. NIDA’S voice has to be DUBBED in CINEMA.

    —————————————————-

    Now, I have to say, that little bit of history certainly filled in a few blanks for me!

    There’s even a bit more to the description, but I would like to urge everyone to go to the original YouTube post to see the rest of it… And to then check out more from Khaartoum East, because it is a fascinating channel.

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