September 9, 2006
Shakira and Bollywood

One of the effects of a globalized economy and the degree to which cultural sharing has taken place through mass consumer culture is that consumers learn more about the customs and popular art forms of other nations, making viable a degree of mass cultural sharing that has never been accomplished on this wide of a scale.

The latest example? News that famed Columbian singer and dancer Shakira wants to film her next music video Bollywood style, after the success of a Bollywood-inspired dance routine at the MTV Video Music Awards.

According to a story from the BBC's Monica Chadha, Shakira plans to work with Bollywood director Farah Khan, who helped choreograph Shakira's dance on the awards show.

There is even some talk of Shakira potentially appearing in one of Farah Khan's films at some point, although that may be rumors only generated from the interviewer in the story by directing the discussion in that way, as there has been no official word indicating such a move.

I wrote earlier this year about the American soap opera Passions having an episode in Bollywood style, particularly appropriate for a soap known for its excesses and campiness. And American culture has become more and more aware of an immersed in the Bollywood style through its cropping up in various forms, including the heavy influence it had on Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge.

Through the efforts of popular music artists like Paul Simon, these types of world music extensions have become increasingly acceptable and commonplace. If Shakira, a Columbian singer whose mother is of Catalan and Italian decent and whose father was American of Lebanese descent, and whose name is Arabic, launches a Bollywood video to a worldwide audience, it will be a pretty great example of the reach of popular culture and the cultural blending that happens with globalization.

Thanks to David Edery for bringing this story to my attention.


On September 11, 2006 at 9:09 AM, Neal Grigsby said:

I would trace the current Bollywood boom in popular music back a little farther, to Britney Spears's 2004 hit "Toxic". Though her video was more James Bond than anything else, the song itself (and a few others on that album, as I recall) built its hooks on the soaring strings so instantly recognizable from Bollywood musicals.

On September 12, 2006 at 9:14 AM, Sam Ford said:

Thanks, Neal. You set me straight. So nice to have a resident pop music expert close-by. But I agree that there's been a longer string of interest in such crossovers, not just starting with Shakira. I wonder if Britney reached out directly to someone from the Bollywood community when working on that album.