When couple of years ago a new trend swept through the Oriental dance scene - "Bollywood Dance" - everybody was enchanted by the sweet, romatic songs of Indian cinema and the combination of sparkling costumes and exotic dance movements. But it had already a history.
In the countries of the former Soviet Union (as well as in many Arabic and African countries) Indian films were very popular; they were a somehow "eastern" response to the omnipresent Hollywood cinema, transporting more conservative family values, without nudes, kisses etc.
In this context we encounter Naarghita, a singer and dancer from Romania, whose story still sparkle somehow like a fairy tale.
Maria Amarghioalei was born January 14, 1939, in the village of Pufeşti, in Romania. When she was three her parents separated and her mother moved to Bucharest, while she stayed with her grandparents until she was nine when she followed her mother to the capital. There she studies classical dance and singing and enters a corps de ballet. In 1956 she watches the movie "The Vagabond" ("Awaara" - 1951) by Raj Kapoor and falls in love with Indian music and dance. She learns the songs by ear and has her debut in 1957 with the song "Chand" ("Moon") from this film which is accepted enthousiastically by the audience.
Then she starts deepening her knowledge on Indian culture studying Hindi for severy years and a professor from the Bucharest university procures her a saree and the scores of Indian songs.
(please note the typical "Bollywood" handgestures on the pictures!)
Narghita experienced true celebrity and brilliance in the 60s and 70s. Throughout her career, she gave concerts around the world: England, USA, France, Lebanon, Egypt. Millions applauded her, burning for the romanitic songs from India.
In this video you can clearly see the "Bollywood" moves that also contemporary oriental dancers use:
In 1967, Indira Gandhi noted Narghita her during a visit which he made in Romania and, stunned by the talented artist, took her to India where she met her idol Raj Kapoor. in 1972 she also acts in aBollywood movie.
From 1959 to 1991 she published a dozen of records with Indian songs, then she mysteriously disappears and leaves the trace of a true legend.