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AAJA NACHLE, COME AND DANCE WITH ME: YOUTUBES ROLE IN THE GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOOD STYLE DANCE BY LAUREN BROWN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Maribeth Clark Sarasota, Florida May, 2013
ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people have been influential in my academic career at New College of Florida, and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to my development as a scholar of ethnomusicology I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Kariann Goldschmitt who helped guide me in choosing my career path, and Dr. Steven Graham, who helped me gain confidence in my academic abilities. I would also like to thank my committee members Dr. Mark Dancigers and Dr. Heidi Harley both of whom we re extremely supportive and willing to help out at short notice Most of all, I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Maribeth Clark whose patience and support helped me reach my goals through a difficult year
iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................................................... ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................................... iii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ...............................................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................................................... v INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................... 1 CHAPTER 1: PARTICIPATORY CULTURE OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE ................................................... 4 The Social Function of Participatory Culture ........................................................................................ 6 Bollywood Style Dance and Participatory Culture ................................................................................ 6 Participatory Culture and the Internet ................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 2: GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE ................................................................. 10 Bollywood Globalization: Devdas and Desi Culture ............................................................................ 12 The Globalization Process ...................................................................................................................... 15 Youth Cultures Role in Globalization .................................................................................................. 20 CHAPTER 3: YOUTUBES EFFECT ON THE GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE ................. 22 Emergence of YouTube: Globalization at Light Speed ....................................................................... 24 YouTube Takes Participatory Culture Global ..................................................................................... 27 The Cycle of YouTube Participatory Culture: Jai Ho ..................................................................... 30 Bollywood Globalization in the Age of You Tube ................................................................................. 32 CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................ 36 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................. 41
iv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1: Internet Users by Region (in millions) (UNESCO 2009) ............................................... 8 Figure 2: Number of Nationally Produced Feature Films (UNESCO 2009) ................................ 19 Figure 3: Origin of Top Movies Exhibited in 2006 (UNESCO 2009) .......................................... 20 Figure 4: YouTube Statistics (YouTube 2013) ............................................................................. 26 Figure 5: The Culture Cycle (UNESCO 2009) ............................................................................. 28 Figure 6: YouTube Search Results (YouTube 2013) .................................................................... 34
v AAJA NACHLE COME AND DANCE WITH ME: YOUTUBES ROLE IN THE GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOOD STYLE DANCE Lauren Brown New College of Florida 2013 ABSTRACT This thesis explores how the advent of YouTube merged participatory culture and internet based video sharing into a global participatory culture, thereby expanding the reach and cultural familiarity of Bollywood dance style beyond South Asian culture. Wi th the Indian and Desi culture of creating filmi dances already participatory, the international market for Bollywood films gives Bollywoodstyle dance global exposure. Bollywoodstyle dance had a successful model for helping participants to achieve flow i n face to face groups, which translated well to the Internet. The low learning curve and high ability to maintain interest in performing Bollywood style dance made it a successful element of participatory culture on the Internet. Through youth cultures in fluence on the process of globalization, these international dances become isolated from their original context, migrate from their native culture, and are localized by the receiving culture. Although trend analysis indicates YouTubes ability to accelerat e the globalization process is anecdotally apparent, further research involving comprehensive
vi statistical data would help quantify its significance in facilitating creative collaboration on a global scale. Nonetheless the publically available trend data s upports t he thesis. Dr. Maribeth Clark Division of Humanities
1 INTRODUCTION The contexts in which specific music or dance styles are performed give them meaning and define their cultural purpose. Beyond the superficial, neither music nor dance can be understood outside its original culture without understanding the individual music and dance traditions (Kaeppler 2010). Yet a variety of music and dance traditions have crossed borders and have been assimilated into cultural traditions far di fferent from those in which they originated, with video and soundin particular distributed through the media sharing website YouTube giving them global reach in the twenty first century. The process of globalization changes the need for specific context because the more a music or dance travels, the more its context broadens. Globalization is the process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world ( Globalization 2013). The process involves the key phases of migration, isolation, and localization. In the migration phase the cultural element in this case, danceis exported from its place of origin and imported into a new cultural landscape. During the isolation pha se the specific element such as danceis separated from its original cultural context. Finally, in the localization phase, the isolated element is integrated into a receiving culture by assigning new meaning that gives it local relevance. The globalization process has become evident in Bollywoodstyle dance in the twenty first century. Bollywood is the c olloquial name for the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India (originally called Bombay). It is a combination of the names Bombay and Hollyw ood (Ganti 2004). In movies made by Bollywood studios, a number of Indian regional dance styles had already been combined along with
2 classical Indian dancein an effort to have Pan Indian appeal resulting in the hybrid dance style know as Bollywood sty le dance. More recently, this style has begun to include stylistic elements from Western dance styles to appeal to modernity (Shresthova 2004). As diasporic and nonIndian audiences have grown, nonIndian movements and styles have also been included in the mix, developing global hybridity in order to appeal to a broader audience (Shresthova 2004; Ganti 2012). Participatory c ulture is the c reative culture in which there are no artist audience distinctions and which is founded on an ethos that holds that e veryone present can, and in fact should, participate in the creation of cultural products (Turino 2008, 45; Burgess and Green 2009, 1011). The Indian and Desi culture of creating reproductions of dances from Bollywood films, or new choreography that ref erences dances in films done to music from Bollywood films (Maira 2002; Rudisill 2009) known as filmi dances is already participatory, and the international market for Bollywood films gives the dance style global exposure. Desi a colloquial term for someone native to South Asia derives from the Hindi word Desh/Des meaning country or homeland. The term is also used to refer to the children of South Asian immigrants (Maira 2002). T he advent of YouTube merged participatory culture and internet based video sharing into a global participatory culture a form of participatory culture that was expanded and is supported by the Internet, allowing individuals all over the world to participate in the creation of cultural products exponentially expanding the Bollywood dance styles reach and cultural familiarity outside of South Asian culture. The participatory culture of YouTube has significantly aided and influenced the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance.
3 YouTubes role in the globalization of Bollywood style dance will be explored over the course of three chapters. The first chapter will discuss participatory culture: its history and social function, how it relates to Bollywoodstyle dance, and how it continues to function through the Internet. The second chapter will discuss globalization: how the process works, who has controlled it, how it relates to Bollywood style dance, and how it has changed since the advent of the Internet. The third chapter will discuss YouTube: a brief history of the site, its role in globalization, its function as a facilitator of global participatory culture, and how it relates to Bollywoodstyle dance.
4 CHAPTER 1: PARTICIPATORY CULTURE OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE A factor in the successful globalization of dances such as Bollywood style dance is the ability for people to participate without having special skills. It works to the advantage of globalization for these dances to become participatory, if they are not already. An example of this move to participatory da nce is the Parisian quadrille. In nineteenth century Paris, it was popular to take selections from grand operas and arrange them as simple dances, such as quadrilles. The quadrille was a popular, simple, five figure dance. It started in the eighteenth cent ury as a more intricate dance favored by upper class gentlemen, as it allowed them to show off their dancing prowess. However, in tandem with the introduction of opera arrangements, the quadrille was simplified into the figure dance, which caused working c lass men and ladies to take more interest in it (Clark 2002). By the end of the nineteenth century, the quadrille was a dance in which anyone could participate, as no special skill was needed. The change in the quadrille took
5 it from being a presentational event suited to exhibitionminded gentlemen to a participatory event enjoyed by many. The nineteenth century quadrille is just one example of participatory dance. A number of music and dance practices around the world are participatory in nature. The enti re community takes part in the creation of performance and no one holds the status of being a star. Individuals may be recognized for an exceptional level of skill, but no individual is made to believe he or she cannot participate due to a lack of skill. T homas Turino (2008) describes a participatory performance as that in which there is no clear separation between audience and performer, and everyone present is encourage d, and expected, to contribute. This is in contrast to presentational performance, in which the artists provide music for the audience in a condition of pronounced artist audience separation. Examples of participatory performance include country line dancing, jam sessions, and other social dances, such as swing dancing and club dancing. However, not all participatory dance cultures begin as participatory. Sometimes a participatory culture is created around a dance style as individuals share cultural ideas. An example of this is the style of dance featured in films produced in the Mumbai based Hindi language Indian film industry, known as Bollywood. While the Bollywood film industry itself is not participatory, there is a participatory culture surrounding Bol lywood style dance outside of the films. This participatory culture is largely supported by YouTube, where people watch videos and tutorials of film dances and post their own video versions of the same dances. It also has nonvirtual elements, established before the founding of YouTube, where Indian and desi youths practice and perform in this style at home, in youth clubs, and at cultural events.
6 The Social Function of Participatory Culture The goal of participatory culture is to create and solidify commu nity bonds through the shared experience. In order to do this, the activity needs to accommodate participants of multiple skill levels. Key to achieving this is psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyis theory of optimal experience or flow (Turino 2008). Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as the heightened state of concentration an individual experiences when he or she is so intent on a task or activity that all other thoughts, distractions, and concerns disappear and the individual is fully immersed in the present For an individual to achieve flow, the activity has to be challenging enough to hold the participants interest, but also simple enough to keep the participant from becoming discouraged (Turino 2008). Participatory culture is a good framework for individuals to achieve flow. Since it has to meet the needs of both experienced and novice participants, participatory culture has no ceiling for level of difficulty, keeping the activity interesting as a participants need for challenge changes. Immediate feedba ck on progress from other participants keeps individuals focused on the activity and on meeting their goals for skill development. Since the experience of flow is pleasurable and can enhance feelings of camaraderie during group activities, individuals return to the activity and introduce new participants to the experience. Bollywood Style Dance and Participatory Culture Bollywoodstyle dance is a hybrid of several regional Indian dance styles and Indian classical dance, designed to have pan Indian appeal. Regional dances were part of participatory events, such as festivals and other celebrations, giving Bollywood style dance participatory roots. Particularly evident in films produced in the last decade or so,
7 Bollywood choreographers tend to favor simple c horeography that is easier to perform in unison with large ensembles. This tendency makes these film dances easier to learn simply by watching someone else perform. Particularly true for Western audiences with minimal previous exposure, learning a Bollywo odstyle dance inspired by a popular film follows the flow theory model. Novice individuals can learn the basic movements easily and feel successful, which keeps them focused and interested in gaining enough skill to perform the more intricate elements, su ch as the hand and facial choreography that more experienced participants are able to replicate. Bollywood style dances hybrid nature means it is constantly changing, adopting, and embracing new movements to remain salient to its audiences in a constantly changing world. This feature contributes to achieving flow in Bollywoodstyle dance because it continually provides new stimulation to experienced participants, keeping them from becoming bored, without alienating novice participants. Participatory Cultur e and the Internet As documented by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ) whose mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication poverty, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through edu cation, the sciences, culture, communication and informationt he Internet is accessible to billions of people around the world, with user numbers i ncreasing every year (Figure 1). It takes participato ry culture to a global level Social networking websites and videosharing websites specifically YouTubehave expanded the participating group to unlimited numbers, while still allowing participants to achieve flow. The Internet gives novice participants access to beginning instruction that made getting
8 starte d easier. Roundthe clock access to the Internet enables others to give feedback very quickly, keeping novice and experienced participants focused on their activity. The ever present encou ragement to be creative provides a virtually never ending source of new challenges for p articipants as their skills develop.
9 Bollywoodstyle dance provides a successful model for participants to achieve flow in face to face groups, which translates well to the I nternet. Children in India replicate dances they see in films and create their own film inspire d dances during their free time. T he interest the children of Indian immigrants living in North America and Western Europe had in learning Bollywoodstyle dance opened a market for dance studios offering such interactive cl asses (Rudisill 2009; Shresthova 2004). The low learning curve and high ability to maintain interest in perf orming Bollywoodstyle dance mak e s it a successful element of participatory culture on the Internet. This success makes the Internet participatory culture of Bollywood style dance a good model for the globalization of dance in the twenty first century, which will be discussed in Chapter 3.
10 CHAPTER 2: GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE Although the technology of the twenty first century gave it a boost, the globalization process has been established for centuries. Globalization is the process by which something whether it is business, culture, or politics becomes part of the international consciousness through adoption by cultures other than its native culture. Just as English has be come an international language spoken in many countries around the world other than England, certain music/dance languages have become international languages of music and dance (Kaeppler 2010, 185). Examples of such international languages of dance in clude ballet, tango, hiphop, and hula. The exportation and importation of globalized dance styles can give the false impression of them being universal languages, and this inaccuracy is best avoided, as much of the meaning attached to these dance styles requires a context whether old or new to be understood as something more than movement alone. For performers, dance
11 can function as a marker of ethnic identity or as a means for exploring a new identity; for engaged audience members and spectators, it se rves as theatre, spectacle, or a confirmation of shared cultural identity. However, through globalization, more and more individuals develop understanding in international dance styles (Kaeppler 2010). Youth culture is a major driving force of globalization, a fact that globally minded corporations use to their advantage. By tapping into the ever renewing population, these corporations act as facilitators to globalization. An example is the Disney Corporations marketing of High School Musical (2006) in In dia. While a major influence, corporations are not the only facilitators of globalization. Immigrants and their children also influence globalization. A special case of this phenomenon are third culture kids (TCK), transcultural youth who live with their parent s but grow up in a culture different from their parents originating culture and are thus face d with creating new ethnic and/ or national identities (some of which may be at odds with one another) and innovative cultural systems (Fail, Thompson and W alker, 2004) (UNESCO 2009 b, 73). For example, children of Indian immigrants in New York adopted Bollywood inspired dance, music, and clothing to separate themselves from the wider American racial landscape that didnt yet include them. Other American youth s adopted the Indian symbols as a way to stand out as individuals from their own cultural group. Through youth cultures influence on the process of globalization, these international dances become isolated from their original context, migrate from their n ative culture, and then become localized by the receiving culture.
12 Bollywood Globalization: Devdas and Desi Culture Bollywood films slowly began entering the Western cultural consciousness through the 1990s and early 2000s, and several films gained exceptional notoriety and accumulated impressive statistics. The first film, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! (1994), holds the record as the highest grossing Indian film of all time, having earned more than 2 billion rupees (over 37 million dollars) worldwide Shortly afterward, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) became the longest running Hindi language film, playing in Mumbai theaters for over five years. The first film post 2000, Lagaan (2001), won awards at European film festivals, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and became available through retailers such as Amazon and Blockbuster as a video and DVD (Ganti 2004). T hese big budget films were influential in introducing Western audiences in particular American audiences to the Bollywood film genre, but the Bollywood film that has been most influential to the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance is Devdas (2002). The Bengali novel Devdas (1917) has inspired numerous Indian films by the same title, holding enormous popularity among both filmmakers and audiences. First made as a silent film in 1928, the story was remade in Hindi in 1955 and 2002, and has since been remad e in a number of other Indian languages (Ganti 2004). The film Devdas (2002) introduced the tragic romantic hero into Hindi cinema, a trope that has become so popular that the term Devdas entered everyday parlance to refer to men pining for or m elancholic about love (Ganti 2004, 144145). The 2002 remake starred three major icons of the Bollywood world, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, and Madhuri Dixit, which is an indicator of the films massive budget. The film won a Filmfare award one
13 of the m ost prestigious awards in popular Hindi cinema for Best Choreography for the expansive dance sequence Dola Re Dola choreographed by Saroj Khan (Shresthova 2004). Dola Re Dola was created specifically for the 2002 film and featured heavily in the films marketing campaign (Shresthova 2004). The film also gained considerable international attention, being part of the 2002 Cannes Film Festivals official selection and nominated for a BAFTA award in 2003 ( Devdas 2002). The international attention Devdas (20 02) received, as well as the prominence of the Dola Re Dola dance sequence in the films marketing strategy, brought a large amount of international attention to the Dola Re Dola dance sequence itself as a separate entity from the film. The popularity of the film made the dance sequence familiar, which consequently made the dance sequence popular with individuals interested in reproducing and choreographing in the style of Hindi film dances (Shresthova 2004). This interest is particularly strong in Indi an communities outside of India such as those in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia where Bollywood films play a key role in developing and maintaining an Indian identity (Shresthova 2004; Maira 2002). The use of Bollywood films to develop an Indian identity is most easily identified in large metropolitan areas such as New York City, which saw several waves of Indian immigrants from the 1960s through the 1990s (Shresthova 2004; Maira 2002). The second generationthe children of the original imm igrants, or third culture kids (UNESCO 2009 b) started entering college and the workforce in the late 1980s and 1990s. Having not yet entered the larger narratives of immigration, ethnicity, racialization, and youth cultures in the United States, these young people created a new
14 popular culture of dance parties and music mixes (Maira 2002, 2). Collectively known as desi a colloquial term for someone native to South Asia these parties combined the New York and global club cultures with transnational South Asian culture (Maira 2002). The American desi youth culture was a way to merge American and Indian cultures into a unique identity. In an effort to connect to their cultural heritage, many second generation Indian Americans adopted specific signifie rs such as watching Bollywood films as ways of defining their Indianness (Maira 2002 11 ). Since Bollywood films are such a large part of Indias cultural industry, Bollywoodstyle dance acts as a powerful cultural marker of Indian ethnicity. As part of their endeavors to build a South Asian identity, the desi youths introduced Bollywood filmi dances a term that refers to both reproduced dances from Bollywood films and new dances based on Bollywood film choreography into the desi party scene (Maira 2002). The filmi dances were something the desi youths could claim as their own. However, American desi youths were not alone in their club culture. American youths of other ethnic backgrounds soon took an interest in the new and exciting desi parties, where the y were introduced to the Bollywoodstyle dance, music, clothing, jewelry, and body art that the desi youths used to identify as Indian. Desi parties in New York quickly became sought after destinations, and through this widening popularity, markers of Indi an ethnicity began to mix in with the wider American culture (Maira 2002). Studios offering classes in Bollywoodinspired dance have sprung up in cities around the world, most prominently outside of India, where its study and performance
15 [ became] an expression of Indian identities and emergent marginal chic (Shresthova 2004, 92). Desi people who are interested in learning the dance moves they see in films and view the dances as expressions of ethnic identity, have spearheaded the foreign interest in Bollywood style dance. The cultural identity connection has led to staged versions of film d ances becoming the dominant representation of Indianand more generally South Asian culture in the West (Shresthova 2004; Maira 2002). Thus, Bollywoodstyle dance has entered the process of globalization, appearing outside of India, taking on a life outside of the Hindi language film industry, and being integrated into nonIndian cultures. As a result of the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance, Indian filmmakers have become aware of their audiences outside of India and have started producing films that c ater more to these audiences of non resident Indians and nonIndians (Ganti 2012). The Globalization Process The first step in the globalization process i s migration. A cultural element such as a dance moves from its native cultural context to a new location. An example of an exported and imported globalized dance style is Hawaiian hula. Adrienne Kaepplers research defines the globalization process as it relates to hula, although the process relates to a number of other styles of dance. Hula is not just pe rformed in Hawaii or by Hawaiians, but has been exported, imported, and adopted into cultures very different from its native one (Kaeppler 2010). Hula has been very popular in Japan since the 1920s, despite having been banned with most other American music during World War II. Japanese hula reemerged post war in the 1950s as the type seen in Hollywood films, a
16 type which Hawaiians refer to as half foreign. There are also a number of established hula schools in Mexico (Kaeppler 2010). The Dola Re Dola dance sequence from Devdas (2002) is an example of a migrating dance from Bollywood; because of the international attention the film received, and the dances prominence in the film, international viewers took the interest in the dance back home with them. T he sequence is a mainstay of dance studios and professional and amateur performance troupes, and a favorite among college students ( Shresthova 2004; Maira 2002). The sheer spectacle of the sequence is appealing, both to performers and audiences, keeping interest in the dance sequence high. The second step in the globalization process is isolation. Having migrated to a new location, the cultural element is then separated from its native cultural context. At this stage, it has not yet been fully integrated in to the receiving culture. Returning to the hula example, the original traditional hulas served religious and political functions, and without being familiar with these functions or the Hawaiian language, a spectator would only see the spectacle of the perf ormance, and likely be bored (Kaeppler 2010). Therefore, the original hulas were separated from their religious and political contexts in order to be palatable to international enthusiasts unfamiliar with Hawaiian language and culture. The practice of isolating music or dance from its original context is well established. Not only did the quadrille serve a participatory function in midnineteenth century Paris, but as demand for music to accompany social dancing increased, it became popular to arrange music from grand operas as simple quadrilles (Clark 2002) The quadrille arrangements broadened the exposure of opera to individuals who may not have
17 been able to attend the full performance. Although it did not cause more people to see the full opera, the isolation of specific pieces did make the opera familiar. Similarly, the fact that the music for dance sequences in Bollywood films is pre recorded by playback singers adds to the isolation of dance sequences from their films. The soundtrac k for a film is often available to the public before the film itself is released, and sometimes a film for which the soundtrack has already been released never gets filmed (Ganti 2004). Once again, Dola Re Dola from Devdas (2002) shows how Bollywoodstyl e dance connects to isolation. The story of Devdas is so well known to Indian audiences that the 2002 remake had to make itself stand out from all the previous Devdas films. Since Dola Re Dola was unique to the 2002 remake, and it featured two Bollywood actresses well known for their dance skills the now well known dance sequence was used to the exclusion of other content from the movie in the marketing campaign (Shresthova 2004). The dance sequence would have been viewed more times by itself in promotions and theatrical trailers than it would in the context of the film, giving the dance a life and image of its own. This use of the dance suggests that the films promoters knew that Dola Re Dola would attract audiences to the movie regardless of its cont ext in the films story line. The third step in the process of globalization is localization. Localization is the process by which the isolated element is integrated into a new culture by assigning it new meaning to give it local relevance. Many large corp orations seeking to globalize their brand rely on localization to secure entry into foreign markets. An example of localization encouraged by a global corporation is the Disney Corporations branding strategy in India.
18 The 1991 liberalization of Indias ec onomic policy led to a proliferation of cable and satellite channels targeted at the new and growing middle class, especially the children. Childrens television has been a growing field in India since 2001, and as of 2009, there were seven childrens channels, including the Disney Channel, and Disney International (India) the Disney Corporations headquarters in India opened in Mumbai in 2006. One of the major strategies childrens TV channels frequently employ to increase local market share and brand development is localization which includes dubbing content into local languages, creating content locally or drawing on local themes, and running local promotions and competitions (Rudisill 2009). The liberalization of Indias economy caused Indians some conce rn over westernization which is negatively associated with morality, values, and consumerism, as opposed to modernity, which is positively associated with technology and science. Disney Channels original film High School Musical (2006) may have been a surprise hit in the United States, but Disneys substitution of urban reality with a sanitized and Imagineered spectacle was a perfect fit with the aesthetic of Bollywood, an industry that censored kissing until 2004 (Rudisill 2009, 255). High School Musical (2006) offered audiences in this new liberalized India the allure of the West and modernity, but does not transgress Indian values and morals, as so many western and even Bollywood films do. Recognizing the films potential in India and Disneys opportunity to secure its place in the Indian market, Disney India announced My School Rocks, a choreography and dance competition in conjunction with the Indian premiere of High School Musical (2006) The My School Rocks dance competition took advantage of the programs
19 musical format to exploit similarities with the existing Bollywood industry by imitating popular use of Bollywood song and dance sequences in the contest and enlisting well known Bollywood choreographers t o serve as judges. Disneys campaign was particularly significant because of its innovative capitalization on Bollywood style viewing practices (Rudisill 2009). Disneys strategy of focusing its efforts on the tween demographic (children ages eight to fourteen), a group known to drive the localization process, was highly successful, and it needed to be if Disney was to stand out from the local film competition. In 2006 alone, the same year as the My School Rocks competition, India produced 1,091 national feature films, compared with the United States 485 films ( Figure 2) and all of the top movies India exhibited in that year were Indian productions (Figure 3). Not only did the existing mediascape predispose Indians to enjoy High School Musical (2006) because it mimics the format of most local 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 India United States of America Japan China France Germany Spain Italy Korea (Rep.) United KingdomFigure 2: Number of Nationally Produced Feature Films (top ten countries in 2006) Source: UNESCO 2009b, 344-7
20 commercial films, but the dance competition tapped into an existing social framework of school sponsored dance competitions inspired by the prolific Indian film industry. Desi youth culture had a big role to play in localizing Bollywood style dance outside of India, as the Third Culture Kid phenomenon drove them to create their hybrid American Indian identity. By taking interest in learning the dances they saw in films and introducing filmi dances into the club culture, desi youths exposed other nondesi American youths to the Bollywoodstyle without the encumbrance of a several hours long film. Youth Cultures Role in Globalization Corporations know the value of capturing the youth audience; this demographic is most open to change, and is indeed associated with social, economic, and political revolution (Burgess and Green 2009). Consequently, youths from children to young
21 adults, with particular attention to tweens (age groups eight to fourteen years old) are a target of special interest to most media outlets (Rudisill 2009). Part of the willingness to change is the willingness to adopt new things and integrate them into the existing culture; in short the willingness to localize elements such as dance. The phen omenon of thirdculture kids is another aspect of the localization power youth culture holds. Thirdculture kids are actively seeking to connect with both their parents culture and the culture they have grown up in themselves. The nature of their identity building quest means that third culture kids such as the American desi youths pre integrate cultural elements from their parents culture into the culture they live in, making it easier for local youths to adopt. However, as effective as corporations and third culture kids have been at driving globalization, the process reached a new scale once it hit YouTube.
22 CHAPTER 3: YOUTUBES EFFECT ON THE GLOBALIZATION OF BOLLYWOODSTYLE DANCE Shortly after it was created, the video sharing website YouTube began demonstrating its globalization potential. Leveraging the power of the Internet, YouTube has instantaneous global reach, in that anything uploaded to the website is theoretically accessible by any individual in any location throughout the world. In this way, continuously expanding networks based on mobile phones, broadband Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) are creating new forms of human association of unprecedented scale and flexibility, spanning cities, nations and cultures (UNESCO 2009b, 73). The Internet shrank the world, drastically reducing the time required to spread information. This ease of distribution is evident in YouTubes viewer traffic. Since its creation, YouTube has been localized in fifty thre e countries and across sixty one languages,
23 and seventy percent of its current traffic comes from outside the United States (YouTube 2013). According to YouTubes Statistics page, in 2011, the website had more than 1 trillion views, which translates to around 140 views for every person on Earth (YouTube 2013). The self description on its About page indicates that YouTube recognizes it is situated in the heart of the globalization process. YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and shar e originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small (YouTube 2013). By focusing its marke ting on content sharing rather than directly on profit, YouTube succeeds where other corporations have not By drastically lowering the barriers to entry t he existence of high start up costs or other obstacles that prevent new competitors from easily ente ring an industry or area of business ( Barriers to Entry 2013) YouTube allow s anyone especially youths to get involved. It costs millions of dollars to produce films, but a YouTube video can be created with equipment most users already own. Barriers to en try also benefit existing companies already operating in an industry because they protect an established companys revenues and profits from being whittled away by new competitors ( Barriers to Entry 2013). The lower barrier to entry has been a catalyst fo r the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance. Already on its way to the global stage, Bollywoodstyle dance benefitted strongly from YouTubes global reach as well as its dominant and participatory youth demographic. YouTube functions as a nexus in the global youth culture, connecting young people all over the world by allowing them to view dance videos, learn the dances,
24 film their own versions without expensive equipment, and upload these new versions to the website for others to view. Emergence of YouTube: Globalization at Light Speed Prior to the digital revolution in recording technology, sound and video recordings had to be transported through physical forms, such as vinyl disks, tape recordings, and CD or DVD disks. The reliance on a physical r ecording medium caused problems for distribution: it was expensive to produce, the medium risked being damaged, it took a long time to transport the recordings, and the recording would progressively degrade with use. The final drawback was the need for spe cialized equipment to play back the recording, the cost of which further limited the distribution power. All this changed with video sharing websites, particularly YouTube. Founded in June 2005, YouTube started slowly, providing a very simple, integrated interface within which users could upload, publish, and view streaming videos without high levels of technical knowledge, and within the technological constraints of standard browser software and relatively modest bandwidth (Burgess and Green 2009, 1). W hile this ease of use and functionality made YouTube an excellent fit for mass distribution and participation, it first had to gain mainstream recognition. Once Google acquired it in October 2006 and introduced it to a wider audience, YouTube moved into th e mainstream and by early 2008, it was consistently in the top ten most visited websites globally (Burgess and Green 2009, 2). At this point, YouTube was set to usher in a new era of globalization. YouTube accelerates the whole globalization process. By storing recordings in digital form, the content on YouTube is easily accessible on multiple compatible devices
25 that many viewers likely already have access to, including computers, tablets, mp3 players, and smartphones. A recording can travel to faraway pl aces instantaneously through the Internet, rather than waiting weeks, months, or even years to migrate. One hundred million video clips are viewed daily on YouTube, and the website averages nearly twenty million visitors per month (UNESCO 2009). Having liberated recordings from their physical carriers, YouTube kicked migration into hyper drive, with the other steps of globalization falling into place in its wake. The major hurdle limiting YouTubes globalization power is defining its place in copyright law. For example, in December 2005, the Saturday Night Live Lazy Sunday sketch demonstrated the potential of YouTube as an outlet for established media to reach out to the elusive but much desired youth audience, being viewed one point two million times in the first ten days it was online and reaching five million views by February 2006 (Burgess and Green 2009, 3). Youth culture has been identified as a driving force in the localization process for their willingness to accept and adopt newness, and their connection to changes in social and economic ideology, which makes the youth audience especially cherished by media outlets (Rudisill 2009; Burgess and Green 2009). Instead of embracing a collaborative effort to tap into the coveted youth demographic, the m ainstream media felt threatened by YouTubes competition and set to work trying to limit the websites reach. The mainstream news took up the baton, f raming the website as an under regulated site of lawless, unethical and pathological behavior centered ar ound youth as a risk category, voicing concerns over young people and digital media risks, uses, and misuses (Burgess and Green 2009, 16 ). While the youth
26 demographic is not an exclusive target audience for YouTube, it is influential, as the dominant age group on YouTube is the 12to 17year old group ( Burgess and Green 2009; UNESCO 2009). Although the debates over copyright are ongoing, they have, as of yet, not had a statistical impact on YouTubes globalization abilities (Figure 4)
27 Earli er recording technologies also provided a pl atform for global dissemination; however these media required prohibitive access resources: money to purchase the physical object that stored the recording as well as the machine to play the recording back. Thes e media also limited the global travel of information, since the media themselves were limited by who could buy them. The limitation of cost kept new music and dances confined to participation at the lower level. YouTube acts as a bridge between the local and the global by opening up global participatory culture via the Internet. YouTube Takes Participatory Culture Global Although it differs from face to face participatory culture, participatory culture thrives in social media outlets like YouTube, where it has the ability to help people just like face to face participatory culture. The sheer amount of information available on the Internet means that there is a level of challenge appropriate for everyone, no matter how advanced he or she happens to be in a particular subject. This keeps the individual interested long term. Virtually instantaneous feedback is also available via the Internet, another important factor in achieving flow, as it keeps the individual focused on improvement. Since that feedback comes from other members, it creates a sense of community that spans the globe. What makes YouTube a special part of the media is that it is not actually in the video business (Burgess and Green 2009, 4). Instead, it serves a variety of functions related to v ideo content, including search engine, database, and content sharing platform. The focus on video sharing is key, since it makes YouTube a participatory culture in which the content is all supplied by the individuals using the website (Figure 5). Participa tory culture is not a gimmick for YouTube, but is absolutely core business
29 (Burgess and Green 2009 6). YouTubes existence makes creative collaboration on a global scale possible. An example of this collaboration in action is the YouTube Symphon y Orchestra. In January 2009, an extraordinary project began on the Internet : the worlds first ever online collaborative orchestra. Dubbed the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the aim of the project was to bring together diverse people through the art of music and giv e musicians the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in New York under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Composer Tan Dun wrote the Internet Symphony No. 1 Eroica for the project, and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), which collaborated on the project, first performed the piece in a video posted on YouTube. The idea was to have musicians around the world film their auditions and post the ir video on YouTube. The principal musicians of the LSO filmed and posted video tutorials on playing the Eroica parts for each instrument, as well as the other pieces prospective musicians were asked to audition. Anyone who wished was welcome to participate, regardless of instrument, even if the instrument was not scored in the symphony, such as nonWes tern instruments. A panel of judges selected finalists and alternates, and the YouTube community then voted on the list to select the finalists. The finalists would have the opportunity to go to New York and perform as an orchestra at Carnegie Hall. By the date of the concert, fifteen million YouTube viewers had watched the audition videos. Prior to the founding of YouTube this sort of project would have been an enormous undertaking. Its sheer scope required an easy to access and easy to use platform that c ould effectively broadcast the information about the symphony and
30 efficiently disseminate audition videos to judges and the online voting community. Projects as well organized as the YouTube Symphony Orchestra are unusual, but it demonstrates YouTubes efficiency in supporting participatory culture on a global scale. YouTube is first and foremost a video sharing website, where individuals can upload videos and view videos others have uploaded. However, it has also cultivated agreements with other media o utlets that use the website to boost their own distribution. Due to its double function as both a topdown platform for the distribution of popular culture and a bottom up platform for vernacular creativity, YouTube does not fit neatly into either th e participatory or the presentational category, rather occupying the space between the two (Burgess and Green 2009, 6 ). The website was envisioned as a place where familiar forms of mass media content and amateur oddities are able to co exist and coll ide, but do not really converge (Burgess and Green 2009, 41 42). The video medium creates a pronounced artistaudience separation, but the sharing component of the website allows and invites everyone who visits the site to participate in creating and uploading videos. Although the medium itself is presentational in nature, YouTube holds a participatory function. The Cycle of YouTube Participatory Culture: Jai Ho The distribution and adaption process of the dance sequence Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire (2008) illustrates YouTubes unusual position on the participatory/presentational scale. Danny Boyles 2008 film was not only a box office hit, but also won eight Oscars in 2009, including Best Original Song for Jai Ho. The upbeat and catchy song pla ys during the end credits, but something else also makes it stand out; the main characters perform a dance to this song accompanied by a large ensemble. This
31 scene is unusual, since it is the first and only time in the entire two hour film that a dance lik e this is performed, and it only has a tangential connection to the films storyline. For audiences with limited exposure to Bollywood films, the dance sequence is a novel concept and soon ignited creativity in the minds of YouTubers. O nce Jai Ho appear ed on YouTube i t was followed by videos of people both individuals and groups recreating the dance they had seen in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) Some filmed stage performance s some danced in their living rooms, some created high fidelity videos, and all of them were posted on YouTube. Posting performances of Jai Ho became so popular that some individuals even posted stepby step video tutorials to teach others how to do the dance. The Jai Ho phenomenon demonstrates YouTubes unique type of participatory culture, which exists somewhere between participatory and presentation performance in the physical world. The original exhibition as part of a film is presentational, with clearly defined separation between the artists and the audience, and it remains s o as an isolated video on YouTube. However, the focus shifts as viewers take YouTubes now notorious exhortation to Broadcast Yourself to heart (Burgess and Green 2009, 4). As individuals learn the dance sequence and record their own performances, the process drifts toward the participatory, although these new videos are presentational to the viewing audience. The focus again shifts to the participatory as individuals record and upload tutorials for the original dance, encouraging more viewers to take p art in perpetuating the cycle.
32 Bollywood Globalization in the Age of YouTube The Bollywood industry had been slowly moving into the Western consciousness for over a decade with films like Hum Aapke Hain Koun! (1994), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), and Lagaan (2001), but all of these films were released before the founding of YouTube. Although Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is not a Bollywood production, the Jai Ho dance sequence is a Bollywood style dance. The film was released in 2008, the same year YouTube hit its stride globally. The popularity of the Jai Ho dance sequence on YouTube made it a gateway into both Bollywood films and Bollywoodstyle dance for Western audiences. While it initially helped introduce people to Bollywoodstyle dance, YouTube likely also helped the Hindi language film industry Bollywoodbe more aware of its globa l audience. This awareness allow s the industry to market to nonresident Indian and nonIndian audiences, as well as t o acknowledge an Indian population that is gradually becoming more socially progressive. An example of this progressive trend is the Bollywoodproduced romantic comedy Dostana (2008), which is about two young Indian men, Sameer and Kunal, living in Miami w ho pretend to be a gay couple in order to get an apartment living with their landladys niece, Neha ( Dostana 2008). Despite homosexuality being a taboo topic, the film was a financial success in India and abroad. Moving the setting to an American city such as Miami allowed the film to discuss Indian prejudices regarding sexuality in a less transgressive way, as Sameers mother goes through the process of accepting her son, no matter whom he loves ( Dostana 2008). In addition to their very serious kiss at the end of the film, Sameer and Kunal
33 share a short closed hold dance during the films major dance sequence Desi Girl ( Dostana 2008). Although it has not had as much of a thriving YouTube life as Jai Ho, the dance sequence Desi Girl clearly demonstrates that participatory culture played a prominent role in globalizing Bollywoodstyle dance. First, the lyrics are in a combination of Hindi and English, primarily reflecting speaking habits in modern Mumbai, but also including Western desi culture. Second, there is a mix of dance movements, some of which are very clearly Indian and some of which are clearly Western. A number of Western style dance holds are used as Sameer and Kunal compete for Nehas attention, only to have to dance with each other to keep u p their guise of being a couple. The combination of Indian and Western dance styles illustrates how the Bollywood industry is concurrently marketing its offerings to both the Western desis and the much larger global audience in addition to the Indian audience There is a challenge to developing a meaningful analysis regarding YouTubes role in the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance. Statistical data regarding viewer demographics the number of views a video reaches in specific amounts o f time, and how frequently the video has been sharedis difficult to glean from YouTube s publically available data. Additionally some videos have the statistics function disabled, thereby negating even simplistic cross comparisons using the publically av ailable data. Given statistics are a valuable commodity, YouTube Analytics provides all the details, video by video or for all your videos at once, so a registered user who uploads videos can really understand [ his or her viewing ] audience (YouTube, 2013). Without access to the complete data, a detailed analysis is not possible, and trying to make an analysis
34 based on partial data would skew the results. In the absence of consistently available statistical data, any analysis is anecdotal at best. Howev er, despite the limited availability of statistical data, general trends can still be indicated. It is possible to get an idea of the reach and popularity of a certain dance by considering key word search results. Figure 6 represents the results from a key word search on YouTube for the three different dance sequences that have been discussed in this paper: Jai Ho, Desi Girl, and Dola Re Dola. The results are the approximate number of uploaded videos associated with each dance sequence at the time of the search. These numbers change constantly as new videos and new viewers are added. For example, after typing Jai Ho into YouTubes search function, approximately 166,000 individual videos appeared in the search results. When one factors in the number of views
35 per videoanywhere from several hundred to several million views the result becomes a staggering number of times that Jai Ho has been viewed. One trend the data indicates is that more contemporary dance sequences such as Jai Ho and Desi Girl gain larger audiences on YouTube. The contemporary qualities of Jai Ho and Desi Girl reflect the times, as India establishes its place in the global market and society. The se more contemporary dances have more movements that are not specifically Indian, allowing viewers who are less familiar with the general style to better connect with the m As the search results in Figure 6 demonstrate, the more globalized dances of Jai Ho and Desi Girl in contrast to the less modern dance of Dola Re Dolahave a wider reach on YouTube, where individuals are more likely to learn these dances without the help of a knowledgeable instructor. Despite having been created well before YouTube, the Dola Re Dola dance sequence from Devdas has a considerable YouTube presence, although not as dominant as Jai Ho or Desi Girl (Figure 6). Dola Re Dola has been primarily adopted as a stage performance, and v ideos of staged performances are upl oaded from all over the world. A lthough the film has not been recreated in video to as high a level of fidelity as Jai Ho or Desi Girl some tutorials have been posted. Since the iconic dance sequence is part of a film set in early twentieth century Ind ia, a major focus of the choreography was to match the dance with the historic setting. More recent Bollywood productions, like Dostana (2008), and nonBollywood films, like Slumdog Millionaire (2008), are set in the present time in global cities such as M iami and Mumbai, and dance sequences like Desi Girl and Jai Ho reflect the past globalization of Bollywood style dance, which in turn keeps the globalization process going.
36 CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION Participatory dances are a common model around t he world, enjoyed for their ability to build communities and solidify group cultural ties. They involve the entire community in the creative process, helping all of the participants to achieve the pleasurable state of intense focus and involvement called f low. For participants to achieve flow, the activity must be challenging enough to be interesting, but simple enough to make acquiring basic skills easy, which motivates the participants to keep participating. The participatory model also aids globalization since it promotes the introduction of new participants and builds a sense of community. While not participatory from the standpoint of industry, Bollywoodstyle dance has developed a participatory culture outside of the film industry. Its hybrid nature a nd tendency to add new elements and movements keeps it challenging and interesting. At the same time, the less complicated choreography of many dances from Bollywood films and
37 Bollywoodinspired films makes them easy to learn without advanced knowledge of the dance style. The qualities that make Bollywoodstyle dance successful in a participatory framework also make it successful in the twenty first century advent of participatory culture on the Internet, supported by social networking and videosharing we bsites, specifically YouTube. In short, t he Internet participatory culture has changed how cultural elements such as Bollywoodstyle dancetravel through the entire process of globalization. Globalization is the process through which an element of industry or culture is integrated into cultures other than its native culture, becoming part of the international consciousness. The globalization process has three stages: migration, in which the globalizing element travels outside of its native culture; isolatio n, in which the globalizing element is separated from its original context; and localization, in which the globalizing element is adopted and integrated into a new culture. Youth culture with its incessant need for new elements, is important to the proces s of globalization because young people are more willing to seek out, adopt, and integrate new things into their cultural construct. One way that youth culture becomes unwittingly involved with globalization is through the branding strategies of large int ernational corporations. Corporations actively target t he youth demographic because doing so has been histor ically effective. T he Disney Corporations branding strategy in India achieved via its original movie High School Musical (2006) and the My School Rocks dance competition is a n excellent example of a corporation successfully tapping into the local youth culture to effectively
38 localize its brand. Apart from thematic material that appealed to the Indian middle class youth, such as the idea of following ones dream as part of a path to self discovery and happiness, the My School Rocks competitions focus on individual creativity encouraged the localization of High School Musical (2006), successfully mapping it onto the existing cultural framework of B ollywood and the interschool dance competition. Y outh culture is also associated with globalization through the third culture kids phenomenon. Third culture kids are children who grow up in a different culture than the culture in which their own parents were raised. In an effort to connect to their parents culture and to t he culture they have grown up in, third culture kids actively combine the two cultures in order to create a hybridized identity to suit them. The American desi youth culture the children born to immigrants from the Indian subcontinent did exactly this, cre ating an identity that allowed the desi youths to be both American and South Asian. The third culture kids desire to create a hybrid identity such as the American desis inclusion of filmi dances from Bollywood films into their club parties pre integrates new elements into the existing culture, making it easier for the local youths to adopt the new elements as part of their own cultural identity. As effective as youth culture was at accelerating the g lobalization of Bollywoodstyle dance before YouTube the creation of the videosharing website revolutionized the process. YouTube has been successful at branding itself at a level other corporations have not reached By focusing its marketing on content sharing rather than directly on profit, YouTube has dr astically lowered the barriers to entry, allowing anyone especially the relatively disenfranchised youths who make up the majority of YouTube users to get involved in the Internet participatory culture that spans the globe.
39 Although Bollywood style dance w as already in the process of globalizing through the support of youth participatory culture, the arrival of YouTube demonstrably hastened the process. Liberated from the cost of producing and distributing physical recording media, YouTube users discovered an easy to access distribution service that vaulted their Bollywoodstyle dance recordings from homegrown obscurity to global prominence, opening up a cultural dialogue between India and the world. While Bollywoodstyle dance would have globalized without Internet participatory culture, YouTube propelled it through the process of globalization in a matter of years, a process that would have otherwise taken decades to reach the level of exposure Bollywoodstyle dance has now. Without consistent access to st atistical data, it is difficult to quantify the influence YouTube will have on the globalization of Bollywoodstyle dance in the future. The YouTube activity surrounding Bollywood style dance appears to have shifted some in the last couple of years, with m ore videos of flash mobs performing Bollywoodstyle dance being uploaded than of specific dances being reproduced. This could be because there has not been a major Bollywoodstyle dance in film that captured worldwide attention in this timeframe. Instead, the music and dances from older films are appearing as parts of Bollywoodstyle dance flash mob choreography all over the world, from Brazil to Australia to Finland and many cities and countries in between. However, the absence of a major film dance produc tion has given Bollywoodstyle dance room to become established as a global entity separate from films. One example of the establishment of Bollywoodstyle dance as separate from films is the 2010 Macys Day Parade, in which a Bollywoodstyle dance troupe performed,
40 representing South Asian culture for the first time in the famously iconic American parades history. For Bollywoodstyle dance to have been featured in a parade celebrating one of the most American holidays on the calendar speaks to the degree of acceptance Bollywoodstyle dance has gained in the United States. The globalization of Bollywood style dance through YouTube barely scratches the surface of YouTubes globalization potential, but it has laid the foundation for other dances to follow a similar globalization trajectory. Although YouTubes ability to accelerate the globalization process is anecdotally apparent, further research involving complete statistical data would help quantify how significant the acceleration actually is. Due to YouT ubes participatory culture that connects youths around the world, the future very likely holds more examples of expedited globalization of music and dance such as South Korean singer PSYs Gangnam Style, which reach ed 1.59 billion YouTube views in less than a year. No time is wasted when globalization happens at light speed.
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