We know of various types of dances now. But back before 70s, there was predominantly classical dance and folk dances. Dance in Telugu cinema is just evolving with the changing times. And there was only one star who taught the first dancing lessons to our Tollywood – he was none other than ANR.
He was the dancing star of his times. His dance had a rhythm and grace!
He used to actively take part in folk dances and bhajana dances right from his childhood. He has an extensive theatre and was almost an adept in donning lady characters. The flexibility in his body language, the finesse in expressions and the rhythm in his moves are a resultant of such extensive theatre work.
While he was good at dances right from the early days of his career, he emerged as a trendsetter principally between 1969 and 1971. Till then, being a hero is all almost appearance, acting caliber, dialog delivery and others. But ANR has redefined this and added a new trait to the chart of an ideal hero with his trendsetting dances. Telugu audience went berserk with his dance in films like Buddhimantulu, Srimanthulu and DasaraBullodu. Classic songs like “NiluvaveVaalukanuladaana…”, “KadavetthukochindiKannepilla…” and “YettagoUnnadi…” are best remembered for his dances apart from their beauty!
From then on, there were exclusive fans for his dances. Pretty much like now, people used to wait for his dances in his films. There was such craze that at one point of time, even makers had to intentionally incorporate dances or craft dance sequences in the scripts to satisfy his fans. Even birthday songs like “Nenuputtanueelokamnavvindi…” [Prem Nagar] had zesty dances moves only to measure up the expectations of the fans.
Later on, such a craze piled up that, all recording dances at every nook and corner of thecoastal region had a mandatory ANR imitation dance.