Posts Tagged ‘times of india film awards’

The Huffington Post B.C.  |  Posted: 04/07/2013 1:19 pm EDT  |  Updated: 04/08/2013 9:50 am EDT

 Times Of India Film Awards Dancers
Times of India Film Awards dancers choreographed by Shiamak Davar perform for kids at Vancouver’s Canuck Place kids’ hospice. (Flickr: BC Gov Photos)

The Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) paid a visit to a kids’ care home over the weekend as the Bollywood extravaganza took over Vancouver.

Premier Christy Clark and Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar dropped by Canuck Place with a group of dancers to entertain residents at the children’s hospice Saturday afternoon, ahead of a massive awards show at BC Place Stadium.

“These guys are all about live for the moment,” Clark said of the dancers in a YouTube video.

“The great thing about it is the intercultural connection, and these kids, sometimes they’re experiencing a lot of sadness in their lives, Shiamak was here to bring them some joy, do some good.”

Kids got to watch the dancers perform a kind of preview of what Vancouver would see later that evening, and were even invited to come up and participate.

 Huffington Post Canada

Posted: 04/04/2013 2:33 pm

When dancers take the stage at the Pacific Coliseum and BC Place at the Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver this week, it won’t be the Harlem Shake we’ll see. Not Gangnam style, not even Indian Classical style. It will be Shiamak style.

Named for Shiamak Davar, dance master to some of the biggest names in the commercial Hindi cinema industry known as Bollywood, it may be best described as a fusion of ballet, contemporary, and some of the most basic, yet challenging, body movements associated with the ancient Indian practice of yoga. Its essence includes strong core movement and earthy, primitive performances.

As with all dance, the key is to make it look easy, fluid, graceful in front of the audience without letting anyone know how much your muscles have been screaming, or how grueling practice has been.

And he’ll be looking for perfection in those performances Thursday and Saturday night from the likes of superstars Abishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.

The pressure is on. Fatigue etched on everyone’s face in rehearsals will be replaced with big smiles on stage. For the younger amateur dancers, some who are local with no experience with Shiamak style, (he divides his time between Mumbai and North Vancouver) it is the pressure of learning and remembering all the right moves on the biggest stage they’ve performed on to date.

For Davar, it’s a different expectation and pressure. TOIFA represents a homecoming. Students from the dance schools he began setting up two decades ago are coming from four continents to join him. A-list stars who created unforgettable performances on the silver screen thanks to his choreography are arriving to reprise the hits. And he has to deliver.

But the performance gene is in his genealogy. Shiamak Davar was born into one of Bollywood’s first families, the great-nephew of stars who were silent-film era pioneers in Indian cinema. His great aunt? A half-Greek, half-British woman named Nadia, or “Fearless Nadia,” who left her mark with early movie-goers by running on top of moving trains — 50 years before Daniel Craig’s 007 did it in “Skyfall,” I might add.

In their book, Indian Cinema, the Bollywood Saga, authors Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari describe Nadia as “Hindi film’s first and only female action star” who “predated the feminist movement as an independent minded woman.”

Apparently, Davar inherited that independent mindedness. In a family where acting was in the blood, he gravitated towards music, singing, and dancing. His parents insisted on a university education first, so his dance training did not begin in childhood, but in his early 20s. While his parents were ultimately supportive, others in the family threatened to disown him for gravitating towards “effeminate” dance.

But he didn’t care. Innovators are used to scrutiny and criticism. New York critics were sometimes hard on Bob Fosse, Martha Graham was accused of staying on stage well past her prime.

Instead, Davar struck out to London, studying with award-winning choreographer Chet Walker. It was a student-guru relationship that would eventually lead him to the U.S — and the chance to work with Debbie Allen, famous, for among other things, being the lead choreographer on the 1980s film and TV hit, “Fame.”

Davar established his first dance studio in India in the 1990s. At the time, lithe, toned dance students wearing leotards were considered indecent among Mumbai’s chattering classes. His first students were his friends. But eventually one of his disciples caught the starry-eye of an up and coming Bollywood star: Shah Rukh Khan. Khan would go on to marry her. Davar would go on to choreograph 1997’s “Dil To Pagal Hai,” which in turn would go on to become a major hit.

His successes have since included choreographing more Bollywood blockbusters: Taal, Kisna, and Yuvvraaj. He’s designed and arranged dances for both the 2006 and 2010 opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.

What are the greatest lessons he’s learned along the way? “Compassion and kindness,” he says. “You have to give back.” He does that through his charities, including the Victory Arts Foundation.

This week, Davar’s journey takes 10,000 more carefully choreographed steps towards his international success. You would think the experience would be all ho-hum by now, but no.

“TOIFA is very special to me,” he says. “It’s happening in my second home.”

And there’s another reason: his 90-year-old mother, the professor who forced her son to study economics before studying dance, will be coming from India to watch.

“She’s coming all the way. I’ll be performing myself.”

Expect the hits. But great-aunt Nadia, no running atop moving trains.

Published on March 7, 2013 by   ·  


Shiamak Davar

Have you ever dreamed of being choreographed by Shiamak Davar (right) and dancing alongside Bollywood stars? Auditions for the Times of India Film Awards could be your chance. Mark van Manen/PNG files

Dancers from the Lower Mainland have a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to be part of the magic of the Times of India Film Awards this April.

The Shiamak Davar Dance Company is holding auditions for Metro Vancouver dancers to dance alongside top Bollywood stars at the event’s grand awards ceremony on April 6 at B.C. Place.

Auditions will be held in Surrey on Saturday and the company is looking to fill 50 positions.

“Those chosen to fill these positions will have a once in a lifetime experience, performing on stage for thousands of adoring fans and also getting the opportunity to meet and work alongside some of their favourite Bollywood actors and actresses,” renowned choreographer Shiamak Davar said in a release. “We’re incredibly excited to bring this opportunity to local dancers.”

Auditions will start at 10:30 a.m. on March 9 at the Dance West Studio in Surrey, #3-12372 84th Ave.

Dancers must be at least 18 years old and need to register for the auditions. Register by phone at 604-924-9104.

Auditions cost $39, but if you attended the Shiamak TOIFA dance workshop last weekend, you can get a discounted price of $29.



Shiamak Davar

Choreographer Shiamak Davar, credited for being one of the first to popularize Bollywood dance outside of India, is set to perform at the Times of India Film Awards song and dance night.

An award-winning cast of song and dance stars are set to grace the Pacific Coliseum stage to kick off the inaugural Times of India Film Awards weekend in Vancouver on April 4.

TOIFA announced its star-studded lineup Monday, revealing featured artists like Sukhwinder Singh, known for his Academy Award winning song “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” and Shiamak Davar, world renowned choreographer and singer who popularized Bollywood dance across the globe.

The lineup also includes Mohit Chauhan, Indian pop and playback singer, otherwise known as a singer contracted to record music for movie soundtracks, Sunidhi Chauhan, female playback singer known for her upbeat numbers, Hard Kaur, the face of Indian hip hop, and Shalmali Kholgade, an award-winning singer known for her song “DaaruDesi” from “Cocktail.”

Tickets for the concert are available at with floor seats priced $375 to $500 and lower bowl seating at $150.

Premium and premium plus packages including tickets for both the April 6 awards night and April 4 concert are also available on for $2,500 and $3,250.

The first ever TOIFA will be held April 4-6 throughout the city with musical performances by some of Bollywood’s biggest stars and special appearances by top celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchab, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma.

Scheduling and purchasing information is available at