All things India are quite “hot” here in the USA, and India is taking notice of our new “crush” on their styles.
I would be that the American interest is somewhat tied into India’s rising stature in the world of commerce and IT. Further, there are many Indian immigrants living here in the USA and sharing their culture with those around them. But the last push has been in the movies. I don’t think American’s recent interest in India started with Slumdog Millionare. Instead I think there has been a rising awareness of all Bollywood movies, and Bollywood dance appearing on such shows at “So you think you can dance” and “World Superstars of Dance”. As well, I think Bollywood itself has changed a great deal in the last 5-10 years. The quality of the cinematography and music has vastly improved. The costumes, lighting, and technical production are now superb. And the style has changed to look and sound much more American. The way the singers sing now sounds more like American pop than traditional Indian classical singing. All of this makes it easier for an American audience to appreciate Bollywood movies. Even if they don’t understand all of the culture, many elements have come closer to what they are familiar with.
I guess it’s not surprising that India is interested in America’s interest in India (every loves to be loved). So I wasn’t totally surprised when a reporter from India called me to talk about my Bollywood classes. She turned out to be quite a good reporter, asking many thorough questions (everything from when, where, and how I learned to dance, to which Bollywood movie was my favorite). I appreciated that she checked her sources, asking me for additional references at Google and Oracle that she could talk to.
And I was very happy at the result – check out the article in the Times of India!