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Dance of Madness
By Daily Post
    • India
  • 4/29/2013 1:03:38 PM


Sarika Sharma
Choreographer Shiamak Davar says that even though people loved Dil Toh Pagal Hai, looks back and feels there is so much more he could have done
Shiamak Davar is a keen observer. A sharp learner. How else does one of India’s top choreographers grow?
“I find myself learning every day, getting inspired by everything around me and interpreting that into dance movements,” says Shiamak, who shot to fame for his choreography of Dil Toh Pagal Hai. The film won him a National Award. Each film, henceforth, has been his journey. Every move has helped him inch towards perfection…
Twenty years… He’s seen Bollywood change. “Choreography has become more stylised and glamorous,” he says.
He has seen himself grow. “Dance, as an art, keeps evolving, and as a choreographer one must keep evolving as well. One thing that has remained constant in my work is originality. Each piece I choreograph represents me. So, over the years, I have matured and so has my choreography. Even though people loved Dil Toh Pagal Hai and found my work much ahead of its times, I look back and think there is so much more I could have done!”
And you can only criticise yourself when you are truly growing. Shiamak’s I’m-my-worst-critic stance makes him what he is. 
Davar’s repertoire includes dance-based films such Taal, Rab Ne Bana Do Jodi and Kisna. It also includes choreographing Dhoom Again (Dhoom 2) that was awarded the ‘Most stylish song in a film’ at the MTV Style Awards 2007 and an opulent party scene for Tom Cruise-Paula Patton starrer Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. 
We ask him if dance moves are more contemporary these days, and also, less forced into films. He agrees. He agrees that there has always been a western influence. That dance sequences are integrated better into the storyline. But… he pauses. “The way the video is shot now is more of an edit job than a choreographer’s work. There is no continuity in movement like there used to be. Now every look, every step later, there is a cut. So even though the end product is great, as a choreographer, I feel it doesn’t do justice.”
The conversation deviates… from Bollywood and Shiamak to Psy and Gangnam Style. We want to know what Shiamak feels about his dance… “People like anything that makes them smile. Gangnam Style is catchy and people love the absurdity, it is fun! Who doesn’t like fun? The signature step is simple and everyone can do it. And what is important is it is original. That’s why people like it!”
And the host of dance reality shows? Are they not more about the act and props and less about dance? Shiamak says the props and sets should be there only to accentuate the dance, not a way to cover up the lack of choreography. Also, he doesn’t feel that the dance-based reality shows here as any sort of benchmark.
“Most of them are copies and lack originality,” he shrugs. He says they might be a great platform to be recognised as it gives an opportunity to dance enthusiasts from interiors of the country to show their skills on screen. But, once the 15 minutes of fame are over, then what?” he asks
Shiamak says there is lack of technique, no training and no guidance once the show is over. It is important to encourage dance as a disciplinary form, right from the school level, he says. 
“Kids are more receptive to the process of learning in their formative years; so, the earlier dance education begins for them, the better,” says he who has a programme called Shiamak Dance Education running in many schools across the country.
Shiamak has trained the likes of Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Vidya Balan, Ruslan Mumtaz and actor Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri. Ask him who is his favourite, and it’s undoubtedly Madhuri Dixit, whom he trained in Dil Toh Pagal hai. “Of course, there is Aishwarya who I’ve seen from her Miss India days. I love Deepika, such a talent and a pleasure to choreograph,” he smiles.