Seductive courtesan, or tawaif, dancing characterizes the Mujra dance style. This traditional dance contains both elements from classical Kathak Indian dances, such elaborate choreography and footwork, as well as earthier, more exotic tones.
Performed to ghazals or Indian lyrical poetry, Mujra dancing used to be performed in Indian royal courts. It was first derived from one of the six classical forms of Indian dance, Kathak. Among the elaborate choreography associated with Mujra and Kathak is the use of facial expressions to demonstrate eloquence and emotion. Another element of both Kathak and Mujra is the way that the arms and head make movements, while the legs sway but remain fixed to the ground. An important aspect of the dance is the precision of all movement.
While Kathak, Mujra and other classical Indian dances used to hold preeminence in Indian films, Bollywood dancing has started taking over. Bollywood dancing is flashier and bolder than the minute movements in Kathak and Mujra. Often, Bollywood dancing fuses several dancing styles together, among which are Mujra, Kathak, Odissi and belly dancing. This fusion dancing is performed not only to the traditional musical or lyrical poems of India, but to modern music ﾖ pop, jazz, contemporary and hip hop.