I know that many fans of Indian cinema love their cabaret dancers. This is evident from the continued interest that I see in the old Cuckoo post that keeps getting revived via the comments section (and which, itself, had originated from a comments section for an older Cuckoo post). For that, I mainly have Mel to thank and, more recently, Tom Daniel. They are probably doing much more to keep the post lively than I am at this point. (And by the way, if anybody doesn’t know this, you can see the latest comments in that post by looking at the sidebar on the right and following the links there.)
Lately, though, I have been very charmed or intrigued by some cabaret dances from Pakistan. These generally are a little more recent than the cabaret dances from Indian cinema that I have been posting or discussing, and that difference is obvious. On the other hand, there are close parallels between some of these Pakistani dances and the Indian dances from the same era; that is, 1960s and 1970s. But many people are very aware of the cabaret dances from Indian films made in the ’60s and ’70s, and that’s one reason I find it more interesting now to dig up the equivalent dances from Pakistan. Also, I think that these days, many people would not expect mod or rocking dances to appear in films made in Pakistan. And another reason that I am focusing on somewhat later dances from Pakistan is because their film industry started later. Of course, when Cuckoo started getting noticed and Azurie was at her peak, Pakistan didn’t even exist…
But speaking of partition, etc., a couple of the dancers that I am showing here actually were in Indian films from the 1940s, and I basically followed them to Pakistan. Actually, I followed them a while ago and did some posts about it then, but those posts are at least a few years old now, and some of them have even lost clips. So, there’s yet another reason for me to write this post today!
Without further, unnecessary prefacing, here are some fun dances:
There is something about this first dance that is very unusual. It appears in Zinda Laash (1967), which is a horror/vampire film (which might explain why it is so strange). The dancer is Cham Cham, and she is very good. .
This next dance was the breakthrough dance for Rani. Rani was very talented as both an actress and a dancer, and I also really like the way she looked. She is one of my favorite actresses from Pakistani cinema. I had originally started to notice her after watching her great performance in Umrao Jaan Ada, which came out in 1972. But this very modern dance from the 1968 film Mera Ghar Meri Jannat is just fantastic!
The actress doing this next cabaret dance in Mousiqar (1962) is one of the ones I followed from Indian films, and fans of 1940s Hindi films might recognize her face since she was the “Lara Lappa girl” in Ek Thi Ladki some 13 years earlier. I posted this Meena Shorey clip in a subtitled version five years ago, but that clip was taken down. This is one of Tom’s clips and so it’s pretty good-quality, but unfortunately, it never got subtitled. So for those who don’t understand Urdu, I’ll give you a quick summary of what the songs says, which is, basically, life stinks so you might as well just get drunk as hell every night. (I believe that’s the gist of it…) And Meena Shorey is kind of fun as the vamp in this film, though she was better as the very un-vampish kind of character that she played in Ek Thi Ladki.
Speaking of vamps… Going up to the mid 1970s, I have been watching some scenes from a “notorious” Punjabi film called Pindiwal. These are simply indescribable – and so is Neelo at this point.
And while watching such a film from the 1970s, it is amazing to think that in the 1940s and early 1950s, someone like Rehana was considered “vulgar.” But speaking of Rehana, I will close with this nice dance from Dil Ne Tujhe Maan Liya, which came out in 1963. This clip was originally sent to me by Mr. Jinx in comments to a post about five years ago. Mr. Jinx pointed out that the song, “Mutafadelun Badrun Wa Hilala,” was sung half in Urdu and half in Arabic. That’s just one unusual touch in a song-and-dance sequence that is not only a lot of fun but also unique. (Unfortunately, you’ll have to go to YouTube to watch it, but this copy is much better than the embeddable one.)