Dance films promote genre in places with limited reach: Shiamak Davar (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) He has made Bollywood stalwarts like Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Hollywood stars Kevin Spacey and John Travolta sway to his steps. Now, National Award-winning choreographer Shiamak Davar is more than happy that dance-based films are creating waves in India as they help in promoting the genre in places where the reach is limited.

Films like “ABCD: Any Body Can Dance” and its sequel, “ABCD 2”, directed by choreographer-director Remo D’Souza, have gained popularity among the youth for their focus on western dance forms.

Giving a thumbs up to this trend, Davar told IANS in an email interview from Vancouver: “It is great that is happening because it exposes more people to dance in places where the reach is limited. There are many different films that are remakes or take inspiration from Hollywood.”

However, unlike D’Souza, Davar isn’t keen on making a dance film yet.

“That’s true! (I don’t wish to direct a film). But never say never. There is a lot of things close to my heart that I would like to express through cinema; so let’s see. Right now, directing movies isn’t my focus though,” Davar said.

“I am happy spreading the joy of dance via my schools,” he added.

Popular for his twinkle toes, the ace choreographer has been instrumental in popularising contemporary jazz and western forms of dance in India.

Talking about the hip-hop boom in the country, Davar said: “Every era is defined by a style. The youth loves hip-hop; so that is what is ruling the music and dance scene currently in terms of its influence on Bollywood cinema.”

Amidst the popularity of western dance styles in Bollywood, does he think that the film industry is not focusing on Indian dance forms?

“Not really. There is a bit of everything. There is a strong classical influence in period dramas. It’s the requirement of the song and the film that defines the dance style,” said the 54-year-old, who is known for his enchanting smile.

Davar, who has choreographed dance sequences in films like “Dil To Pagal Hai”, “Taal”, “Bunty Aur Babli” and “Dhoom 2”, feels choreography in films is no more about running around trees as it has become more lyrical.

“Running around trees more than dance was an interpretation of romance back in the good old days… Now it’s different, choreography is more lyrical or to the accents rather than only an interpretation of emotions,” Davar noted.

Davar, who worked with Big B in the 2005 film “Bunty Aur Babli”, said the 73-year-old thespian exudes “inspiring” professionalism.

“Legends are legends. The professionalism that Mr. Bachchan has is inspiring. Most of the new lot is also very hard working. With me, they have all been great, always on time for rehearsals, prepared before they come and hard working,” he said.

According to Davar, “competition helps actors strive for their best, which helps push their limits to make them perform even better”.

(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at



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