Saroj Khan’s Journey In Bollywood

In its Endeavour to provide high-quality 21st-century education, Rishihood aims to continuously create and recreate its curriculum under the guidance and support of the experts from diverse fields. The inputs and insights from seasoned professionals direct the team to make specifically tailored courses and programs.

Big Shots, Rishihood’s flagship event, is a series of conversations with inspiring doers, creators, entrepreneurs, and big shots to learn from their wisdom, life journeys, and ideas. It is a manifestation of the University’s idea of associating with the best to deliver the best.

The recent event of Big Shots witnessed an enriching conversation with the choreography maestro, Ms. Saroj Khan.  Hosted at the Indian International Center, Max Mueller Marg, Mrs. Saumya Aggarwal, a Board Member of Rishihood Varsity and the moderator for the evening welcomed the chief guest and the audience. Mr. Mahesh Agarwal, radiologist, and a Board Member thanked Ms. Khan and congratulated the team for the association with her.

Saroj Khan shared about her humble beginning in Bollywood 61 years ago when industry and especially dancing was male-centric. With the responsibility of running the family, she started as a child artist in the movie Nazrana and became an assistant dance choreographer at the tender age of 12. She retraces her journey with ‘Geeta Mera Naam’ when director Sadhana offered her the first break.  She gratefully recalls Subhash Ghai who was impressed by her commitment to work offered her work in the movie Hero.

She fondly retells about the making of the super hit number ‘ek do teen..’ with Madhuri Dixit which remains very close to her heart and vivid in her memories. Her relentless dedicated work pushed the Filmfare awards to include Choreography as a separate category for nominations. She not only bagged the first one but completed a hat-trick.

She asserts that the time she joined was a golden period for the industry because everyone worked for the love of art and not the business. She also expresses her hopes of Indian style of dancing to remain on the screens for a long run as she puts ‘our art never dies’. She proudly tells how the next gen actresses have expressed interest to learn Indian dance form from her in the recent times. Choreography, she believes, manifests craving for creation. She keeps her creative process simple where she visualizes the situation of the song in the narrative, considers the dancing ability of the artists and then follows her heart to create the magic.

She has formally entered into a partnership with the School of Creativity, Rishihood to guide the team for School of Creativity. The Varsity seeks to reach exemplary heights in creativity and service society with this partnership. She appreciated Rishihood for initiating the much-needed effort of bringing the novel course of formalizing dance education in India. She also expressed the concern that the path would not be easy enough as a visual performing art like dance is difficult to be taught through traditional means but with concerted efforts of the team, it would be great service for the art and the artists.

The event was witnessed by eminent Entrepreneurs, Journalists, Industry experts, and academicians.

Happy Birthday Shiamak Davar..!! My personalised interview with an ace choreographer..!!

I have been Shiamak’s dancing and choreography ever since I was a kid, when I saw Mohabbat Kar Le and Dil Toh Pagal Hai.. my love and respect for Shiamak grew multi-folds. Then as I grew up and joined the event industry, I started understanding choreography, dancing and stage shows even more, as I myself organised lots of events and still do. Shiamak is synonymous with dancing for me and he is the ultimate. I am not much of a dancer myself but have always fancied joining his dancing school and may be I can learn to dance as well.

Today being Shiamak’s birthday, I wish him all the luck and love for his life.. I have been fortunate to get to interview him personally, I don’t know how reasonable my questions have been, but to ask questions to such a big celebrity is a task in itself, so I just tried to do my best, here it is…

shiamak

Aditi: How did you decide to become a choreographer? Was it something you always wanted to do or is it something that happened suddenly?


Shiamak: Dancing happened to me much later. My first love was singing and I used to act in a lot of musical productions. I chanced upon dance classes at the Pineapple Studio in London where the teacher thought I had prior training. She was shocked to know I had never learnt ballet before that. I took the training forward and then decided to come back and start western jazz dance classes in India. I realized my mission was to spread joy through dance. Thirty years later, it’s a pleasure to watch the same people send their kids to my class who back in the day used to wonder what am I doing dancing and conducting classes!


Aditi: Was there any person that had great impact on your decision to become a choreographer?


Shiamak: It was my spiritual guides, the Bhavnagris and their book – Laws of the Spirit World that made me realize my mission to spread the joy of happiness through dance.


Aditi: What influences you?


Shiamak: There is inspiration in everything – music, movement, nature, animals, silence. There is an emotion, a feeling that each piece of music communicates, this is what I translate into movement.


Aditi: Can you choreograph a dance without music?


Shiamak: Of course. There is movement in even silence.


Aditi: What kind of body is able to dance? Do you believe that the type of body can be one obstacle for someone who wants to dance?


Shiamak: My motto is ‘Have Feet. Will Dance.’ which reiterated the fact that everyone can dance. Through my dance academy, I wanted to create a platform for people to come and express themselves through movement, without being judged.

Whether they are four or eighty four, everyone learns and performs on stage. The sense of achievement and fulfillment they get is greater than any other feeling. It’s been over thirty years and it’s great to see the impact it has had on people. Through my NGO Victory Arts Foundation, I took the motto one step further to ‘Have Spirit. Will Triumph.’ And you can see people with crutches or on wheelchairs, people with mixed needs all performing on stage. Dance truly heals.

shiamak-davar


Aditi: Who has been your most favorite student from Bollywood?

Shiamak: You know it is amazing how hard working and professional our actors are in Bollywood. Right from legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Govinda to current stars like Ranveer, Sushant, Shahid and Varun. My dream came true when I choreographed Madhuri in my very first film, and in the latest actresses, the likes of Deepika, Priyanka, Alia… all are just so talented and hard working!

SONY DSC


Aditi: What do you enjoy most directing stage shows or choreographing in movies?


Shiamak: I enjoy choreographing! Whether stage or film. But yes, stage is closer to my heart. There are no second chances, it is live and you receive the audience reactions instantly. I feel more at home on stage. There is a lot of movement you can create it is it all continuous, without any retakes. The energy of a stage show is something else!

shiamak-aishwarya-taal


Aditi: What’s your message for aspiring dancers, what does it take to become a successful dancer/choreographer?


Shiamak: You have to work hard and be patient. Before you think of becoming professional, take time to train and learn. Most importantly, be original! Dance requires a lot of dedication, but if you love what you do, you will smile your way through!

image

Here is wishing Shiamak a very happy birthday.. and someday I will go to his dancing school and enrol myself.. because I have feet..so will dance 🙂

%d bloggers like this: