Boys who danced considered as feminine, girly type and gay; happy that brought some respect to the field of dancing says Shiamak Davar
Film choreographer Shiamak Davar has said it was very difficult for him in the field of dancing as it wasn’t acceptable in India. He said that boys who danced used to considered as feminine, girly type and gay in our country but now, he feels satisfied that he has brought certain kind of respect in the field of dancing.
Shiamak Davar was interacting with media at his contemporary dance show named ‘Selcouth’ on Tuesday in Mumbai.
Shiamak Davar, noted as one of the first to bring contemporary jazz and western forms of dance to India. He is known as the guru of contemporary dance in India. He is responsible for modernizing India’s dance scene especially in the film and theatre industries.
Talking about his journey in the field of dancing, Davar said, “I think it was a very difficult journey. Earlier, dancing wasn’t much accepted in India. Boys who danced are considered to be feminine, girly type or gay and women who came to classes were meant to be bad girls but that was 30 years ago. Today, it has changed and people love it. They think it’s good because they know how therapeutic, scientific, healing and confidence-building it is. Now, kids come at a young age and that time, there were no children in the class. It was only adults who would come but now children and people of every age group come in our classes.”
Davar added that ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ was one of the important projects of his career, he said, “After release of ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, people realised that dancing is not vulgar, cheap and it’s not a bad thing so, I can say that we have given certain kind of respect to dance which is very important for me and that’s why in this show, choreography is vey new and unique. It is not Hollywood or Bollywood. It’s my own version of dancing. The meaning of Selcouth is unusual. It has very interesting theme and we have picked up very interesting songs. There are some Hindi and English songs so, it’s a lovely mix of all these things.”
Davar won the 1997 National Film Award for Best Choreography for his work in the film ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’.
He was also the director of choreography for the Commonwealth Games, Melbourne and Commonwealth Games, Delhi. In 2011, he choreographed the dance sequences for the movie Mission Impossible 4.
Talking about his contemporary dance show ‘Selcouth’, Davar said, “It’s really interesting show. I have started working in the field of dancing 30 years ago and I did jazz, contemporary, hip-hop but this is my own style so, it’s called ‘Shiamak style’ which is contemporary and very unique. This is the first time I am doing a show like this. I think it’s a combination of Indian and Western movements. It is something that I don’t think people have seen before and success of the show is really good so, I am feeling very happy audience loved it because for me, that’s important thing.”
When asked Davar what are unique things in his dance show, he said, “There are some new songs and there are some new elements. The simplicity of the show is that there are no sets and there is nothing. It’s a plain and simple show with only dancing in it. We haven’t included gymnastics, flips, splits, tumbling, somersaulting and flying in the air kind of stuff in it. It just pure dance show and I think that is what people want to see now and not just gymnastics.”
When asked Davar what kind of advice he wants to give to budding dancers, he said, “Now, when people start dancing, they feel that I will quickly become a star and that is their main problem. They don’t want to work on their craft be it acting or dancing. They just want to go, do a course and become actors, singers or dancers. But it is not like that. Dancing takes years of hard work. Today anyone who uploads their video on YouTube, considered themselves as dancers. In five days, they become popular and successful but they go down also with similar speed.”
He added, “A person who wants to become a proper professional dancer has to work very hard and they have to go through training. Training and discipline is too important and nothing can replace hard work. If you go steadily up then you can stay there. I have stayed there for 30 years and till today, I am working and improving my craft. I don’t say that now I have become a choreographer then, I will sit at home, it doesn’t work like that.”
Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Sushant Singh Rajput were members of the Shiamak Davar Dance Company.
When asked Davar who are his favorite dancers from Bollywood, he said, “I really like Helen ji. In male actors, I like Shammi Kapoor, Hrithik (Roshan) and Shahid (Kapoor) and the ladies like Madhuri (Madhuri Dixit Nene).”