Shiamak Davar: Education is more or as important than doing dance shows or competing in contests

shiamak-davarChildren from the post-liberalisation era know that when it comes to dance, Shiamak Davar is the name one can easily reckon with. Over the past few decades, his name has become synonymous with dance institutions for the young aspirants who don’t want themselves to be caught in a box but rather explore the opportunities this field of art has to offer. When recently sat for a tete-a-tete with the multi-talented Shiamak Davar, he was all smiles to talk about his passion, forthcoming projects and more. Excerpts from the interview:

When you started your career in this industry, dance was not a mainstream product as it is now. Decades later, how does it make you feel when you see youngsters choosing dance as their career and also flourishing in it?
When I started my dance classes, girls weren’t allowed to dance. There was a constant notion of who’s going to marry her and boys who danced were considered gay. When I came to Mumbai, there was only Indian classical and folk dance, nothing related to western. Except for a few, nobody else was really doing dance for the masses so I thought I just want to use people who are not professional dancers. I feel anyone can dance irrespective of their gender, age, and physical attributions. Dance can somewhere heal you. Hence, a lot of kids who are considered problem children are not problem children with me.

As you said back then dance was not treated like a serious profession. Your thoughts?
I only want respectability when it comes to dancing. How can someone judge someone’s character if a boy or girl is dancing? After the respectability (that) I tried to push into the industry now they don’t think like that. Even though dance has progressed to such a phenomenal level amongst every stratum of the society, I think that education is more or as important than doing shows or competing in competitions because without education their career will be short-spanned.

Many artists are now broadening their horizons by showcasing their multi-talented self. Other than choreography, you released two singles in the nineties. Any plans of doing the same now that singles have become such a rage?
My Hindi is not that good but I still do lots of shows and I do sing a lot. I do cherish ‘Mohabbat karle’ and ‘Jane Kisne’ if I can still sing those songs (winks). You know I wanna do it but I don’t know if I wanna do it. May be I should do it with my lovely Parsi hindi (chuckles).

You have also choreographed the Despacito Movement for the Indian audience. Tell us about that.
These guys approached me to choreograph ‘Despacito Movement’ which is the same song but with Indian faces to make a Shiamak style version of it. So I said let’s do it. I directed the song and it has come out well for me, I hope the public likes it as it has really got the flavour of India.

Published on TOI

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