Cuckoo, cabaret dancer item girl in Indian cinema

A popular item dancers of late 1940s and 1950s, Cuckoo continues the item dance culture of Indian cinema. The next popular dancer and item girl of Indian cinema, Cuckoo, was greatly inspired by her senior, Azurie (Azurie profile in iMujra). She even modeled herself after Azurie and became quite successful in continuing the vamp image in films. In 1949 alone she had danced in over 17 films.

cuckoo item girl indian cinema

She is often credited for being the first of the well known dancing actress of Indian Cinema. She is also credited for the popularity of ‘cabaret’ dance in Indian films. ‘Cabaret’ dance became integral part of Hindi films made between 1950s and 1970s.

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Azurie, item girl of 1930s in Indian cinema

Azurie’s mother was Indian but her father was German and was born in 1907 in Bangalore during the British rule in India. Azurie (sometimes referred as Azoorie) is one of the few Jewish stars of Indian cinema. Her real name is Anna Marie Gueizelor. In her later life, Azurie moved to Pakistan and lived there for the rest of her life. She died in the August of 1998 in Pakistan.

Video: Azurie performing in 1944 film ‘Rattan’:

Azurie being the first dancer to gain immense popularity in Hindi films. In addition to being a very popular vamp dancer, she also acted as the role model to the dancers who followed her steps in the Indian cinema. Her banner year was 1935 in which she had danced in at least 14 films. Azurie’s last film Bahana (1960) was the last film in India. She had also danced in some Pakistani films including Jhoomar (1959).

azurie - item dancer in indian cinema

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What is an item number ?

We believe item number is a modification of Mujra dance in modern contest in the films of Indian sub-continent. A sample of item number is attached here (Fevicol Se …, featuring Kareena Kapoor in film ‘Dabaang 2’):

An item number or an item song or an item dance is a musical performance, a part of Indian films, usually added to attract audience. The main aim of such musical score is to entertain and promote the film. Item numbers are usually used to promote the film in TV and internet by the means of catchy tunes and sexually provocative dance sequence.

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Book Review, Illict Worlds of Indian Dance: Cultures of Exclusion

A book by Anna Morcom , Illicit Worlds of Indian Dance: Cultures of Exclusion ( purchase link) is about the inside story of Indian dance, mostly the Mujra dances. Hidden history and culture of the dance culture is mostly unknown, thanks to the lack of published literature.

mujra dancing 1

Anna Morcom starts by telling how how little we know about the dance making herself one of the cases. In addition to the female mujra dancers, she has also explored the erotic male performers in traditions across South Asia.

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Qubool Hai to feature a mujra dance by Surbhi Jyoti

The protagonist of the popular Zee TV serial ‘Qubool Hai’ Surbhi Jyoti, is going to perform a Mujra dance. Mujra had been made popular in Bollywood by Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Rekha, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai. Now, Surabhi is all set to make it popular in small screen.

surbhi jyoti

The mujra song titled ‘Dil Mera Muft Ka’ will be the main attraction of the upcoming episodes of the show.

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Curious case of Katrina Kaif and Terry Stephens

It seems, Katrina Kaif had considered entering the adult film industry before she made entry in Bollywood. At least, her photos with one of the producers, Terry Stephens indicates that she had approached him for some project. It is not known if she had actually acted in any such movies but, she sure had met him and discussed the possibilities.

Its not only Katrina, photos of her sister Isabelle with Terry Stephens can also be found online.

A few facts:

  • Katrina’s past is murky. Katrina’s Indian origin is always questioned although she claims to be ‘hundred per cent Indian’.
  • A mms of her sister Isabel, told to be from an adult flick, turned out to be fake.
  • Film stars meet with lot of people and people like to take photograph with them. In most cases these stars don’t even know their names, leave aside their profession.


Photo – Katarina with her mother Suzanne Turquotte at the People’s Choice Awards in 2012

Katrina Kaif was born in Hong Kong in 1893 (or 1982) and goes with her mother’s name – Katrina Turquotte. Read everything about her in IndiaToday.

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Suhaee Abro, dancer and choreographer

The dancer Suhaee Abro says that she learnt dancing even before she learnt how to walk. She show an immense amount of passion toward dance.

Suhaee abro

She started learning dance at 7 from the classical dancer Sheema Kirmani. She started performing since a tender age of 8 years-old. The first solo performance of Suhaee was at 12 and she also started acting in theater and television at that time. Her first music video was created by Tehrik-e-Niswan.

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Anushka Sharma to be an item girl in Dil Dhadakne Do

Actress Anushka Sharma, is going to be one more actress to be featured as an item girl in a movie. Cricketer Virat Kohli’s girlfriend, Sharma is going to dance in the item number of the film ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ The movie is scheduled to release in June of 2015.


The item number is titled Swing, will also feature Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoort, Shefali Shah and Farahan Akhtar. This will be the first item number Anushka had ever done.

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Happy birthday Rekha, the mujra queen of Bollywood

The top actress of Bollywood, Rekha, has turned 60 today (on October 10, 2014). She is the living legend of Bollywood film industry. She is known as one of the most appreciated mujra dancers in Bollywood movies.

Bollywood actress Rekha at 4th Annual asiaSpa Awards. Photo: FilmiTadka.

  • Rekha was born on 10 October 1954
  • Rekha was born in Chennai (then Madras) to Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and Telugu actress Pushpavalli. She was born before her parents married. During her childhood Gemini Ganesan had refused paternity to Rekha.
  • Rekha’s original name is Bhanurakhi Ganesan
  • Rekha debuted acting in ‘Rangula Ratnam’, a Telugu film in 1966 as a child artist. ‘Rangula Ratnam’ had won National Film Award for Best feature film in Telugu that year.
  • Rekha debuted in lead role in Kannada film “Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999” in 1969 opposite to Rajkumar.
  • Rekha also starred in her first Hindi film, “Anjana Safar” in 1969. But, because of censor and other problems, the movie was released a decade later (in 1979) titled ‘Do Shikaari’. Rekha told that she was tricked into a kissing scene in the movie.
  • In 1970s she made Bollywood debut in ‘Sawan Bhadon’ in leading role. Navin Nischol was opposite to Rekha in ‘Sawan Bhadon’
  • Rekha acted in more than 180 films in 40 years of her acting career.
  • She had won three Filmfare Awards two best actress and one for supporting actress role. She won Best Actress Award for her roles in Khubsoorat (1980), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988). She had also won one Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actress in  Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996).
  • Rekha won National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Umrao Jaan (1981).
  • In 2010, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
  • In 1990, Rekha married Delhi-based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal. A year later—while she was in London—he committed suicide, after several previous attempts, leaving a note, “Don’t blame anyone”.
  • Rekha’s best known relationship was her long-time affair with superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The affair ended after their last movie together ‘Silsila’. There was also a rumor of her marriage to actor Vinod Mehra in 1973. Rekha however says Vinod is only a “well wisher”.

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Pashto singer Gulnar (Muskan) killed

A famous Pashto female singer, Gulnar (also known as Muskan) was killed at her home on June 18 night. In a report, four unknown men forced in her house and opened fired on her.

pashto muskan- gulnar

Immediately after the incident, Gulnar was rushed to the hospital where she lost her life. Gulnar lived in Peshawar, a northwestern city of Pakistan. Gulnar, 38, was married three times in the past and had personal enemies.

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