Bollywood item numbers and money: Sheila ki jawani, Choli ke peeche

Thu Nov 07 2013, 13:37 hrs
From a flirty 90’s Jumma chumma dede (Hum), Choli ke peeche kya hai (Khalnayak) to a sizzling Sheila ki jawani (Tees Maar Khan) of the 2000s, item numbers are an integral part of Bollywood films. (Photo courtesy: Bollywood Hungama )
From a flirty 90’s Jumma chumma dede (Hum), Choli ke peeche kya hai (Khalnayak) to a sizzling Sheila ki jawani (Tees Maar Khan) of the 2000s, item numbers are an integral part of Bollywood films. (Photo courtesy: Bollywood Hungama )
According to a senior Bollywood choreographer, ’90s was a time of modest salaries when they were paid Rs. 5000 for choreographing songs for an entire film, with top choreographers like Saroj Khan and Chinni Prakash churning out superhit dance numbers like Ek do teen (Tezaab), Dhak dhak (Dil) or Tu cheez badi hai mast mast (Mohra) respectively for the film.
According to a senior Bollywood choreographer, ’90s was a time of modest salaries when they were paid Rs. 5000 for choreographing songs for an entire film, with top choreographers like Saroj Khan and Chinni Prakash churning out superhit dance numbers like Ek do teen (Tezaab), Dhak dhak (Dil) or Tu cheez badi hai mast mast (Mohra) respectively for the film.
“In 1997-98, with the onset of Khiladi series, film-makers started signing Ahmed Khan, Saroj Khan or a Ganesh Acharya to direct one particular song each, in a film. For example, the Sunny Deol-starrer, Dillagi had songs choreographed by Ahmed Khan and Chinni Prakash,” says a choreographer.In the late 90s, top choreographers charged Rs. 50,000 to 75,000 per song.
“In 1997-98, with the onset of Khiladi series, film-makers started signing Ahmed Khan, Saroj Khan or a Ganesh Acharya to direct one particular song each, in a film. For example, the Sunny Deol-starrer, Dillagi had songs choreographed by Ahmed Khan and Chinni Prakash,” says a choreographer.In the late 90s, top choreographers charged Rs. 50,000 to 75,000 per song.
Trends changed when sizzling numbers like Kajra re (Bunty Aur Babli), Ishq kamina (Shakti The Power)  in the early 2000s, choreographers were hired on a song basis. “There was a sudden boom in the demand for item numbers. Every film-maker today wants to have a full-on masala dance track. Today a top choreographer can demand and get anywhere between Rs 5 to10 lakhs, per song,” says an industry veteran.
Trends changed when sizzling numbers like Kajra re (Bunty Aur Babli), Ishq kamina (Shakti The Power) in the early 2000s, choreographers were hired on a song basis. “There was a sudden boom in the demand for item numbers. Every film-maker today wants to have a full-on masala dance track. Today a top choreographer can demand and get anywhere between Rs 5 to10 lakhs, per song,” says an industry veteran.