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The man who made Hrithik dance....

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By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
For Shiamak Davar, performing the world over at international events like the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the World Economic Forum in Davos or designing songs for films and events is up his ally. But when it comes to attending an awards ceremony where he is nominated, the most-sough-after choreographer shies away. But he did make it to the function, just in time as the announcement went, "The award goes to Shiamak Davar..."

Congrats on winning the Screen award for 'Dhoom again...' from Dhoom 2. You were almost not attending the show.
Yes, I don't go for awards functions, I only choreograph them. (laughs) But I will always be very grateful to Screen because Screen was the first to award me ever for Dil To Pagal Hai (DTPH). Then I went on to win all the awards that year including the National award.

Did you expect to win the trophy this year?
'Dhoom again...' had a huge potential for dance. There was a lot of scope for rhythm, style and fresh steps. And when Adi (Aditya Chopra) asked me to choreograph the title track for his film, he left it to me to do it my way. It is gratifying that whenever he wants something diverse and novel, he chooses me. It had me excited and I took up the song immediately, mainly because it featured Hrithik Roshan. We have never worked in a film together though we have done a lot of stage shows.

There's no doubt that Hrithik is a marvelous dancer, but as a choreographer who made Madhuri Dixit dance to his tune in DTPH, what did you think of the actor's dancing abilities during the shoot?
Madhuri is all grace and she cannot be compared with anyone. But Hrithik is the best dancer we have in films today. He is simply fantastic in whatever he does. The guy is like a machine, a robot that can do anything. He picked up my steps so well that I was mystified by his flexible and agile body movements. He becomes the dance and not the dancer. Once he got into the grid, we made a wonderful team and delivered a very high quality product. As a choreographer I believe that the body is a temple, respect it and it will bless you.

You think he did justice to your steps?
Completely. My choreography was at its best in 'Dhoom again...' because of Hrithik. I would say Hrithik is our answer to Hollywood actors today. Adi, who was certain that I would win awards for this song, tells me that people are going back to the theatres only to see it again. Isn't that incredible?

What did you think of 'Dhoom again...' when you heard it for the first time?
As the song was being played, I felt each instrument was telling me something. The piano had something to say. The strings were talking to me, the violins, the drums; each instrument was conversing with me. I tried to interpret what they were saying and I had worked out the movements in my mind. It you notice, my dance steps are very simple but with a lot of grace in the movements. Hrithik dancing to my steps made grace in the movements. Hrithik dancing to my steps made all the difference to a beautiful song.

Have you seen the other songs from the film? What do you think of their choreography?
I have liked them specially 'Crazy kiya re...'. And amongst the others nominated in the best choreography category, I think Ganesh Acharya's 'Masti ki pathshala ...' from Rang De Basanti deserves a pat.

Who, according to you, is the best dancer in films today besides Hrithik?
I adore Madhuri. Of the girls today, Aishwarya has a lot of grace. I loved both of them in 'Dola re ...' from 'Devdas'. Rani Mukerji has a very high level of energy. Abhishek Bachchan in 'Nach baliye...' from Bunty Aur Babli was superb. Another marvelous dancer is Arshad Warsi. Being a choreographer himself, he has a lot of style when it comes to dance. Then there is the immensely talented Jaaved Jafri. But above all, my all time favourite is Helen. She has elegance and style even today.

You have dancing schools all over India. Tell us more about your institutes.
I believe in giving my students a true performing arts experience and my institutes have dance programs and workshops for people from the age of four to 74 at all the centers all over India. I want to bring joy and smiles on the faces of the under privileged, specially challenged and visually impaired through my organization Shiamak's Victory Arts Foundation. What is more, this year Shiamak Davar's Dance Gear Pvt. Ltd will launch international quality dance wear, dance accessories and dance educational material.

That must be keeping you quite busy.
Yes. I am grateful to the Indian Government for honouring me as the Brand Ambassador in India to promote contemporary Indian dance abroad, in a very Shiamak style; a blend of east and west that includes classic, kathak and jazz. An attempt to promote India in foreign countries, it means a lot of work and I along with my troupe of 45 dancers have performed at almost every place abroad including the Kennedy Centre in New York and in front of presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, etc. And the response has been astounding. As for film assignments, I have Taare Zameen Pe and Saawariya this year.

Have you ever thought of facing the camera, for a dance number? You perform on stage, don't you?
(laughs) Somebody has to ask me first, isn't it? I would love to see myself on the big screen though. Adi, are you listening?

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