Posts Tagged ‘times of india’

B Positive Magazine- June'13

Vancouver Observer

How does one create a spectacular show for the world to see when the performers aren’t trained professionals? With a little Bollywood flair, some catchy dance beats and Shiamak Davar behind the scenes, anything is possible. 

Posted: Apr 4th, 2013

Even if you don’t regularly flock to the theatre to catch the latest Bollywood flicks, chances are you recognize some of the celebrity faces. And it’s likely Shiamak Davar has had his hand in the artistic direction of their roles, from Priyanka Chopra’s hand gestures, Abhishek Bachchan’s suave moves and yes, he’s even worked with Tom Cruise.

Bollywood films, known for their wildly dramatic plots of love and heartbreak with luxurious costuming and intoxicating backdrops, would be lacklustre without the added intensity of movement and music. Shiamak is the man behind the visual splendor of many of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters, and with his combination of Indian, jazz, and contemporary dance moves, he is lauded for making Bollywood dance the trend it is today.

Shiamak instructs female dancers how to manipulate their costume pieces

As for Vancouver’s first-ever major Indian film awards descending on the city, it’s no surprise why the Times of India has called upon Shiamak’s services—not only is he skilled and passionate, but he also calls Vancouver home: “I live here and in Bombay because I have so much work. I have to go back to Bombay to shoot, and come back here and do my classes and go back again to work. I’m rushing all over the world so it’s a wonderful thing, the best thing, to be back home.”

On the evening of April 6, 40,000 people will fill the seats of BC Place in anticipation of seeing some of India’s biggest movie stars and performers. True to Indian style, no detail will have been spared, but Shiamak and his team have been running non-stop to pull it all together. During a break from choreographing a large group of male dancers, Glen D’Mello, CEO of The SHIAMAK Group jokes with a laugh: “We’ll sleep on the 7th!”

Glen D'Mello directing the dance crew

Some of the hardest workers of course are 200 local dancers who have auditioned and rehearsed for what could be the biggest opportunity of their lives. But not everyone is a professionally trained dancer, Shiamak explains.

“Out of 200 people, maybe 90 per cent are not trained.” But he doesn’t insist experience be part of the criteria. A passion to perform, instead, takes precedence.

So with Shiamak splitting his time between Mumbai and Vancouver, how did he get it all done?

“Thanks to technology, all this is possible now and it doesn’t matter which part of the world my teams are working in,” He recently told Vancouver Desi. 

“Even in terms of costumes and props that I design, being in two different continents opens up that many more possibilities as different materials and props are available in different cities, so I make the best of both worlds.”

Technology has allowed Shiamak the possibility to conduct personal interviews over Skype while he was stationed in Mumbai and from there he would send videos of choreography back to Vancouver where his team here would teach the students.

“Everyone’s been really fantastic, I have to say. I didn’t even expect the locals to be this good. They’re not even good, they’re fantastic! I’m really proud of them, I’m so proud of them I can’t tell you.”



Times of India:

Navneet Kaur Dhillon is the new Pond’s Femina Miss India

The writer has posted comments on this articleBella Jaisinghani & Sharmila Ganesan RamBella Jaisinghani & Sharmila Ganesan Ram, TNN | Mar 25, 2013, 12.47 AM IST



Meet the winners of Pond's Femina Miss India 2013

Beauties From Patiala, Visakhapatnam And Mumbai Walk Away With Tiaras At Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013.

All that glittered at Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013 on Sunday evening was gold indeed. In the golden jubilee year of the pageant, this colour radiated throughout the evening—from the theme to the detail in the contestants’ gowns.

Finally, Navneet Kaur Dhillon (20), the daughter of an army officer from Patiala, was crowned Miss India 2013; after Army Public School, Ambala, she attended Patiala’s Punjabi University. The first runner-up was Sobhita Dhulipala of Visakhapatnam. The 20-year-old ex-student of Vishakha Valley School currently studies at HR College, Mumbai.

The city is also the present home of Zoya Afroz (18), who was the second runner-up; originally from Lucknow, the Land of Nawabs, Zoya, an actor, studied at RN Shah High School and then Mithibai College.

Faced with a rather morbid question of what her one regret would be if she were to die the following day, Navneet gathered her wits quickly and said, “The only thing I would regret would be not having done as much for society as I would like to. Issues of women’s empowerment and child labour and other social evils are a big concern.”

Amid cheers, Miss India 2000 Priyanka Chopra told the three to appreciate the crown. “It stays with you forever. It changes you from who you could have been to who you are going to be,” she said.

This year’s pageant, held at Yashraj Studios, Andheri, marked a double milestone, given that 2013 celebrates the centenary of Indian cinema as well as the 50th year of the Miss India contest. In this span of time, India has won 34 international titles — second only to Venezuela. Host Manish Paul opened the evening with a nostalgic audiovisual tracing the golden history of the contest. From Nutan, Meher Castelino Mistry, Persis Khambatta and Zeenat Aman, down to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra, the winners have done the country proud.

The crowns the winners wear are laden with significance. The Miss India crown bears a peacock feather in the centre, symbolizing the graceful, proud national bird of India. The tiara worn by the first runner-up derives inspiration from ‘the curves of a woman’, albeit in a metaphorical sense. The curves represent the ups and downs that confront a woman on her journey to the top. The crown for the second runner-up is modelled along the ‘ladder of success’, showing the levels a contestant has to cross to win the pageant.
The event started with host Manish Paul quoting an Urdu verse celebrating womanhood. As the event’s judges, Karan Johar, Asin, Shiamak Davar, Yuvraj Singh, Ritu Kumar, Chitrangada Singh and John Abraham, entered, their fans rose and cheered.

And then, kitted out in black, ivory and flame, the contestants, aged 18-25, walked down the ramp and introduced themselves. They had come from all over the country—Assam’s Dibrugarh to Orissa’s Bhubaneswar, Patna to Pune, and the metro cities. Among them were models, actors and even an aeronautical engineer and a yoga trainer.

Comedy trio Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi and Aftab Shivdasani pretended to gatecrash the event to ease the nerves of the women onstage. They performed a ribald act before moving on to a dance medley. Miss India has long been known as a passport to cinema and there were no pretensions this time. All 23 finalists wore ethnic Bharatanatyam costumes or ghagra-cholis and danced to a robust ‘Radha Teri Chunri’ as if they were ready for the next logical step.

A special award called woman of substance was given to Urmi Basu for her work in the field of prostitution and trafficking. It was presented by Miss India 2012 Vanya Mishra.

For more on Shiamak Davar @ Pond’s Femina Miss India Click on the links below!
  Femina Miss India 2013



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