To be able to sing and dance in the “Bollywood” tradition is the dream of every young Indian couple, much the way that folks here want to be the next guitar god, sports hero or singing sensation. The Indian film phenomenon drives every aspect of Indian pop culture, from the music the country is singing to the dances everyone is dancing. Indian dance parties where dancers act out scenes to their favorite films with very precise choreography—usually done from visual memory of studying steps in slow motion via video and often including the ability to lip-sync to the pre-recorded song, just as Indian movie stars do—is a favorite pastime throughout India and South Asia and has been imported here along with immigrants from those regions, though some participants are even Caucasians, African-Americans and Latinos who have fallen in love with the form. Putting a uniquely “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars”-like stamp on this tradition, Indian dance competitions are held throughout the country, and those competing in this final round have already won regional competitions but are being assembled here to square off against one another to determine which couple really is the “best of the best.” (Dennis Polkow)
McCormick Place’s Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, (312)498-6004. Sat 6pm. $20-$65.