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Benny Lava – the Western reincarnation of Prabhu Deva

How can something that started as a possible  mockery of Indian dance moves become an internet phenomenon and eventually create a cult following for Prabhu Deva in the Western World?

The name Benny Lava comes from Sutton's dubbing of the Tamil lead line "Nilaavo?" as "Benny Lava!" (original meaning: Is it the moon?". The video led other Youtube users to refer to Prabhu Deva as "Benny Lava".

The name Benny Lava comes from Sutton’s dubbing of the Tamil lead line “Nilaavo?” as “Benny Lava!” (original meaning: Is it the moon?”. The video led other Youtube users to refer to Prabhu Deva as “Benny Lava”.

The name Benny Lava comes from Sutton’s dubbing of the Tamil word in the lead line “Nilaavo?” as “Benny Lava!” (original meaning: Is it the Moon?’). The video led other Youtube users to refer to Prabhu Deva as “Benny Lava”.

Prabhu Deva – the dancer from Chennai has been a sensation throughout India right from his earliest dance performance in the song “Chiku Bukku Railey” from the movie Gentle Man.  He is a two-time winner of the National Film Award for Best Choreography for his work on the film Minsaara Kanavu (1997) in Tamil and Lakshya (2004) in Hindi. Just like the musical talents of A.R.Rehman that the western world have come to recognize today, Prabhu’s dance talents are of stand-out-unique-love-at-first-sight caliber. His ability to mix humor with dance is something I have not seen from any other dancer.

His western re-incarnation started with the viral video titled “Crazy Indian Dance” uploaded by a YouTube user with an imaginary phonetic subtitle of the Tamil song “Kalloori Vaanil” from the movie Pennin Manadhai Thottu. The video has generated 11 million hits as of Feb 09. Some may view this and several other videos that followed in the same line as a mockery of new age Indian dance styles. However, with the amount of fan following, especially among the younger generation across Europe and the Americas, Prabhu Deva now seem to have the potential to possibly become a hot property in Hollywood.

Blogger HawkEyeView showcases very elegantly, some of the mad following Prabhu has had in the west and takes us on a video tour of the “Benny Lava Phenomenon”

Written by Sunderapandyan

Written by Sunderapandyan – Community cheer leader, web developer & innovator – Sunderapandyan is hard to pin down. He writes on South Asian news and issues to the world.

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