Celebrated choreographer Shiamak Davar, who won the National Film Award for Best Choreography for Yash Chopra’s 1997 Diwali release “Dil To Pagal Hai“, says the film, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Karisma Kapoor, changed people’s perception towards dance in India.
“Earlier, dancing wasn’t much accepted in India. Boys who danced were considered to be feminine or gay, and women who came to dance classes were meant to be bad women. That was 30 years ago. Today, people think dancing is good because they know how therapeutic, scientific, healing and confidence-building it is. Now, kids come at a young age. Back then, there were no children in the class,” recalled Davar.
Shiamak Davar further went on to say, “After the release of ‘Dil To Pagal Hai‘, people realized that dancing wasn’t vulgar or cheap and it wasn’t a bad thing. We have given a certain kind of respect to dance, which is important for me,” while interacting with the media at his contemporary dance show named “Selcouth“.
Davar, noted as one of the first to bring contemporary jazz and western forms of dance to India, is credited with modernizing India’s popular dance scene — especially in films and theatre.
Talking about his contemporary dance show Selcouth, Davar said: “I started working in the field of dancing 30 years ago, and I did jazz, contemporary and hip-hop, but this is my own style. So, it’s called ‘Shiamak style’, which is contemporary and very unique. This is the first time I am doing a show like this. I think it’s a combination of Indian and Western movements. It is something that I don’t think people have seen before. So, the success of the show is really good. I am happy the audience loved it.”
Davar was also the director of the choreography for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Melbourne. In 2011, he also choreographed the dance sequences for Mission Impossible 4.