The demand of foreign Mujra dancers in parties has challenged the local artists in Delhi and other Indian cities.
Previously Mujra used to be considered a form of art but today, these dancers are associated to prostitution. The term ‘tawaif’ (courtesans) has converted itself and became synonymous with sex workers and the dance rooms ‘kothas’ have been associated with brothels.
Previously Mujra used to be performed on ‘thumris’, ghazals or poems of Ghalib. But, thime has changed now and today it is performed to Bollywood dance numbers. The dance Rekha did in the movie ‘Umrao Jaan’ and Meena Kumari in ‘Pakeezah,’ are no longer danced in reality.
Footwork used to be emphasized in the original mujra dances. Now the emphasis has shifted towards more on more prominent body parts.
Although the demand of Mujra dancers is in increasing trend, there is no demand for Indian dancers. The demand for blonde European women has gone up and white women are preferred to the local talents.
In the short term, such a trend seem doesn’t seem good for the local artists. However, in the long term, it will help industry to be more competitive and established with good future potential. The local artists will also be more devoted to developing skills to compete with the foreigners. No foreigners will be able to excel in Mujra when compared to the local talent – carried over from generations. When the local artists make themselves much more competitive – skin color will not be the only metrics the people will use when mujra performance is concerned.