(The Stage Performances)
Before I start today’s post, I want to thank you all for encouraging me with your kind words of appreciation. There have been suggestions about the future parts as well. I’m working on it. I just want to state my perception of the title of the post. For me it includes the female duets, that are picturised on a pair of female dancers. I specifically want to clarify it because, as I was researching for today’s part, I came across some songs that are female duets but are picturised on the lead pair with the gentleman disguising as a female. I have not included those songs. The series is getting really interesting and I’m enjoying it very much. And it’s sad that the concept of female dance duets is no-more utilized in today’s films.
Today’s post has a collection of songs, where the dancers present a performance on a stage. We should be able to make out the stage clearly. The song could be a performance at a family / social function or a college gathering or a dance competition etc. Although a club song could also have an audience and sometimes a stage too, it’s a separate entity, and not exactly a stage performance. So those songs won’t appear on the list. Also the public performances other than those on the stage (for example on a road, at a square, or at home without a proper stage arrangement) would not form a part of today’s post. I’m planning a separate post for those songs.
As most of the songs are from social movies, the composers are well known and the songs are well known too. Mostly the first rung female playback singers are there. It’s worth noting that Asha Bhosle is a part of eight songs on the list, while Lata Mangeshkar has four songs. The other singers include Geeta Dutt, Usha Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur. I hope all the songs on the list are familiar to the readers.
And as usual G S Kohli, who’s much known for female dance duets, obviously appears on the list.
So let’s go to the list. The female duets presented as stage dances. The songs are in no particular order. Here we go…
1. Gore Gore O Banke Chhore – Samadhi (1950) Amirbai Karnataki & Lata Mangeshkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
Nalini Jaywant and Kuldeep Kaur dance to a delightful tune by Chitalkar. The song has been very popular and it still maintains popularity. It’s very impressive and commendable that Amirabai, who was more popular for her soulful sad songs, sings the peppy number with equal ease. She doesn’t sound uncomfortable at all, though that’s not her forte. Kuldeep Kaur is dressed as a man, and she also plays Nalini’s elder sister in the movie. Both of them are singers and dancers, who perform for an entertainment programme for the soldiers of Indian National Army.
2. Kabhi Aaj Kabhi Kal Kabhi Paraso – Chand (1959) Lata Mangeshkar & Suman Kalyanpur / Hemant Kumar – Shailendra
It’s the only duet between Lata Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur. It’s a stage dance performance by Helen and Sheila Waz. Balraj Sahni and Pandharibai are sitting in the audience in a box. Though the video quality is average we can appreciate the excellent classical dance. Graceful dancing indeed.
And it’s impossible to differentiate the two voices. At least I haven’t ever succeeded labelling the voices separately. Another of their duets was said to be for the movie, Ghazal. But in the film the song has Meenu Purushottam with Lata Mangeshkar.
Here’s a good quality audio
3. Aaja Tu Raja Aaja – Raj Tilak (1958) Asha Bhosle & Sudha Malhotra / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi
I actually thought of the song for the first part of the series. But when I watched the movie, I realized the exact situation. Padmini’s dance performance is arranged against her will. Vaijayanti Mala imagines that Padmini is addressing the song to Gemini Ganeshan. She misunderstands their relationship. Furious at the thought, she joins the performance. Her jealousy and anger is quite evident from her facial expressions. While Padmini dances to pure Indian classical music, Vaijayanti Mala has a touch of western music to her part. The face off dance is a delight to watch. Both the dancers do an excellent job. The sets, the costumes and the jewelry also add a richness to the entire presentation. Overall it’s quite impressive.
Though the songs of the movie were good, it was during the starting phase of Chitalkar’s downfall. The movie flopped very badly. Lata Mangeshkar had stopped singing for his movies, and I guess that’s why Sudha Malhotra was called in.
4. Reshmi Shalwar Kurta Jaali Ka – Naya Daur (1957) Shamshad Begum & Asha Bhosle / O P Nayyar – Sahir
My favourite Kumkum dancing with Meenu Mumtaz for a stage performance at a nautanki. Meenu Mumtaz wearing a man’s attire teases beautiful Kumkum and tries to follow her. The former praises her beauty and adds that her silken salwar and meshed kurta glorify it further. Having all the elements of a popular nautanki, the audience bursts into whistles and slang comments. Both the dancers excel with their apt expressions and wonderful dance.
While Asha Bhosle took over as the main female singer of O P Nayyar’s team, Shamshad Begum was reduced to mere duets. Nevertheless she proved herself in duets as well. If Kumkum is labelled haughty in the song, Shamshad’s voice perfectly expresses the attitude.
5. Dhadka O Dil Dhadka – Bharosa (1963) Asha Bhosle & Lata Mangeshkar / Ravi – Rajendra Krishan
I was very much curious about the situation in the song. But I was really surprised to find it in the last 15-20 minutes of the film. Before the film ends on a happy note, there is a family function arranged and the song is performed at home as a part of the celebration. Sai and Subbulaxmi dance gracefully, and I think the song is quite known also. Though it’s not among my favourite ‘Asha – Lata’ duets, it is a good choice for today’s post.
6. Dekho Bijli Dole Bin Baadal Ki – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1968) Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
Both the dancers, Asha Parekh and Rani, do a wonderful job. It must have been a prestigious song for Rani. She has danced well, and with the main lead of the film. Otherwise the majority of her dances are with other characters of a movie.
There’s a twist in the song, the dancers are not singing the song themselves. Tabassum sings it with others. Though technically it’s a duet, the majority of it is sung by Asha Bhosle. Usha Mangeshkar has no lines of her own, more like a chorus. If the link doesn’t open on this page, please follow the link to watch on Youtube.
7. Maangi Hai Duwayen Humne Sanam – Shikari (1963) Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar / G S Kohli – Faruq Kaiser
And here comes G S Kohli, a composer known for female dance duets. His majority of the films have such dances and he has featured in all the parts so far.
Madhumati and Rani dancing Indian classical on the stage, as a part of a celebration. Though the area, where the audience is enjoying looks like a bar rather than an auditorium, such dances are not performed at the former. I’m sure the song was picturised separately and the scenes then mixed together. But I like the song. And the dance is enjoyable too.
8. Dupatta Mera Malmal Ka – Adalat (1958) Asha Bhosle & Geeta Dutt / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan
Nargis and Meenu Mumtaz dance to a tapping rhythm by Madan Mohan. The college where Nargis works has arranges a function and the stage performance is a part of the celebration. Meenu Mumtaz (of course) does the most of the active dancing, but Nargis also manages to pull through the performance. But unfortunately, as the performance ends, her misfortune starts. We can even see a trailer of the mishap during the ending of the dance performance.
9. Aye Hey Dilruba Tujhko Kya Pata – Dr Vidya (1962) Asha Bhosle & Geeta Dutt / S D Burman – Majrooh
The song is a lesser known one from the movie, Dr Vidya, as a 78 rpm record of the song was never released. It’s a sort of dance competition between Vaijayanti Mala and Helen, and is a delight to watch. The ladies have gathered for a reunion and Helen’s dance performance is arranged. Helen is very much proud of her western style of living. She does not care much for Indian values and culture. Her dance and song obviously reflects the same. Vaijayanti Mala’s friends insist her for a suitable reply to teach Helen a lesson. Vaijayanti Mala believes in Indian values and culture. She performs neck and neck. A good performance by both the dancers obviously. Geeta Dutt singing for Helen aptly shows the shades of the western influence. The song also compares two different philosophies of life. So while watching it, please pay attention to the lyrics as well. In all, an enjoyable performance.
10. Thirka Badan To Geeton Ke – Daaman Aur Aag (1973) Asha Bhosle & Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan
To end the list, let me present a beautiful Indian classical dance on a Indian classical tune. It’s on screen performed by Saira Bano and (?) Sanjana. I’m not sure about the other dancer’s name. Someone has mentioned her name in the comments. But both dance very well, and a good tune too. It’s possible that the song was actually composed by Shankar alone, after Jaikishan’s sad demise in 1971. At any rate, it’s a treat for eyes and ears. And I must confess, I’m not a Saira Bano fan. But she has danced really well.
It’s perhaps one of the last duets the Mangeshkar sisters sang for Shankar Jaikishan. I wasn’t aware of the name of the film. But I’ve a vague memory of the song, heard sometimes in school days. Perhaps I’ve seen it on Doordarshan in Rangoli or Chitrahaar. Oh! The good old days!
Which song would you add to the list?
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.